"His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it; but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day's journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. So, when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. So when they say Him, they were amazed; and his mother said to Him, 'Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought you anxiously.' And He said to them, 'Why did you seek Me?
Did you not know that I must be about my Father's business?'
But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them." Luke 2:41-49 (emphasis added)
These seven little words, "I must be about my Father's business." have been ringing in my ear ever since we toasted in the New Year.
The time is getting shorter and daily we edge closer to the day of Christ's return. It is not a time for slumber or complacency. It is a time to get busy, but not just busy doing anything...it is time to be about our Father's business.
The Lord usually gives me a word for the New Year. (If you haven't asked Him for a word, I greatly encourage it!) The word I felt the Lord gave me was "Step Out".
The end of last year was a time of stepping back. It was a time for the Lord to have me step back so He could do some work in my heart He needed to accomplish.
As the new year began, I felt like the time of stepping back was ending and a new season of stepping out was beginning.
When I read this story in Luke about Jesus staying in the temple to be about His Father's business, I'm reminded that in order for Jesus to be about His Father's business, He had to step out. He had to step away from the crowd. He couldn't just follow where everyone else was going. He had to stop... step... and stay.
First, He had to stop. He had to stop following the crowd.
Second, He had to step. He had to step out of the crowd in faith.
Thirdly, He had to stay. The scriptures say, "Jesus lingered". The Greek word for "lingered" is hypomeno and it means "to remain".
Jesus lingered. Jesus remained. He stayed.
To "be about my Father's business" is to remain, or stay with the Father. Sitting with Him, listening and learning. He listened and learned in order to prepare Himself for the divine work He was put here to do.
All three of these components are needed to follow God's business.
Stop. Step. Stay.
2016 is the time to be about our Father's business.
That might mean some changes for you this year. It might mean giving up some things that distract from God's best. It could mean changing where you go, stopping an old habit, or stepping out in faith and saying yes to something that scares you but you know it is the Lord.
If we continue along the path with the crowd, we will miss the assignment the Lord has designed specifically for us to do.
If you want 2016 to be the year you stop, step and stay to be about your Father's business, will you pray with me...
Dear Lord, we want to step out into everything you have for us. We want to be about Your Kingdom business Lord. Father, we ask for you to show us where we need to stop, if there is something specific we need to stop. We ask you to show us where to step and lead us and guide us as we step out into the unknown with You. And Lord, we want to remain with you. We want to stay tightly with you learning and listening and growing in You. We know the stopping and stepping means nothing if we aren't staying with You. Lord, we only want your Kingdom to advance, increase, and multiply. Oh Lord, let us be about Your business. In Jesus' Name, Amen.