Being Slack

Do you ever find yourself being constantly busy but feel like you can’t get anything done?   I once thought that when my kids were grown that life would slow down.  Nope.  Didn’t happen.  It seems that there is always something that has to be done, some problem that needs attention, some unexpected task or obligation arises or just anything can occur that takes up time.  Some of those things are necessary, such as a job duty or household chores.  Some things, like an unexpected visit with family and friends, are welcome.

Since I’ve been busy, there are certain things I have had to let slide.  Like writing.  When I started my blogs, I was so excited.  I planned to post something new at least every week.  Then the things I had let go as I took the time to get the web sites set up started demanding attention.  (My family seems to like to eat, have clean clothes to wear and be able to walk through the house without tripping over something).  My love of writing hasn’t lessoned, I just had other things to occur that seemed to take priority.  The age old dilemma of how to balance time is a never ending struggle.

I’ve been busy with good things.  My husband and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary by taking several days to go on vacation.  I spent time with a small group of ladies that I am friends with.  We get together as often as we can to share, encourage each other, cry, pray and laugh (a lot!).  Those times bring refreshment for my spirit.  One of my friends had a son to get married and I was privileged to be a part of that day.  I had another friend to get married and our group of ladies spent some time with her.  I joined a group at my church that started a running program.  I got to keep my grandchildren on several occasions.  Some not so good things also occurred.  Such as having to go to the funeral home to visit friends who had lost a loved one.  Being sick was not on my “to do” list but it happened, nevertheless.  And I could go on and on.

So, I’ve been slack with my writing, even though a good part of that time was due to other really important things.  As I was worrying about my need, my desire to write something fresh and new, I remembered the verse in the Bible that says our Lord isn’t slack.  Notice this verse:

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”  2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV)

In this passage, Peter was addressing the fact that many were accusing Christ of being slack in regards to fulfilling His promise of returning again.  When Jesus walked the earth with the disciples, He began preparing them for the fact that He was going to die.  He also began to teach them that He would return again.  One of the most familiar passages of Christ saying that He would return is in John 14.

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”  John 14:1-3 (NKJV)

Christ also taught His disciples that it was good for Him to leave because when he left He would send the Holy Spirit into the world.

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.  And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:  of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”  John 16:7-11 (NKJV)

Jesus taught that He would leave this world to return to the Father.  He was going to prepare a place for those who believe in Him and then return to gather His children to take back to Heaven with Him.  And it wasn’t just Jesus saying He would return.  Peter told that when Christ ascended into Heaven after His resurrection, there were angels there, “who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.’”  Acts 1:11 (NKJV)

As the apostles and other believers began talking about the return of Christ, there were some who began to make fun of them.  As more and more time passed, they began saying that Christ was not going to fulfil that promise.  That He was slack.  Even today, when believers talk about the return of Christ, some people laugh.  Peter was saying that Christ was not slack, but that He is long-suffering.  He is patient with His creation and does not want anyone to spend an eternity without Him.

He is being patient with us and is tarrying His coming with the purpose of allowing as many that will, to come to Him.  2 Peter 3:15 says, “And consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation…”  When I think about the Holy Spirit, I think of Him as being my teacher, my comforter.  And He is.  But in the verses above in John 16, Christ said that when the Holy Spirit came, He would “convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.”  God is allowing the Holy Spirit time to do what He was sent into the world to do.  You see, before He can be our teacher, we have to be convicted and drawn to accept Christ as our Savior.  We have to recognize who Christ really is, that He is holy and just and that our own righteousness is as filthy rags.  We have to know that God is a God of mercy, but He is also a God of judgment.  The longer that Christ waits to return, hopefully, more people will feel the Holy Spirit working in their hearts and they will accept the gift of salvation that Christ came into the world to offer.

The rest of chapter 3 (shown below) is filled with so much more.  Just because we believe that Christ is patient and long-suffering, doesn’t mean that He may not come soon, even today.  We have to live each day as if He is coming right now.  As believers, we need to allow the Holy Spirit to work through us to bring others to our Savior.  Christ is not slack and we don’t need to be slack in the way we live for Him.

 

2 Peter 3 (NKJV)

“Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.  But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.  10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.  14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.  17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.”

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