Work-Life balance, what does that mean to you? I have heard it spoken of by different people at different times at different companies. What is the difference between work and life? What does work mean? What does life mean? Are you getting rest? Is rest part of your balancing act?
For me, I do get my sleep. For me, I tell people that since work is busy, I make life busy so that I can keep work-life balance. Some say I am pretty sure that isn’t what they meant. Others say, you need to sleep which I respond, oh, I sleep. So what about you? What do your priorities look like? What do your goals look like? What do your plans look like? I remember when things go out of balance for me and I had to do a reset. It was so out of balance that I was missing out on the right amount of sleep and it started to affect my health. So I went back to what are my priorities in rank order. Once I did that I reflected on if I was living my life in alignment to what I said my priorities were. In that time I wasn’t. So I did a reset and changed the way I was living my life so that you could tell from my time and investment what my priorities were. As an example depending on if you use 0 or 1 as your first number the list looks like this:
So I had to reflect on things like am I putting First Things First? To this day it has helped me with what things I can or can’t do, when I can and can’t do, why I can or can’t do. How about you? Do you have a list? Are you living it? Are you putting First Things First? I remember a book I read many years back now that spoke of just that.
Today’s reading comes to us from Mark 2…
Jesus Heals a Paralytic
1And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. 3And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 4And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. 5And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7″Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? 9Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? 10But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— 11″I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” 12And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”
Jesus Calls Levi
13He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them. 14And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.
15And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 17And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
A Question About Fasting
18Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. And people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 19And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day. 21No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. 22And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.”
Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath
23One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: 26how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?”27And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”
—from Mark 2
Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the subject of Trade and Taxes comes to us on the topic of the origins of the work-life balance. It points us to the text from Mark 2:27 which is part of our reading from today which says…
‘And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. ‘
—from Mark 2:27
So how is work-life balance looking to you now? Today’s devotional points to how the Bible starts in Genesis with the portrait of a God who works for 6 days:
The Creation of the World
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8 And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
9 And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so.10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so.16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” 21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
–from Genesis 1
and then to Adam we see the instructions about the importance of work…
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
–from Genesis 2:15
Today’s devotional then points us to the importance of rest.
The Seventh Day, God Rests
2 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.
–from Genesis 2:1-3
And in Exodus 20, we get a command for humans to follow God’s pattern of rest:
9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.
–from Exodus 20:9-10
We see that it isn’t just and Old Testament thing as it appears in our message from today in Mark 2 which says:
‘And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. ‘
–from Mark 2:27
Today’s devotional concludes about how many organizations, companies, communities, families, and individuals continue to value the Bible’s teaching about the Sabbath and maintain the practice of devoting at least one day a week to rest.
So how about you? Are you finding work-life balanced? Are you finding that you are balancing out your time? Are your priorities in the right order to enable you to find balance? Have you had an encounter with God that will help you to learn and build upon these truths?
For those who prayed this for the first time or as a recommitment to God, I celebrate with the angels in heaven that you made the greatest decision of your life. Will you leave a comment so that I know and pray for you? Will you leave a comment or question so we can have a conversation? Look for a local church that is a Bible believing, Bible preaching church that will be able to come alongside you and help you in this journey called life.
I thank You Lord for this new day and this message. I thank You Lord that You made a way even when there didn’t seem to be a way through Jesus. I thank You Lord that You didn’t have to wait for me to be perfect before reaching out to me and helping me to reconcile back to You. Lord, help me today to speak life, speak love, speak hope into all the people that will come my way today and in the weeks and months to come. Help me to speak truth in love so that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.