The Best Use of Time

We just began a new Bible Study after a summer break. For me, the accountability of being in a weekly study is necessary because I can easily veer off course.  I have great intentions of following a reading plan and journaling, but I find that days go by and I haven’t even opened my Bible. Structure, accountability, and encouragement from other believers are all means of God’s grace that help me keep my commitment to stay in the Word.

As I write this, I am aware that my thoughts and feelings are not necessarily aligned. I recognize intellectually that Bible Study is necessary for my relationship with the Lord, and I want that to continue to grow, but my selfish heart feels differently. 

The truth is, my flesh, my sin nature, enjoyed having extra time to myself during the summer. The first few weeks after school resumed, I continued to have my Bible Study morning free. I could almost hear the enemy whispering to me, “See how you have enjoyed not having to be anywhere on your regular Bible Study mornings! Hasn’t it felt good to do with your time as you choose?” The enemy uses my weakness to establish sinful routines. I begin to be guilty of wrong thinking, of believing that the time I have is actually my own, and I don’t have to share it.

 The truth is, time is not ours.  It’s not yours, and it’s not mine. It’s God’s. Time is a gift from God, and like all the gifts He give us, we are called to be good stewards with it. 

Our culture teaches us the exact opposite. We are taught to “seize the day.” We are encouraged to work hard, yes, but also to play hard. When it comes to our “down” time, we have t.v., the internet, our phones, books, and any number of activities to distract us from our thoughts, responsibilities, and certainly, the Lord. 

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul said: “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph 5:15-17). 

The Bible is very clear that as believers, we are to use our time to advance the Gospel and God’s Kingdom.  Our time on earth is short.  Eternity is forever! That is why Paul counsels the Ephesians to make the best use of time they can, according to God’s will.

Jesus said, “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be” (Matt 6:21). If we guard our unscheduled time and are reluctant to give it up, we treasure it. We also must remember that no one can serve two masters.  (Matt 6:24). As in all matters, we can serve God or we can serve ourselves.

If I truly believe that God is over all things, is completely sovereign, then I believe time is His, not mine.  It is from there I must build my view of my day, hour by hour (sometimes minute by minute!), asking the Lord to lead me and use me according to His will through His day by His grace.

In that context, attending a Bible Study is far more important that running an errand, cleaning, or meeting a friend for coffee. It becomes one of the most important ways I can use the time God has given me.

This is challenging with the constant demands we all have during our days, which is why I constantly need the Lord to realign by priorities to His. Where are some areas you’ve seen this to be a struggle in your own life? Do you have any practical ways that the Lord has helped you put your flesh to death and look to Him when those times come up?

Growing in Grace

 

 

 

 

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