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Monday: Running on Empty — 19 Comments

  1. I don't know how many of you have sat a serious maths examination where you have questions that take several pages to answer. London University Examination Maths papers had 11 questions, and the instructions were that full marks could be achieved for answering about 4 of them. That meant that each question would take about 3/4 of an hour to write the answer. A typical question would ask the student to prove something, and it would not be a simple case of writing down an answer you had learned off by heart. You had to reason your way through the argument to reach the conclusion.

    Can you imagine the emotional drain on your energy when you get to the end of your answer and realise you have not reached the required solution? It's tough! I've been there. I know what it feels like. And if it's the first question you attempt in the exam paper, it does not bode well for your performance in the other 3 questions. You run on empty for the rest of the examination.

    Can the same thing happen to us spiritually? Do we invest time and energy into some of the Lord's work only to end up with a discouraging result?

    Perhaps, more to the point, Do we have strategies to help others recover from events that have been emotionally draining? Or, are we only able to offer platitudes?

    Hopefully this week we will be able to discuss some of the strategies that Christians can use themselves and offer to others too.

    • Hello Maurice,

      Your experience triggered a memory. I remember sitting for a final exam on a particularly tough course. After reading through the whole exam, I thought to myself, "I can't answer any of these questions." As I looked around the room, there was despair written on many faces. One person had their head down on their desk, and it looked like they were quietly weeping. Some walked out of the exam very early.

      Then God gave me this encouragement; this exam will be marked on the "curve," and anything that I do will be better than the nothing of giving up. So I struggled against every question with everything I had until the time of the examination's end.

      God was right. In the end, I did well enough and passed the course. Much like Baruch, this experience taught me a valuable lesson for life: God's grace can give life to us, even when everything around is dark despair. But we must choose life and act in accord with what he has revealed to us, and not give up in despair.

      Thanks for sharing your experience.


  2. We need to eliminate our boiling point. When we follow the eight sure steps to health and happiness, it would be sufficient. This eight sure steps is commonly known as the New start:

    N- nutrition
    E- exercise
    W - water
    S- sunlight
    T - temperance
    A - air
    R - rest
    T - trust in God.

  3. What was the message from Jeremiah & God that Baruch had to read to all the people - Babylon will destroy Jerusalem, don't look to Egypt to save you.
    What was the message that Daniel gave the people (Dan 12:1) - there will be a time of trouble worse then you have ever known.
    What is the 3 Angels message - a death decree for those who don't worship the Image of the Beast.

    How do we feel when we preach this message and people don't pay attention? Just like Baruch? What was the LORD's message to Baruch - yes, these disasters will happen, did you think they would appreciate you giving them that message? Continue being faithful and believing the LORD and I will spare your life.
    We have a message to share with the world - worship the Creator - He is the only one who can grant you peace/rest and eternal life.

    • I hope 3 Angels is more than death decree. Ellen White said it was righteousness by faith "in verity." Rest on the merits of Christ. No rest for those that worship the beast.

      • Dana, good point, there are two sides to the message to Israel from Jeremiah and Baruch - be part of the complete destruction or go into Babylonian captivity.
        There are two sides to the messages in Rev 13 & 14 - be killed/persecuted by the Image or be saved by the Creator.
        Initially there is no rest for those who worship the Lamb, but eventually no rest for those who worship the Image of the beast.
        Israel didn't pay attention to the message via Jeremiah & Baruch - how do we get people these days to pay attention?

        • Shirley - the words you used in your reply to Dana is quite revealing: " 'how do we get' people these days to pay attention?"
          I do not think that we are meant 'to get' anyone's attention through works, if this is what your comment implies.
          As I understand Scripture, it has always been and always will be the individual's choice of responding to the call 'they hear'.
          Disciples living in the kingdom of heaven are about the Father's business on their own behalf and so glorify the Creator in heaven; demonstrating/drawing/teaching to the Gospel those who hear as we live it.

          • Brigitte, I was asking what message will get people's attention - what is the call they hear from us?
            don't get the mark of the beast on your forehead or hand
            how to get the LORD's seal on your forehead

            • Shirley -
              If "how do we get people these days to pay attention", was a 'retorical' question, then it is still not 'our business' to 'get them' to choose Truth over error, because "How to get the LORD'S seal on your forehead" is done by trusting that the lived faith in the Word of God will bring this about.

