Monday, December 9, 2002
It was a scene that was re-enacted a number of times when our daughter was a little girl. Okay, here's Daddy, in his chair in the living room, immersed in his newspaper. In comes my little girl, asking for a little attention from Dad. Dad says, "Oh, in a while, honey." The request is repeated, and the same response. Then, after a few minutes, a little girl comes crashing through the newspaper onto her father's lap. Before I could say anything, she would wrap her arms around my neck and just say, "Daddy, it's cuddle time!" Melted Daddy, all over the floor.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Cuddle Time."
I wonder how many times it's been our Father - our Heavenly Father - trying to get your attention or mine, and He's saying, "It's cuddle time." And how many times we've been too busy.
In our word for today from the Word of God, Jesus gives us the job description of one of His disciples, which I hope you want to be if you belong to Him. In describing Jesus' call to His original followers, Mark 3:14 says, "He appointed twelve...that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons."
Now, notice, Jesus does have work for us to do for Him. But that's secondary. The #1 assignment of one of His followers may have come as a surprise to His first disciples - it may be somewhat surprising to us. "He appointed them...that they might be with Him." I can just imagine them saying, "All right! Here I am, Lord, reporting for duty. What do You want me to do?" And He says, "Be with Me." See, that is what matters most to Jesus - not your service, but your love; not your religious rat race, but the relationship. That's basically what He told Martha when her sister Mary was sitting at Jesus' feet listening and Martha was running around all stressed over serving Him. He said, "Martha, Mary is doing what is most important."
A lot of us are doing much better on our secondary role as a disciple - doing things for Jesus - than we are on our primary role - just being with Jesus. And those priorities are wrong. Like my little daughter, Jesus is interested, first and foremost, in regular cuddle time with you. No agenda, no curriculum, no lesson - just enjoying each other's love. It's easy to let prayer and being in God's Word become just spiritual discipline or spiritual duty instead of cuddle time with Jesus. See, it's not about a book. It's not about prayer. It's all about Jesus. It's about a person.
When He was here on earth, Jesus said of some people He loved, "How often I have longed to gather your children together...but you were not willing." (Matthew 23:37) I wonder how many times Jesus has said that over you and me. "How often I have longed for us to be together - but you were not willing." Jesus died to remove the wall that made it impossible for us to be with Him. So now He places His highest value on that relationship that cost Him so much. Can you imagine that the Prince of Glory loves you so much that He always wants to be with you?
Maybe you've been so busy, so stressed - even with serving Him - that you haven't had much time just to be with Him. It's time to realign those priorities. Each new morning, your Lord is calling your name and saying, "It's cuddle time." Drop everything else to be with Jesus.