Easter Devotion: Day 6

John 6:27
“Don’t waste your energy striving for perishable food like that. Work for the food that sticks with you, food that nourishes your lasting life, food the Son of Man {Jesus} provides. He and what he does are guaranteed by God the Father to last.”

I am a pastor and even some days I don’t feel like getting up and going to my job at the church. Today, Sunday, was one of those days. Yesterday, I returned after a whirlwind trip to the USA for my grandfather’s funeral: 3.5 days on the ground and 2.5 days in the air. I woke up this morning in a jet lag stupor to find my husband sick. He was unable to get out of bed except for the urgent runs to the bathroom across the hall.

He looked at me with puppy eyes, “Can you preach for me today, Liv?” Which in reality meant: can you go lead your typical two-hour music band practice, get your daughter off to a birthday party, and prepare a theologically sound sermon in the 20 free minutes you have at home to eat breakfast and get dressed?

Even spiritual jobs have down days. But even on the down days, I can look out at a group of 140 people at Focus Church and be thankful that the work God is doing in their hearts will last. It lasts because they meet Jesus there. It does cost me something. I will never be wealthy. My service overseas means I lose precious years close to family. I have sacrificed personal dreams.

We were never asked to chase the potential of everything we COULD be. We are asked to be obedient to God’s purpose for our lives. Why? Because we can trust that the Creator, who sees the beginning and the end, is leading us to the life we didn’t know we wanted, but will be so incredibly thankful we had.

Does this mean that every one of us needs to go into full-time ministry to do something that lasts? No! After all, I need some job security 🙂 This is not about a position, it is about how we choose to live our lives.

Challenge yourself daily to do some sort of work that lasts. This is work that helps others somehow experience God’s love. Follow Jesus’ example:
Speak life.
Bring peace.
Give generously.
Walk with God continuously–center your life around Him.
Do everything you can to help yourself and others take one step closer to the God of the Universe.

If you do, you will still have days when you don’t want to get out of bed. Your physical body will still get hangry {hungry + angry} around 13:00 every day. But you, like me, will be able to look around at the people you have given your tired self to, and a smile will cross your face. Why? Because unlike the chocolate bar you are craving right now, that kinda of food lasts.

Let’s be honest, we cannot be this “good” on our own. We need God’s help, and He is always waiting. Listen to this song and make it your prayer today.

 

I dedicate this series of devotional writings to my grandfather, Roger Crowell, who passed away on March 31. He was the ultimate lover of devotional books. He had an unbreakable habit of waking up every morning and connecting with God through the writings of others.

Pa, I am glad you are now constantly in His presence.
Love, Your granddaughter — Olivia Puccini