Jesus and His 1,576,800 Minutes: Making Every Minute Matter in Ministry

Posted: January 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

Luke 8:40-56 — It has been three days since I last posted. On this business trip that I just finished, it was like the perfect storm of due dates for things at work – for internal stuff within my division, for things due to our US parent company and due our ultimate Japanese parent company. So since Tuesday, literally, when I haven’t been sleeping (very little) or eating, I have been working. It is nice today with all that behind me, to sit down with my Bible again. It’s been too long. But the working every available minute will come into play in today’s blog.

in today’s passage, there are three separate devotionals that we need to work through over the next couple of days. One devotional, we have the menstruating woman and another devotional we have the Jairus story and yet another of why these stories appear together…

Have you ever been at work and started your day with a plan and then something happens to completely change that plan? There’s an old saying that “life just happens.” All of the plans we make can be changed in an instant by a new crises. On a more somber and more major note, you can be sitting in your home and talking with your wife (now my ex) and someone knocks on the door and asks if you are the parents/step-parents of Trey Laughter (pronounced lawter) and that he has been involved in a bad car accident. A night of coziness at home, a break from what had been a busy stretch, changed in an instant. Plans changed in a instant. Life change in an instant. Life forever changed and set on a new course. Life interrupted.

Today, we want to start off with why these stories are smashed together in one passage. Haven’t you wondered that? In the years immediately following Jesus’ death, Matthew, Mark, and Luke developed their gospels. It seems as that when they sat and reflected upon the life of Jesus and they were writing these words, they could have separated these stories. One seems to just interrupt the other. All three synoptic gospels contain this story and it is told similarly. The woman with the issue of continuous menstruation interrupts the story of Jairus. Every time I have read this passage in the past I have wondered that question but never had time to really reflect on it. What is the Holy Spirit trying to show us in this scene? Why is one story interrupted by another? It is not just a quirk of one writer. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record this scene in very similar ways.

The first thing that I would like us to consider is that the story proves to us that there is ministry in every minute. Jesus spent full use of the minutes in his public ministry. Those were three intense years that has forever changed the world. There are 1,095 days in three years. There are 26,280 hours in 3 years. There are 1,576,800 minutes in three years. Jesus used them all. Like I told you earlier, this past few days at work have been some of the most intense days at work that I have had in some time. Literally, working every minute except when I wasn’t eating, sleeping, or having my nightly phone call with my wife. There was no wasted time. All of it was used. Jesus wasted no time. Every waking moment was devoted to bringing glory to God, doing God’s will, teaching, healing, meeting needs, preaching, praying. Jesus used every minute of his 1,576,800 minute public ministry to the fullest. He was always on His game. Every moment was a teaching moment. Every moment was an opportunity. Awhile back, not too terribly long ago, there was a song by Snoop Dog where part of the lyrics were “got my mind on my money and got my money on my mind.” Jesus’ theme would have been “got my mind on my ministry and got my ministry on my mind.” He knew He had limited time and He used every minute. Then that kind of brings the question to us. Are you using every opportunity that presents itself to witness to the power of Jesus Christ? Do you see opportunities to demonstrate the love of Christ? Sometimes we miss our divine appointments (those opportunities to share the gospel). Jesus didn’t. He was on His way to Jairus’ house but felt the touch of this woman who needed healing. He stopped and shared about the faith of this woman. He could have ignored it because He was on His way to another miracle. He could have let it pass and only this woman would have known. Jesus took the opportunity. Every minute counted in this 1,576,800 minute ministry. Do you see your entire life as a ministry? We, as Christians, must be on all the time. We must recognize that how we live speaks to the non-believer. We have moments where what we do indicates who we are and the values we live by but we must also be aware of opportunities to SPEAK of the gospel as well. We are given divine opportunities, divine appointments, to share the gospel. I miss more opportunities to do so than I care to mention. Jesus didn’t. He stops on the way to one miracle to teach about the miracle of faith exemplified by this outcast woman who had been constantly menstruating, as we know from the gospel of Mark, for twelve years. Do you miss you opportunities to take events in life that happen and turn them toward spiritual conversations with non-believers? When something critical in life happens, do you talk about God with others? Man, most of us don’t and we kick ourselves later for not having taking the opportunity to talk of the gospel story, of Jesus Christ. Those opportunities are gone forever when we miss them. They say that it takes at least 8 of these “gospel conversations” before a person comes to Christ. Missed opportunities that we are given may actually delay the process of a person coming to Christ. We must seize the moment. We must use every moment. We must not miss the moment. We all have limited minutes in this life. We waste many of them just mindlessly wrapped up in our own world. Like an employee using every minute of a day to get a project or multiple projects complete, we cannot waste the minutes. We have ministry in every minute. What if we knew we have three years left to live? Would we use our 1,576,800 minutes on things that matter. The thing that matters is ministry. The thing that matters is leading people to Christ. The thing that matters is making disciples. Minutes matter. Eternity is at stake. We all think that we will live forever. Life can be taken away in an instant like a teenager in a car wreck. We should see our lives as every minute ministries. The worst thing to happen is to miss an opportunity to share the gospel when it presents itself. Eight times, at least, we must encounter the gospel before we accept Jesus. Missed opportunities delay the process. What if because we missed our opportunity and the eight contacts gets stretched out and a person dies before coming to accept Jesus as their Savior? Minutes matter.

