I am so thankful for Jesus’ sinless life, aren’t you? This time of year, many are celebrating the birth of Christ, and in the spring we will celebrate His death and resurrection. It seems to me that there should be a third holiday between those two to celebrate the 30-plus years that Jesus walked the earth as a man.
In his sermon on Sunday, Chris offered another glimpse into Jesus’ earthy ministry, through Mark 1:32-39. The account details Jesus healing many people, then instead of basking in the people’s adoration, He retreats for a time of solitude and prayer.
Prayer is a discipline that God has been working on in my life recently, helped both by the counsel of women I consider mentors and being driven to my knees by difficult situations. Jesus’ example in Mark wasn’t just about prayer, it was also about finding a “secluded place” (Mark 1:35). Solitude isn’t something I seek naturally, but God has graciously been showing me that to experience him fully, I must rid myself of the distractions and demands of the world around me. For me, this means closing my computer and being in a different room than my phone. Praise God that He is teaching me some of this before the added distraction (but blessing) of little ones!
A well-known verse on prayer is Philippians 4:6, which charges Christians not to be anxious and instead give everything over to God in prayer. For me, it has been even more powerful when considered in the light of the following verse, Philippians 4:7: “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Spending time in prayer sets my heart and mind firmly in Christ, giving me God’s peace—a peace that is not dependent on circumstances, other people or position. It is a peace that allows me to understand what “Priority Driven Livin’” is really about.
On second thought, maybe I don’t want a holiday that is set apart to celebrate Christ’s sinless life. When I take the time to fellowship with God in solitude and prayer, every day can be a celebration of the gospel!