Enslaved by passions and pleasures? (repost)

NOTE: I first wrote this in early 2009 and came across it recently. Today I am again directly facing my own mortality. Each of these 24 hour periods is so precious. This is another area where we are given choices. We can decide that these hours are not enough and worry them away. Or we can face the reality that in each day they are all we’ve got and that, as with all things. this time is a gift from God. As such, they are to be used to His glory and honor.

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. (Titus 3:3-8, NIV)

One gift we are all given in equal measure is time. It is one of the greatest gifts we are given by God. Each of us is given 24 hours in each day: no more, no less.

Many of us find that we need more hours in the day to get everything done. At times, we are all faced with this. So, we need to assess what we are doing with those precious 24 hours each day. Are we spending them or investing them?

Many of us, especially those with children in the home, over schedule our time. We have no margin, the space that exists between our commitments and our limits. “I would if only I had the time” is such a common complaint.

“And God is able to make grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8) “at all times” Time is one of God’s gifts to us. It is one that is easily overlooked.

In our lives, we all have responsibilities, those things we must do to survive, raise out kids, etc. And we all realize there is hunger and poverty in the world. There is illness and just plain wrong living. We can’t, each of us, address them all. Even Jesus recognized that there would always be need in the world. “The poor you will always have, but you will not always have me.” (Matthew 26:11) So, what are we to do?

First, we need to return a portion of this gift directly to God, just as we do our treasure. This is not time doing God’s work, but time invested directly with Him. Time in worship. Time in prayer. Time in studying His word. This is the time we invest directly in building our personal relationship with God. It’s far too easy to schedule this extremely important time right out of our lives.

Next, we need to schedule margin into our lives. We need to not over schedule. We need to make sure what we do schedule or just “spend our time doing” are the wise things. Are we walking the path of righteousness in all that we do, how we spend our time? Squandering or investing?

None of us can do everything we see that needs to be done. While we all have those 24 precious hours, they aren’t nearly enough to do it all.

So, we do those things that God calls or assigns us to do. Jesus didn’t heal everyone. He didn’t feed everyone. He didn’t stay on this earth longer than God the Father required of Him even though there was much more that He could have done. When He died and was resurrected, through the Holy Spirit, He passed much of this work on to others, beginning with His disciples. And we are called to continue this work.

How do we know what to do? My own answers have come through prayer, meditating on the Word of God and listening to the Holy Spirit. My direction has been greatly improved by making my “God time” my highest priority.

Lest anyone question, I am not saying that we “earn” salvation through good works. Rather, I am saying that we are led to good works by God’s mercy and grace.

Like all of our blessings, if we surrender our time to God, He will redeem it. Rather than spending our time, as we so often do, we will be investing it.

Shalom,
Art
Alive in The Word

 

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About aliveintheword

Missouri, USA Married to Marty, 45 years 2 sons (with 2 daughers-in-law) and 2 granddaughters Life dedicated to serving Jesus Christ and delivering the Good News
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2 Responses to Enslaved by passions and pleasures? (repost)

  1. >> “if we surrender our time to God, He will redeem it”
    I have found this to be so true! On days when I have had such a full program I can’t visualise getting through everything, and time is so critical, I tend to neglect or ‘cut short’ my time with the Lord in the early morning . . . and I have done so to my detriment.

    On the other hand, when I spend quality time with Him, He “redeems” the time throughout the day. He enables me to complete my work more efficiently and faster and I often end up with spare time at the end of the day . . . time to praise Him.

    Of course, as you say, this verse has a much broader meaning. We need to “invest our time” as ambassadors for Christ

  2. ptl2010 says:

    Like all of our blessings, if we surrender our time to God, He will redeem it.

    How true, we need the Lord’s help to redeem our time – there are so many distriactions that pilfer out time from that which is eternal. Oftentimes it is just a look and that look causes a slide down a slippery road and before long we need the Lord to help us redeem the time, that is, if we are constantly aware of what is happening. Some lose consciousness and become dead in trivialities and never find their way back to giving their time to the Lord. May the Lord help us we be aware of the roaring lion.

    Be clear-minded and alert. Your opponent, the devil, is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8. Let us always be alert and never fall into his trap.

    A timely message. None of us can do everything we see that needs to be done. Thanks for the reminder Art.

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