The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:30-31
Ministry requires rest and replenishing. One definition of minister is to “attend to the needs of.” You do not have to have a clerical collar or a title to minister. Whatever place that God has placed you, we are to be ministers and minister his grace to others. Paul said in the book of Second Corinthians that we all have the ministry of reconciliation.
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5: 18-19
If you are taking care of your family, you are ministering. If you are an employee who is working hard and handling your bosses business with integrity, you are ministering. If you are taking care of an elderly parent or someone who is sick, you are ministering. We can minister in myriad ways. We can minister in as many ways as there are needs to be attended.
But when you give, you have to make sure that you get rest and restored. If you have nothing, then you have nothing to give. It’s not a sin to take a break. As I heard my brother, Rev. K. Edward Copeland say once, sometimes the most spiritual thing we can do is take a nap.
You can get so busy ministering to others that you neglect yourself. People will drain you and when you are drained you can become resentful. You can become short-tempered. You can burn out. Ministry becomes a chore instead of a joy.
In the sixth chapter of Mark, the disciples were so busy that they didn’t even have time to eat. They had been busy teaching, casting out demons and healing. Jesus told his disciples to get away. He invited them to spend time with him in a quiet place.
You need time alone with Jesus. You need to get to a quiet place. A place with no distractions. Turn off the television. Turn off your cell phone, Facebook and Twitter. Get quiet so you can hear Jesus without the noise and distractions of the world.
Get some rest.
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