From Comfortable to Committed - Part 3

Opening Prayer: 

Heavenly Father, I come to you in awe and wonder of who you are - not just in my life, but to the whole world. I thank you for your word and the opportunity to learn from it. Please Lord, open my eyes and open my ears to the message you wish me to see and hear. As I read, I ask your spirit and love into every fiber of my heart. It’s in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

 

Read: Acts 19:25-26, NIV

25 He called them together, along with the workers in related trades, and said: “You know, my friends, that we receive a good income from this business. 26 And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that gods made by human hands are no gods at all. 

 

Reflect: 

My, my…the power of the tongue and one’s conviction for their cause. In the first part of this reading, we see the statements of Demetrius to his fellow tradesmen concerning the business and prosperity they enjoyed through the construction of shrines made of silver in honor of the goddess Artemis. Demetrius was a silver smith and probably one of high standing since he’s able to gather crowds and capture their attention. Silversmithing and similar trades earned a fairly “comfortable” wage which supported fairly “comfortable” lifestyles. However, these earnings and subsequent lifestyles were all the result of the worship of false gods. Their level of comfort was in jeopardy and they didn’t like it.

Paul’s ministry, along with the other Apostles, was running strong. Earlier, God had been working miracles through Paul such that even his clothing maintained healing powers. Evil spirits even knew of Paul and his ministry. Magic practitioners were leaving their “place of comfort” upon hearing the preaching of Paul’s message. They were so moved they publicly burned all their books, costing them dearly. Paul approached Jews and Gentiles alike, challenging their beliefs/ comfort zones and God was changing and re-shaping lives. Their level of comfort was in jeopardy, and the difference here was that they loved it. They loved it because they heard the gospel. They traded today’s comfort for eternity’s splendor. They understood what is found in Mark’s gospel account: “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”

 

Apply: 

As biblical history has shown us time and again, about the time one gets to feeling “comfortable”, there’s probably a need for change. Jesus made it quite clear that following Him would not be an easy task. It would not be “comfortable”. To follow Him, we must let go of the comfortable things and take up the “uncomfortable”. Matthew 16:24: Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Look at your life today and identify those areas where you might be comfortable….your giving, your outreach, your praise and worship, the sharing of your story, your prayer life, etc. Just like after a workout, find the areas that need stretching and S-T-R-E-T-C-H. It might hurt a little, it might cause some discomfort. But you will be much better for it.

 

Closing Prayer: 

Lord God, I thank you for all the blessings you’ve bestowed upon me. Forgive me for falling asleep in my comfort of those things. I pray Lord that when I become comfortable, you will send someone/something into my life that forces me to stretch myself. I pray Lord that I never get comfortable in my relationship with you, that I will always pursue you and ways to get closer to you! When given the option Father, I choose you…the source of my eternal comfort. I pray in the wonderful name of Jesus, Amen.

Lord God, I thank you for all the blessings you’ve bestowed upon me. Forgive me for falling asleep in my comfort of those things. I pray Lord that when I become comfortable, you will send someone/something into my life that forces me to stretch myself. I pray Lord that I never get comfortable in my relationship with you, that I will always pursue you and ways to get closer to you! When given the option Father, I choose you…the source of my eternal comfort. I pray in the wonderful name of Jesus, Amen.

Terry Schneider