How hard do you work at being Christ-like? Do you take it as seriously as say staying healthy, earning money, working out, managing a home, or pursuing hobbies? I struggle in this area and I think many other women do too. We often take this Christian life lackadaisically. We’re all too willing to play a passive role as we attend church and just hope God will gently change our ways eventually. Slowly…….becoming….…more….…like…….Jesus.
Was this the lifestyle God had in mind for Christians when he had Paul write in Philippians 3:12-14: “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers… one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Yeah, I don’t think so. Nothing about this passage sounds passive to me. Neither did Paul display passivity in his life in working toward obedience to Christ.
My oldest son gave me a Fitbit for Mother’s Day last weekend. I didn’t even know I wanted one until he gave me one. I also don’t remember ever caring how many steps I took in 24 hours…until now. I set a goal of getting 10,000 steps per day and I’m really working at it. I find myself looking down at my wrist constantly to see how many steps I have taken and how many I have yet to go (usually lots). I’m taking walks and hopping on the treadmill. Why? What has changed? A goal has been set.
Let me ask you something today. If you knew that 10,000 steps would get you to Jesus, how hard would you work to take those steps? How much of your time would be devoted to that one goal of being close to him? For those of us who are his, there is no greater prize than to be with Jesus. My hope is that we would run hard and “strain forward to what lies ahead” like Paul.
We need to work hard at being more like Christ because Christ has made us his own. We have an upward call upon our lives - a directive to move toward God in Christ. We should break a sweat as we slay sin in our lives and move forward in holiness. Expend the energy necessary because every step counts and every step is worth it.
Ladies, hear this upward call that that comes to you from God’s Word. Read his voice every day and strive to live it out. It alone enables you to progress in sanctification. Learn to set goals for yourself. What sins do you want to tackle? Knock them out of your life one by one. What Christ-like trait do you need to display more of? Pursue it and practice it. All goals should lead to the ultimate goal of obtaining the prize of being with Christ face to face.
Have no doubts, Christ is worth the pursuit. So, arm yourself with his Word and take the next step.
This past Sunday at church, I sat behind a young mother holding her baby. The baby was a happy little guy and would often drool down his mom’s shoulder. I’m sure it wasn’t comfortable for her, but it made me smile. This momma had fought the “Sunday Morning Battle” and overcome. She made it to church to worship with her family.
It is no easy task for a mom with young children to make it to church on a Sunday morning. Let’s be honest, it is a real battle. The list of good excuses is long and easy: I need sleep, I just want a break, we can read the Bible on our own, we will be a distraction, the kids will make a fuss and I’ll just end up sitting in the nursery. Hey, and church is optional, right? It isn’t work or a social event. Most people don’t go.
Plus the orchestration it takes to get the family out the door is a grand production of its own. You have to get everyone ready and looking decent, pack up what feels like half your household, and get yourself ready. This often equates to a rushed shower (maybe) and cramming into 10 minutes what used to take an hour. It is so much work.
I get the temptation to stay home on Sunday mornings, I really do. I battled the same internal argument with myself not so many years ago. There is a true, strong pull from the world to cave in and stay home. But when we read Hebrews 10:24, 25 we don’t see any asterisks: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” The habit of the world is to stay home and stay away, but there is no blessing in that! That is not where this verse says the stirring and encouraging takes place. It happens with others, when we meet together.
In Acts 2:42 it says, “And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” True devotion is proven when tested with challenges and temptations. What is your level of devotion in this challenging period of life?
Am I leaving out the dads? Yep. This is a blog for women. I would love to think the dads are leading and helping Sunday mornings so that the whole family gets to service. Many do, but not all. Moms, regardless of what he does, you still need to get up, get the kids and yourself ready (even if you don’t feel perfectly put together) and get to church. No, it is not about legalism and church attendance, it is about obedience and doing what God calls you to. The Church is the body of Christ (Col. 1:18) and his bride (Rev. 21:2). If you are a Christian, it is where you will be – together.
I’m not talking out the side of my mouth here, I did this as a single mother for years with a baby who had terrible colic and then separation anxiety. I spent many hours in the nursery with him wondering why I even bothered trying every week. But God uses all things. In the nursery I met wonderful, godly people with servant hearts and God used them to minister to me.
So to all you moms out there coming to church with young children, thank you! Thank you for your devotion and for overcoming all the easy excuses. The whole church body benefits when you are there, we are not whole without you (see 1 Cor. 12). You serve a vital role that you may not even realize. Keep coming, keep bringing the kids. Come with spit up down your shoulder and with your over-active toddler. We want you there. God commands fellowship and what he commands, he will enable you to do with his strength. Obedience to God brings blessings. Come and be blessed.
You have set up a banner for those who fear you, that they may flee to it from the bow. – Psalm 60:4
As I have studied American wars with my boys this year, I have come to realize how important flags are in a battle. For example, the battlefields of the Civil War were chaotic places filled with smoke, noise and confusion. A flag from a soldier’s regiment or state provided a valuable visual landmark. It served as a rallying point and helped the soldiers keep close to each other. A flag provided a reminder of what they were fighting for and gave the soldiers incentive to press on.