              Everyone needs to believe first! Without believe, and applying faith in what you believe as you live, no progress is made in establishing the 'Seal of God'.

              This battle of the spirits is in God's hands and fought in the hearts and minds of man, meant to culminate in a choice - for or against the Spirit of God, our Creator.
              This is how I understand the battle between good and evil.

              We, the faithful, need to be extra careful to demonstrate the Spirit of our Creator - His loving kindness - through our life lived *humbly* by the spirit of God's righteousness, because this is seen as our testimony of the Goodness of God.
              This is the lived example of our faith which we want others to come to embrace as they live their life. It has to be the true and living faith of Christ Jesus. The emphasis of His Faith is: 'His Father is our God, and He is His Son.'

              This 'living the spirit of God' correctly is important, because it is our testimony about Him. Our lives should increase, elevate the Spirit of Light - 'Goodness and Truth' -, and so with decrease the influence of the spirit of darkenss.
              Those around us are effected by either one - goodness, or discord and strife.

              In the world to come, God's Spirit of Life/Love will be administered by the faithful now living, ultimately to benefit all living - Rev.5:8-10KJV.

            • Brigitte, the Lord said, "Go ... and preach ... " So it seems it is "our business" to give a message, and Shirley asked "what message" we should give at this time.

            • Inge -
              Our business is to be about the Father's business. The message we can or should give is our life as Jesus did - faithfully and humbly lived according to the teachings of the Gospel, the Word of Life and Light as lived by the Son of God, Christ Jesus, in whom we have life through faith in the power of His living Word.

              We cannot go out and 'preach' or 'teach' a Gospel which we fail to live! This is the great tragedy, when the world dismisses the Savior's message because of the life lived by its messengers!
              Are we not often considered hypocrites and the message discounted on the basis of those which go around preaching but failing to live the spirit of the Gospel of Love, Truth, Life and Light?

        • In answer to my question how do we get people in this busy 24/7 world to pay attention to the warnings in Rev 13&14 which our church was raised up to do? Eph 3:10-11
          I believe that one of the reasons that Baruch was so depressed was that he had a serious warning for the people and that they were not paying attention.
          I have learned from the experience of Jeremiah & Baruch that it is my mission to warn people that there are global movements in progress to control our choices which will eventually include whom we worship. That is how I can get their attention and then I can introduce them to our loving Creator who, like He did with Baruch, promises to be with us through the time of trouble and will give us eternal life in a trouble free new world.
          Aside from global evangelism how do I as an individual give the warning? I use the Spiritual Gift I was given which is teaching. I provide opportunities for those in my circle of influence to ask me questions so I can guide them to the answers in the Word of the LORD and introduce them to the LORD who abounds with loving kindness.

          • I love this further explanation, as God's people called out of darkness into this His marvelous light, we do have a responsible to do that which He has called us to do. "Go into all the world and preach the gospel, teaching them to observe all things. In our sphere of influence, we can help those around us to come to the saving knowledge of our God. In addition, we must walk the walk and talk the talk. In other words, our lives must be lived to reflect the life of Jesus. "Give me Lord the mind of Jesus, make me holy as He is".

  4. Pray without ceasing. 1 Thess 5:17.

    Running on Empty

    'Read again the words of God directed to Baruch. What general message can we take from them for ourselves? That is, what does it say about God ultimately being there for us, regardless of our situation?'

    The Lord woke me up this morning early to pray. I prayed for sometime. Anytime something is about to happen to try my faith, the Lord wakes me up to pray even before it happens. It is like, He is showing me before hand, that something is about to take place but He got my back. As I made my way to my morning devotion I received a text message from work to say they are sending me to another area to work. I said to Jesus- I will gladly take the task where He is sending me. I am not angry despite I have to move. Having a relationship with Jesus I knew their is someone there He wants me to get in contact with for his Kingdom and I am the best person to do such a work.
    I like to look at the big picture not just have a narrowed, tunneled vision.
    There was a greater work for Baruch to do despite all that was going on in his country where he was involved. Everyday I am getting to learn more and more about Jesus. Everything that happens to us, Christians happens for the best. In everything give thanks for this is his will. 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Many doubt, even sometimes I have doubts also when bad things happens to good people, but my hope and confidence must be in Jesus and the scriptures even when I cant explain the reason. How many have left Jesus because they cant explain the reason why bad things happens to go people, or why the innocent have to suffer with the guilty?
    Let his will be done.

  5. Baruch was experiencing that fear and anxiety of approaching doom, and what he imagined it would mean for his earthly prosperity. I'm sure this affected his sleep, for how could it not?

    God makes Baruch realize this punishment of Jerusalem will come to pass, then promises to spare his life wherever he would end up as a result of the promised judgments of God upon Jerusalem. The coming doom would effect everyone without exception.

    "Read again the words of God directed to Baruch."

    Since this passage is not the only word from the Lord, we can learn of His great love, mercy, grace, and longsuffering for sinners, and His covenant of salvation to “whosoever believeth in Him”. Our circumstances have no effect on our salvation if we trust and obey, and in all our ways acknowledge Him. He will direct our path(Prov 3:5,6).

  6. When we feel that we are injusticed, and we start to feel sorry for ourselves, perhaps totally blind about the reasons we are going through, then suddenly we get to look at what WE do to God, and the despair He feels every time we run away from Him, every time we sin! How many times we betray Him, while He's looking at us, probably crying and suffering, eventhough He has already died for us, in order to rescue us all?

    When we think about what God feels because of our own choices, then we start to understand the real love! God loves us while we are still His enemies! What a strange beings we are, when we continue to betray the most sacred demonstration of love in the whole Universe, JESUS! We cannot lie either to God or to ourselves! Sooner or later we will have to face our Creator and will have to answer for all our actions! Let us get closer to Jesus as fast as we can, because only Him can save us from ourselves.

  7. It's called being discouraged. I imagine Jesus must have felt some discouragement with the constant attacks of the pharisees, the impending rejection by his chosen people. Even he, Jesus, had to come aside and recharge after this bombardment and for what lay ahead. I think as humans its part of our emotional struggle to go through these rough times especially, spiritually. We have to know where our strength comes from. Where our hope is rooted. God offers his spirit and his word to provide the lift for those times when we are discouraged.

  8. Some might say Jesus had sundowner syndrome He stayed up all night in prayer. I really don't think so. Rather I do believe His prayer in the morning was, Father I have been up all night as You know, give me the strength to function during this day.

  9. I think our Creator has designed us with the needed ability to manage our life just fine – I call it ‘common sense’. If we are honest and truthful with ourselves, seek His counsel and wisdom before we accept responsibilities, we will always be helped along by heaven's encouragement and support.
    We want to remember that Christ Jesus' disciples live in the kingdom of God. This calls on us to satisfy the spiritual aspect of the 'good works' we are to engage in, giving careful consideration to align them with our gifts and talents - the closer, the better it will be for our peace of mind.

    From my own experience, I become irritable, not emotional, when I have demands calling for my undivided attention all at the same time. I think, to react emotionally is when one does not see a way out of a dilemma.
    My desire is to give due diligence to all work I engage in. Accepting *many* responsibilities all at the same time does not result in a satisfactory outcome.
    I have learned to kindly decline a request for involvement when I cannot foresee that I will be able to give full attention to the matter.
    It is not right to accept responsibility for an important assignment knowing one cannot meet the demands of it. Ultimately, it is God who seeks the right person to do the task; He desires for the right person to respond.
    In fact, if we accept an assignment knowing within our heart that we do not really identify with the task, it can be that we take an opportunity to serve away from someone else who is meant to do the work.

    Jer.45:1-5KJV gives the perfect example of a servant ‘doing the Father’s work’. Yes, we invest our time and energy into the work of God, but ultimately it is the Lord’s work –
    v.4: ”Thus shalt thou say unto him (Baruch), The Lord saith thus: Behold, that which I have build will I break down, and that which I have planted I will pluck up, even this whole land.
    v.5: “And seekest thou great things for thyself?" The Lord alerts Baruch not to put his own stake down when 'going about the Father's work'.
    The Father's work is not to establish our name, it is to establish the Honor and Glory of God. He cautions Baruch to not ‘seek great things for yourself’, because He ‘will bring adversity on all flesh’. It is good to remember this at all times.

    Yes, it is difficult to reconcile that we are, as Baruch was, considered as ‘prey’, open to be attacked wherever we go, but this should not discourage us to be about the Father’s business whenever He calls on us.


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