A surprising lesson I learned this week in Cuba

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A surprising lesson I learned this week in Cuba

April 12, 2017 - Jim Denison, PhD

Videos of a man being dragged off a United Airlines flight have ignited a public relations crisis that continues this morning. Workers who take a break every ninety minutes report a 30 percent higher focus than those who take no breaks or just one during the day.

What do these facts have in common?

I returned last night from five days in Cuba. This was my ninth time to visit this beautiful island nation. I have grown over the years to love the Cuban people. Each time I visit, I return more inspired by their passion for Jesus, their courageous service, and their sacrificial faith.

A spiritual awakening is continuing to sweep the Cuban nation. The Associated Press recently reported on the religious boom in Cuba, a revival that is touching other lands and churches. The news is spreading across the globe and touching more people than Cuban Christians can imagine.

A man taken from an airplane makes global headlines. Private breaks for workers lead to public success. Though most people have never seen the Cuban church, they are being inspired by their story.

Today in Holy Week is often called Silent Wednesday. On this day, Jesus did nothing that is recorded in Scripture. He spent the day with his friends in Bethany, preparing for tomorrow’s betrayal and Friday’s crucifixion.

Of all the lessons from Silent Wednesday we could discuss today, this principle is foremost in my mind: what we do that the world does not see often changes what the world does see.

Apparently, the authorities in Jerusalem did not know or care that Jesus spent this day in private. They had no idea that he was praying and resting, preparing himself for what would soon become the most public of events. In contrast to the solitude of this day, he would soon drag a cross through crowded streets and be executed in full view of the multitudes that came from around the world for Passover.

Jesus chose on this day to prepare himself in private for what he would do in public. And the world has never been the same.

Our Lord taught us to follow his example: “When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:6). He frequently followed his own instruction, praying early in the morning (Mark 1:35), late at night (Matthew 14:23), and all through the night (Luke 6:12).

Oswald Chambers: “The measure of the worth of our public activity for God is the private profound communion we have with him.” But our culture doesn’t measure success this way. It rewards activism, busyness, haste, and hard work. What our culture doesn’t understand is that we can do nothing significant for God until we have been with God. Only when we are empowered by his Spirit can we advance his Kingdom.

What you do that the world doesn’t see will change what the world does see. How will you spend this Silent Wednesday?

NOTE: Given the importance of this topic, I’ll be sending you a second Daily Article later today. It will focus on a remarkable example of today’s theme with a word that I hope will encourage you as you follow and serve Jesus. I have also written today’s Holy Week devotional on this theme. To read it, click here.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are from the ESV®️ Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®️), copyright ©️ 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The ESV text may not be quoted in any publication made available to the public by a Creative Commons license. The ESV may not be translated in whole or in part into any other language.

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