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We learn from the scripture the importance of enjoying the Lord in all times of our lives

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Chris CookstonHas Christianity become a chore? For a lot of men, it has.

In most churches, the number of women is greater than the number of men. It appears that Christianity or church is just another chore for many men.

This was my attitude for a season. I worked a lot of Sundays because there was work that needed to be done on the ranch. My attitude didn't change quickly. For a time, shooting trap and bird hunting was more important than Christianity. Those activities brought me joy. Unfortunately, my heart toward God was cold. Christianity became a chore without much joy. 

Have we forgotten to enjoy God? Think about the first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism: "What is the chief end of man? Answer: 'Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.'"

Glorifying God is not complete without enjoying him. Remember Lazarus's sister Mary? She enjoyed God, but Martha was too busy for Jesus. 

Jesus entered a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him as a guest. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to what he said. But Martha was distracted with all the preparations she had to make, so she came up to him and said, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do all the work alone? Tell her to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things, but one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the best part; it will not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:38-42, NET). 

Mary chose to enjoy Jesus instead of the chores, and she made the best choice. Who do you think made the best choice? Was it Martha, who was busy working, or was it Mary? Mary wasn't afraid of Martha, the Lord had walked into her house, and she was going to savor each moment. Perhaps the better question is, why isn't Martha enjoying Jesus with Mary? And why don't we enjoy Jesus like Mary did?

Philippians 4:4 reads, "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!" Paul wrote that with enthusiasm because he had learned how to enjoy God in every circumstance. And now he tells the Philippians, and us, to always rejoice in the Lord. Enjoy God in your poverty, or in your wealth. Enjoy God in your sickness, or in your health. We must learn to enjoy God at all times without letting circumstances get in the way.

Martha allowed kitchen work to pull her away from joy in Christ. You may allow your job to pull you away. Whatever it is that is pulling you away from enjoying God at home, and with your church family, set it aside and come back to Jesus. 

Determine to enjoy Jesus every day of your life, enjoy him by hearing his word read, preached, and taught. Enjoy him as you pray to him. Enjoy him as you worship him at home and with your church family. Enjoy him when you take the Lord's Supper. Enjoy him as you care for your children or your grandchildren. Set aside time each day to spend with Jesus, to read and to pray. Then the next day, do it all over again.

Chris Cookston is the pastor of Prineville Community Church. He can be reached at 541-447-6315.

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