As we examine the life of Christ in Mark 1-3, I am amazed at the pressure that surrounded Jesus. He had pressure in the wilderness from Satan’s temptations. He had pressure from the news of the arrest of John the Baptist. He had pressure from the crowds that pressed in on Him as they sought healing from illnesses and healing from demonic oppressions.
Jesus traveled and preached in the synagogues and then went out and ate with sinners. He was followed by the Pharisees who were watching his every move and making plans to destroy Him. And the crowds continued to press in upon Him.
All of this happened in just the first 3 chapters of the book of Mark.
Pressure. Arrests. Temptations. Sickness. Oppression. and Crowds.
How did Jesus respond to the pressure of people’s needs?
Mark 1:35 tells us:
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he (Jesus) departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
Friends, here is the heart of Good Morning Girls!!!
Why should we get up in the morning and get alone with God?
Because Jesus did!
Jesus – our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace and Everlasting Father – got up early in the morning and prayed.
If Jesus needed time alone with God – how much more do we?
Jesus is our perfect example.
Are you feeling pressure?
Perhaps it’s time we set our alarms a little earlier, so we can get alone with God.
Jesus not only set aside special time for prayer – but he also shared the burden of people’s needs with others.
In Mark 1, we see Jesus calling 4 fishermen -Peter, Andrew, James and John – to follow him. Then in Mark 2, Jesus called Levi – a tax collector – to follow him and in Mark 3, Jesus appointed the 12 apostles “that they might be with him.”
Jesus was not a lone ranger.
Jesus surrounded himself with 12 ordinary men who had different backgrounds, skill sets, strengths and weaknesses. He did not choose the wealthiest, most famous, prestigious and intelligent men he could find. He chose ordinary men, who when He called them, they “immediately followed him.” (Mark 1:18, 2:14)
The immediate obedience of these men is astounding! They dropped their nets and their careers and left everything to follow Jesus!
Do we have this kind of immediate obedience?
Are we willing to follow Jesus no matter what the cost?
Are we willing to make people’s needs a priority?
Or is there something we are holding onto, that is coming between us and following Jesus?
When we help the hurting – we are being like Jesus.
When we have compassion for the lost – we are being like Jesus.
When we visit the sick – we are being like Jesus.
When we serve others we are most like Jesus.
But how do we do it all?
We are not meant to be lone rangers.
Jesus set an example for us: prayer and share.
When we pray, it reminds us we are not alone. We release the heavy burdens we are carrying, to the Lord. He is with us!
Share the burden of caring for people’s needs with the family of God. We are not alone. We are meant to serve together – many hands make light work. We need each other.
We are not meant to be lone rangers.
The ministry of Good Morning Girls could not go on without the 4 ladies who help me lead here. Also, many of you lead Good Morning Girls groups – you are servant leaders. Others of you comment back to readers in the comment section here and encourage and pray for ladies. Oh I am so grateful for you!
Your servant’s heart and love and compassion for others is needed! God wants to use us – ordinary us – to follow Him and share His love with others.
We simply cannot meet the needs of all those who are hurting around us alone.
Mark 3 tells us of how the crowds were pressing in on Jesus and He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because the crowd was crushing Him. Jesus had to have an escape.
Friends, if we carry the guilt of all the needs around us – we will be crushed.
Sometimes we need to escape. I say this for all the women reading today who are pouring themselves out for the needs of others and feeling overwhelmed. Remember – even Jesus got away and needed rest. It is okay to rest.
On the flip side, we must remember the sacrifice of the disciples. How they dropped their nets and immediately followed Jesus.
Following Jesus comes with a cost. May the cost never be too high for us, as we remember the cost of our salvation – Jesus’ shed blood on the cross for you and me.
What is it that God is calling you to do today?
Don’t sit on the sidelines waiting for someone else to step up. Share in the work of the Lord. Your time, talents, compassion and love are needed in the family of God. We need YOU!
May we follow the example of Jesus in prayer. Rise early and get alone with God.
May we follow the example of the disciples and share. Surround yourself with others who want to share in the work of the Lord.
How do we handle the pressure of people’s needs?
Do not do life alone – live in communion with God and in community with the family of God.
Walk with the King,