Sunday, December 11, 2011

Using Your Time Wisely

Big Ben in London 
     As this busy Christmas season is in high gear, many of us are feeling the fatigue and stress that come with this holiday. We are supposed to enjoy the gatherings and fellowship but somehow, there is not enough time in the day to get everything done so we can really relax at these events.  How we manage our time has a lot to do with enjoying this time of year.
     Personally, I was convicted today as I read Ephesians 5:1-17.  Read this passage in its entirety to get the full context.  In the first and second verse, the Apostle Paul writes:  "Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.  And walk in love, as Christ also loved us and has given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma." When we examine these verses, we see that the Lord wants us to be imitators of Christ.  How did the Lord use His time?  He used it wisely.  He took time to rest as well as to minister.  He took the time to pray.  He took time to worship in the Synagogue, and as He did all these things, He did them with love.
      Continuing to read the passage, we see that Paul outlines those things which we are to avoid being involved with.  First, we are to use our time wisely by studying God's Word and making room for worship even as our Lord Jesus did, so that "no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience" (vs. 6).  All we have to do is look around at the number of cults in our world to see how easy it is to be deceived by empty words.  When we know the Word of God, the enemy cannot so easily lead us astray.
     Paul goes on to remind us to be children of light walking in light and exposing unfruitful works of darkness.  Today, it seems that people, especially in the political realm, are caught in "cover-ups" of many types.  However, we are to use our time to expose the darkness and let the light of Christ bring truth to our situation.  Being a light for Christ is not always popular because it does drive the darkness away.  I cannot help but think of Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow that the press has recently been railing about.  He is a light in the NFL.  He demonstrates his faith unashamedly.  Those who prefer the darkness do not like the light he brings.  I admire his stand for Christ.  May we be as bold!
Clock on a building at Heidelberg Castle in Germany
     Finally, the last three verses sum up how we are to use our time:  "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Therefore, do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is" (vs. 15-17).  If we would take the time to know what God's will is as found in His Word, we would be wiser and better able to use our time for His glory.  Sitting at the feet of our Almighty God and growing in relationship to Him helps us have perspective on what really matters in this life.  Then, we can order our activities accordingly and live a life filled with peace rather than day to day chaos.  So the question remains:  How do we use our time?  Are we wise or wasteful?  Do we follow the example of Christ or spend our days with no focus?
     God has given every one of us 24 hours in a day.  We have only a certain amount of energy and ability.  Are we entrusting it to God so He can direct us or are we being falsely led by the flesh and wasting our efforts?  Time is a fleeting thing and it is moving rapidly.  Who can say when our Lord will come again?  Will He find us busy being imitators of Christ and a light to this dark world or will He find us asleep at the switch?
     Let us pray for each other not only at this busy Christmas season but throughout the year that we may learn to use our time wisely for God's great glory.   Remember, seeking God first and His kingdom will help us to keep our priorities straight each day.  Selah!

No comments: