This morning I was captured by a verse in Acts 18. It says, "When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus" (Acts 18:5).
Much To Be Occupied By
There's a lot of things to be occupied by now a days. Marriage, kids, job, social networks, emails, blogs, books, hobbies, playoffs, football season, etc. Each of these is something that vie's for our time, something that can occupy us. Of course, some of these things are better than others and none of them are bad in and of themselves. In fact many of them are worth the occupation of our time (marriage and kids and football). But some of them aren't (Facebook, email, etc) and it's often those that seem to occupy our time the most. In particular it seems anything that shows up on a screen has a tendency to be the time occupation winner. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying we need to get rid of T.V.'s, smartphones, tablets, social networks or any of that good stuff (that would breed more chaos than a government shutdown!), but I am saying that it might be necessary to rethink what's occupying us. Reading Acts 18:5 triggered that thought for me.
Occupied With The Word
There were two things that struck me when I read the verse. The first is that Paul was occupied with God's word. Paul understood that the word of the Lord is sweeter than honey (Psalm 19:10) and that in these words is the bread of life (John 6:48). Do we believe this to the point of being occupied by the word? I know I often don't. But I want to. I want to be occupied with the life-giving words of scripture more than anything else. More than Facebook, more than email, more than football. I'm certain the results will be far greater than hours in front of a screen. Which leads to the second thing that caught my attention.
Testify To Jesus
We are told that Paul was occupied by the word and that he was testifying to Jesus.
Have you ever found that you testify to that which occupies you? After you spend a couple hours watching the game on Sunday you can't help but testify about what happened. Especially if your team won. Or think of the hours you spend online. You testify on Facebook to what consumes you outside of Facebook. You testify on Facebook what you are occupied by online. Whatever the scenario in life might be, that which occupies you will become that which you testify about.
For Paul it was Jesus.
I'm sure that if I was more consumed with scripture I would testify more about the one who is at the center of the story. Jesus!
Jesus wants us to be occupied with him. He died on the cross in order to make this possible. It's his all consuming occupation with us that is in fact the motivating factor for us to be occupied with him.
Christian, occupy yourself with the word and you will be occupied with Jesus and soon to be testifying to his greatness and grace!