So this is how my brain works: “Ooooo, It’s Saturday morning; it’s not even seven o’clock; it’s as cold as the summit of Mt Washington outside; the dog won’t even get up. I think I’ll drive to the church for some Bible-study with the guys!”
I know! Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But, I’ve got to tell you, add in the good coffee that Dan brews before I arrive, and it’s a wonderful way to start the weekend.
Here’s the scripture (part of it) that we talked about today.
The seed is God’s word… The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity… Luke 8:14
We talked about a lot of things, but mostly we talked about how the Jesus story so easily gets elbowed out of our day-to-day world. Not just by the demands of our lives, but by the pleasures too.
I especially like this translation, “The message is crowed out…”
“DTR”: As we talked, I realized that it’s not the specifics of, “Follow these rules;” Do this;” or “Don’t do that,” that get crowded out by “the cares and riches and pleasures of this life” so much as our relationship with God. In other words, Jesus isn’t talking about a set of instructions so much as an invitation. We are invited to “grow into maturity” as believers, to become deeply rooted followers of the Living Way, to live – and to think – as children of God.
But the Jesus message is choked, suffocated, crowded out, elbowed out of the way, de-prioritized.
Jay Joyner, who serves on the generosity team at WFPC, gave a great illustration in church last weekend. He talked about a work friend who was forced to have the “DTR” conversation with his girlfriend – “DTR” stands for “Define The Relationship.”
Jay went on to point out that all of us need to – periodically – have a define the relationship conversation with Jesus.
Because it’s all too evident that we elbow Jesus out of the way on a regular basis; we de-prioritize our relationship with The Living God until Jesus isn’t even a second-tier consideration as we make our way from day to day.
Peace – and I’ll see you in church tomorrow – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.