The second thing that you notice here is that life can change direction quickly at times. Jesus was on His way to Jairus’ house when He was interrupted by the woman. This encounter was an interruption to Jesus’ outwardly visible plan. Just as our plans can be changed in an instant at work that changes your daily plans. Just as our planned cozy evening at home with family can be changed in an instant by outside events that can change your life forever. This interruption changed the woman’s life forever. Sometimes in life we are placed on trajectories that put us in contact with people that are our opportunities to have influence. Just think of your own life. There have been events. There have been people that changed the course of your life. Just think of that person who came into your life and led you to Christ. That intersection of their lives and yours that changed your life. The encounter with the gospel. The encounter with Jesus Christ that changed it all. Nothing since that moment has been the same. Nothing before that intersection was like this life now. From that intersection, everything changed. For me that was Debbie and Virgil Whitted. Before meeting them, Jesus and all that stuff was about keeping rules. It was about trying to live a lie. It was not something that I thought I could do. I knew I didn’t have what it took to be a Christian. I was too much a slave to those demons inside me, a slave to my own desires. Debbie and Virgil showed me that it’s not about the rules. It’s about a relationship. Jesus knows we are not and cannot be good enough. Jesus wants to come into our lives and change it from the inside out. It is about admitting that I cannot control the way that I am. It is up to me to say that I can’t and that I need help of a Savior. That intersection with Debbie and Virgil was important. The way they lived their lives. The way they loved the Lord. The way they had fun being imperfect being forgiven through the cross. It was their influence that months later while sitting in a play about a guy who thought he could give his life to Jesus one day and almost dies in a car wreck that showed me that now was the time to lay it at Jesus’ feet, to ask Him to be my Savior. Life’s course began to change at that moment. That intersection. Nothing was the same anymore. Everything changed. In this passage, life was interrupted, but a life was changed forever. The woman whose life of sorrows brought her into intersection with Jesus. Jesus made sure that she and everyone else knew that it was her faith that had healed her. She knew Jesus was no ordinary man. She had faith that He was more than some magician. She knew that He was the ultimate healer. She knew He was the Son of God. Her life was changed by this fact. Her life before was no more. Its sorrows and pain were replaced with newness and hope. Life’s trajectory brought her to this moment. This interruption had purpose. This interruption had meaning. Jesus changed her life in that moment she had enough faith to come to Him. A life changed. Nothing was to be the same again. That’s why these stories are mashed together. It is about life change through Jesus. Encountering Him will change the direction of our lives. Falling on our knees before Him and submitting to Him as our King changes us forever. Life trajectory changed at that intersection. Life trajectory changed when we come in contact with our Savior. Who intersected your life and help lead you to the cross? Who helped you get there? Who is that person that did not miss their divine appointment and influenced you to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior?

Minutes as ministry. No wasted minutes. Our minutes matter. We must use our minutes to minister to the world around us. We must use or minutes to be someone’s intersection with the gospel. We must use our minutes to be that guiding influence that leads someone to the foot of the cross. Just think if we all used our minutes wisely in 2015 and we influence just one person each to come to the cross! How many new Christians would there be in this world at the end of 2015? Just one person. Think of them. Invest in them. Be that intersection that helps change a life forever. Help change the trajectory of just one life this year. Jesus had 1,576,800 minutes in a three year public ministry. He changed the world forever with His minutes of ministry. Minutes matter. Encounters with the gospel matter. No time to waste. A soul is at stake. Jesus made the most of every minute. So should we? Minutes matter. Life change forever matters. Don’t miss your minutes! Make your minutes matter!

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