In this issue:
- The Strangely Silent Fiancée
- Free Downloads Page on Website
- Connect with Timothy on Facebook
- Upcoming Ministry Events
- Interested in Hosting a Timothy Mark Ministry Event?
If he were honest, he would tell you he wasn’t sure she even loved him anymore. And he was always honest. Something was clearly out of whack in their relationship. The heady days of romance, when they were first engaged, had faded badly.
In public she still spoke highly of him, a fact that unsettled him most. It was uncomfortable standing there beside her, listening to her speak of him in glowing terms, knowing full well that behind closed doors they seldom talked. She had gotten busy with so many other things. And they were good things. But their relationship had taken a back seat, pushed down the priority list by the weight of all the activities in which she was involved. She volunteered at the local women’s shelter, important stuff for sure. She had been instrumental in saving countless unborn children through her work at the pregnancy center. I mean, who could argue with that? And on weekends, she ministered to the children in her third grade Sunday School class.
But there was always something, some other activity always took priority over their time together. He missed the times when they were alone together and could talk about the day. He missed just hanging out with her. Most of all, he missed talking with her. There never seemed to be any time left for that. “Just talk to me,” he thought. “Tell me what’s going on in your life. I want to hear your voice even when there is nothing of any great consequence to talk about. I just want to spend that time together with you.”
He mentioned it to her occasionally and she agreed they needed to talk more. But somehow it always came down to her schedule. And frankly, when she suggested they schedule a time together each day, he felt hurt. Perhaps they could spend five or ten minutes in the morning going over the schedule and they could talk then, she had suggested. “Schedule me in…,” he thought to himself and winced at the implication. “I’m with you all the time,” he thought. “How about if we just talk throughout the day? I would enjoy that more.” But he never said it aloud.
What he also never said aloud was that his heart was breaking. He loved her so. When he was alone, he wept.
Whenever she did talk to him, it was usually because she needed something. He was thrilled to help her. He loved it when he was able to show his love for her by providing whatever she needed. He would do anything for her. But at the same time, it felt like she never spoke to him unless she wanted something from him. And that fact had begun to gnaw at his heart.
In all, it had taken a toll on him. He had begun to question a lot of things. But most of all, he wondered if she even loved him anymore.
Friends, we are the fiancée of Christ. And I have to wonder how God feels when we neglect to take time for him.
Imagine for a moment that you are one of many who are following Jesus around as he teaches the crowds. From the back of the group, you see one of the religious leaders of the day listening intently. Suddenly, he steps forward and addresses Jesus. This is where we find ourselves in Mark’s account of the gospel in chapter 12.
“And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions” (Mark 12:28-34 ESV, emphasis added).
One of the clearest indications of a love problem within the church is the nearly complete lack of prayer in the lives of those who fill our churches on Sunday, from the Pastor on the platform to the man in the back row. We must return to the basics of relationship with God if we are to experience all that he intended for us. And our service to God is not as important as our relationship with him. The good news is that when our relationship with him is our first priority, our service will naturally follow. But not the other way around. It’s the old “cart before the horse” dilemma.
Somewhere along the line, we substituted serving God for loving God. It was a subtle but dangerous shift. Our enemy knows the most important thing we could do is to love God with utter abandon. So to counter this, he tries to get us busy with good activities that tend to pull us away from our relationship with God. But when our focus shifts from loving God to serving God, we tragically move away from the life God intended for us. Our service becomes labor. We become weary in the process. Many times, we just walk away from serving altogether. Sadly, with our emphasis on programs over relationship, this is the scenario played out in many of our churches in North America today. I’ve seen it over and over again. Pastors express frustration that they cannot get their people to commit to their programs. Meanwhile, from the pulpit to the pew there is often little evidence of relationship with God. It boggles my mind.
Remember, what you do for God is far less important than loving him with every fiber of your being. When you deeply love him, you’ll find yourself wanting to talk with him throughout the day. It won’t be something you need to schedule in. Since he is with you all the time, you’ll find yourself talking to him as you shop for groceries. You’ll be talking with him as you run errands or work your job. It will become a natural part of every moment of your day. That’s relationship! And you’ll also find yourself wanting to serve him, because you love him so much.
So, have you talked with God lately? Or are you the strangely silent fiancée?
Till next month,
All of the resources we have available as a ministry are available for free downloads through the downloads section of the website. There are copies of several messages Tim has shared at conferences and special meetings, along with three different full length CDs you can download for free. Help yourself! And if you know of anyone who would be blessed by the resources, feel free to share the link with them. Click here to go to the Downloads page.
If you would like to keep up with what is going on in Timothy’s life and ministry, he would love to have you as a Facebook friend. This is also the primary means he uses for sharing prayer requests. So if you are interested in supporting the ministry through prayer, this would be a great option for you. Timothy will look forward to connecting with you there. Click here to go to the Facebook page directly.
Come hear Timothy live at one of these upcoming events and mention you heard about it through the newsletter. For details, click here to view Current Schedule.
- August 31 – September 3 – Hickory Corners, Michigan
- September 7-9 – Deckerville, Michigan
- September 15 – St. Joseph Island, Ontario
- September 16 – Hilton Beach, Ontario
We are actively scheduling preaching and music ministry events for the next two years. God has blessed abundantly with multiplied opportunities for ministry. If you are interested in hosting Timothy for a conference, concert, or preaching ministry event, please let us know as soon as possible so we can accommodate you. It would be a privilege. As always, all of the ministry events are booked on a simple love offering basis. If the church or organization is able to help with travel expenses it is appreciated but never required. You can use the online booking request form through the link below. Or simply call 941-445-3288 or email today at firstname.lastname@example.org.