Today's Devotions

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Showcase: Assorted Treats

  • All Things Working To the Glory of God: Stephen’s Martyrdom +

    God works in mysterious ways– Read More
  • God's Love For Us +

    The well of love God has for us is deeper than our imaginations can grasp-- Read More
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jeff-haanenWe'd be less busy if we understood our callings. Knowing your calling allows you to say No to good, worthwhile things, simply because God has other things for you to do.

In Mark 1, Jesus is in Capernaum, near his hometown. He spends a day healing the sick and driving out demons. The next morning, Jesus awakes before dawn, "left and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." His disciples get up and begin frantically searching for him. There are demons to drive out, and people to heal! When they find him, in exasperated tones, they declare "Everyone is looking for you!"

Jesus replied: "Let us go somewhere else – to the nearby villages – so I can preach there also. That is why I have come."

Jesus tells his disciples he's not going to stay and heal all the folks in Capernaum who needed his help. Did he care about them? Absolutely (Mark 8:2). But after prayer, he was very clear on his mission – to preach the Kingdom of God in other villages as well (Mark 1:38).

I recently interviewed Kevin DeYoung on his new book Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book on a (Really) Big Problem. We "freak out" about our kids, try to prove ourselves through big cars, houses, and promotions, and respond to every How are you? with a singular response: Busy. Americans have willfully put too much on their plates.

But DeYoung points out that Jesus set priorities. Even the son of God, who could have done it all, chose not to. He turned away from doing good things because he knew his mission. If this isn't permission to say no the the 1001 activities we sign up for, what is?

At work, if we simply chose to do the most important work, and ignore (or at least postpone) the rest, our companies and organizations would thrive. Instead, we get busy and let ourselves be pulled this way and that – between email, side projects, or just long conversations. Because we never define (actually write on a piece of paper) what our God-given mission is (and the goals that mission entails), too often we spin our wheels and never leave the gate. A better way would be to clearly define our priorities – and let all the details that make us so busy stay on the sidelines, where they belong.

Two simple questions: (1) What is your top priority today? (2) What will you put on your "not to-do" list?

Reflections to Consider

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Audio & Video

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  • Eat This Book, Eugene Peterson +

    Eugene Peterson’s book, Eat This Book gets its name from Revelation 10:9-10 when John asks for the scroll containing God’s Read More
  • Martin Luther’s Quiet Time, Walter Trobisch +

    Martin Luther had a barber named Peter Beskendorf who asked his world-famous customer and doctor of theology, "Dr. Luther, how Read More
  • Storytelling +

    Eugene Peterson discusses his influences as a writer, as well as how and why he created the Message translation. This Read More
  • Life as an Alien +

    Timothy Keller, the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, provides an inspiring portrayal of what the church is supposed Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • Separated Unto the Holy Ghost (Andrew Murray) +

    Below is chapter 3 from the book, Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray, a South African "Now there were in the Read More
  • The Human Body and Spiritual Growth: Dallas Willard +

    In Christian Educator's Handbook on Spiritual Formation, edited by James Wilhoit of Wheaton College. "Spiritual formation" is the process through Read More
  • January 28 Devotional: Oswald Chambers +

    Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? —Acts 26:14 Read More
  • Coupla Things by Julie Moore +

    It has occurred to me that maybe more people would read my blog if the posts were shorter. I'm not Read More
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