These days it seems that there are many different flags being raised that people rally under. Social causes top the list. Recently the media was filled with women lifting up signs and banners that they proudly marched down the streets of our nation. They gave themselves to these causes and have conformed their lives around them.
Today, my question for you is: what flag are you living under? Each of us has a banner that we raise and dedicate ourselves to. Call it your reason for living or the passion for your existence. What is yours? Most likely you are not wielding a physical sign above your head, but you have something that you are spending yourself on.
Is it the “all-sacred” home and family? Success? Physical fitness or beauty? Comfort? Maybe it’s a “worthy” cause that trips your trigger: the environment, animals, sanctity of life, social tolerance or medical research. For many it is a combination of these elements of life. We fashion our own banner of maybe family, acceptance, being green and healthy living. When we think we have it right we lift it up in social media, in what we give money to, in what we talk about and how we pick our friends.
What does your banner look like, ladies? Pause and consider that question. Here’s another - what are we doing designing our own banners to define our life? Have we forgotten… there are only two options available! There are only two possible flags to live under: the flag of Jesus Christ or the flag of the world. We need to stop trying to make our own.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 12:30a, “Whoever is not with me is against me.” We are either gathered with Jesus or gathered against Jesus. The banner above your head either reads, “With Jesus” or “Against Jesus”. Check it closely! There are no flags for “Undecided”, “Socially Conscious”, “Nice People”, “Pro-Choice”, or “Baptists”.
The women who took to the streets in protest a few weeks ago evidenced this fact. They were protesting for women’s rights and equality but many of the signs they raised displayed their hatred for Jesus Christ. How strange that those blaming Jesus for their problems are the ones who prove him right over and over again.
Psalm 60:4 above tells us that God himself has set up a banner for those who fear him. It is singular, there is only one banner, the banner of Christ.
The soldiers in the American wars would die for their flag. Are you so bold in your dedication? Are you willing to hang the flag of, “With Jesus” on your life? To display it in everything you do and say? Are you devoted to agreeing with all that is in his Word? If not, you are most likely on the other side under the flag of the world. You okay with having “Against Jesus” above your head? Think about that.
Ladies, if you have been waving any flag other than the flag of Christ in your life it is time to take it down and burn it. Are we pro-life, pro-family and anti-violence? You bet, but it is because we are pro-Jesus first and foremost. There is no reason to battle for right and wrong outside of the One who defines right and wrong. We support causes that are biblical but we conform our lives around Jesus Christ and not the cause.
We need to be with Christ and everything he says in his Word. If we carry any banner in our life to show the world what we live and die for, let it be a white one washed clean with the blood of our Savior and let it simply say, “With Jesus”.
Are you busy? Of course you are! And you always will be. There are no “calm” seasons of life so stop waiting for them – commit to reading the Bible. I am cheering for you; here are some of my personal tips to help you out:
…but God is good and I will praise him anyway. I am a Christian and I live in this sinful world right along with the rest of you. I have good days and I have rotten “please don’t make me get out of bed” days. Life can feel full of blessings one day and curses the next.
Yet, once you are a heart-deep, follower of Christ these highs and lows do not determine or deter your purpose for breathing. Every day and every night is meant for praise. Praise for the gracious God who plans our steps and has written out our days – the easy breezy, the messy and the miserable (Ps. 139:16).
Things will not always go well for us, there is no such thing as karma and you don’t deserve easy living no matter how hard you work. When in doubt, take some time to talk to my good friends Noah, Moses, Aaron, Abraham, Sarah, Leah, Job, Ruth, Naomi, Daniel, Rahab, Joseph, Joshua, Esther, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Jonah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Mary, Peter, Paul, John, and Stephen. And then sit down and have a chat with my best friend, Jesus, and ask him all about his life on this planet.
True Christians are not allowed to be fair-weather followers and neither are they to be storm-soaked beggars. We praise, because that’s what were created to do. “…all things were created by him and for him.” Col. 1:6. We praise God day in, day out, in sunshine and hail, at the beach and knee deep in the swamp.
Why? I think the better question is why not?
Is God always good? Yes (Ps. 136:9). Does he promise to have you, hold you and never let you go? Yes (Heb. 13:5). Does he promise that everything he does is for your good and that you will receive a glorious eternity? Yes and yes (Rom. 8:28, Jn. 3:16). Umm…why are we complaining again? Praise seems the only logical expression when you serve a God this wonderful.
Peter said it well, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9. If you have been called out of darkness into his light, you are to declare his excellencies. That is the purpose that he called you for.
So, ladies, while we are living in this world together, let’s praise God. On the days of cute selfies, happy children, helpful husbands and clean houses. AND on the days of ugly tears, unruly homes, rude spouses, and fat clothes. Praise God. Whether it is a victory shout or a whisper of hope in the darkness - praise God!
“Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.” Hebrews 13:15
Peyton finally agreed to go on a waterslide with Troy and me at the indoor water park last week. As we ascended the ever climbing stairs, his grip on the railing tightened. I could see the doubts rising in his mind; this was hard work for him. By the time we reached the top, with only a few groups ahead of us, Peyton began to crumble. The tears started and his head shook as he announced that he had changed his mind. He was not going on this ridiculously dangerous and potentially deadly slide (yes, he is my dramatic one). He planned to walk back down the steps and meet us at the end; preferring safety over risk.
At that point I did what every other practical and loving mom would do. I looked him in the eye, told him he was not going to die and that he better shape up because I planned to plant his bottom in that raft whether he wanted to go or not. Peyton, having been mothered like this before and having had plenty of past experiences similar to this one, said okay and took a deep breath, still trembling but resigned to his potentially dismal fate.
Am I mean? Yes, I can be. I can be pushy, persistent, and downright bossy. Have you not heard me telling you to read your Bible with your pencil?? As we all tend to be, I am hardest on those I love the most. I most often correct and discipline my children (you’re welcome). I most often rebuke and instruct those that I mentor and disciple. I love them way too much not to.
This is not being mean, though it can feel that way at times (and if I do it incorrectly it is mean and sinful). Done biblically, it is loving. Scripture is designed to train us and for us to train others, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” 2 Timothy 3:16.
I didn't force Peyton up those stairs and down that slide because I am a bully mom or wanted to torture him. I did it because I love him (and we used it for biblical training later). I have been his mom for 11 years, I know him very well. He needs to be pushed to grow; he needs to know what it feels like to fear and to overcome (moms, don’t shelter your children from all fear). I knew he could handle it and that it would be good for him.
It is quite easy to see where I am going with this one. We need some pushing in life. We need pushed toward things we would never do on our own. God will often give us a nice shove once in a while to get us to grow. We also need to push ourselves more than we do. Just as in exercise we have to lift more or run farther or faster to gain improvement. In our spiritual life (which is much more important, see 1 Tim. 4:8) we need to go deeper with God and put in the effort to get closer to God and to see more of him.
If we were already perfect and as Christ-like as we could get we wouldn’t need any pushing. However, as Paul said in Philippians 3: 12, “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” Paul needed to keep working, “pressing on” in order to become more perfect like Jesus. If Paul wasn’t there I know I’m not there yet. He was still pushing. He was still, “straining forward to what lies ahead” and pressing “on toward the goal” verses 13 and 14 respectively. Do the hard work it takes to strain and press on, study the Word intently, reach out to difficult people with the gospel, give sacrificially.
In other words, allow your Heavenly Parent, who loves you very much and knows you better than you know yourself, send you up some stairs and toss you down some scary waterslides for your own good. Better yet, go with joy, keeping your trusting eyes on Dad. Rejoice in the ride and see where he takes you and how it grows you. Always, always closer to Him.
Peyton survived the treacherous family rafting waterslide, we barely got wet. Seriously, on a scale of danger from 1-10 it would have been a two. Peyton was so psyched that he was jumping up and down, pumping his skinny arms in the air and asking to go again. Which we did, happily, again and again. He even ventured on the slightly more dangerous family rafting waterslide (maybe a three). He overcame and had grown in courage.
Ladies, time to buck up, climb the stairs and get wet. Follow God where he leads, trusting in his sovereign goodness and mastery over the plans of your life. Push and get pushed and grow in God.
I love to be comfortable. Just ask my husband, he will tell you after working all day I can’t wait to climb into my “comfy clothes” (otherwise known as yoga pants and a t-shirt). In the winter months, I could be found in pjs as early as 5:00 pm. Phil sees me and just shakes his head and laughs.
I also like to hang around good friends, eat good food, and read good books. I much prefer these activities over interacting with strangers, fasting, and public speaking. If you’ve read my blogs before, you already know my tendency toward being an introvert. I enjoy being comfortable, that’s all there is to it.
Don’t get confused, I like to get out and about and love the outdoors. I even love tent camping… as long as the weather is great and I have an air mattress and remember everything for s’mores.
How much comfort can one person stand? Is being comfortable a legitimate goal in life? If I was able to remain in a state of constant comfort, say, wearing my non yoga-ing yoga pants, while reading a good book and eating as many Georgia Mud Fudge Blizzards as I desired, would I be happy? HECK YES!!! …for about one day, maybe two… okay a week max.
Your version of comfort may be a little different than mine (you may prefer cookie dough Blizzards, I get that), but my point is we all have comfort zones. These are very real and very appealing.
So appealing that we can, if we allow ourselves to be led astray, work our whole lives trying to gain or maintain our ideal comfort zone and be able to spend as much time in it as possible. Or we work the best years of our lives so we can retire and spend the remaining years living in the ways we are most comfortable.
Here is the big question: did Jesus die so that we could experience comfort? Another way to state it: is your comfort worth Jesus dying for?
Agh! Why did I have to go and ruin it for you? Replace the word “comfort” with “happiness” or “success” if you want. Those are just other words to describe your comfort zone.
You see, I don’t buy into the “American Dream” that the world tries to sell me. I don’t buy into any ideals the world tries to sell me. Dead end pursuits that are fun and cozy along the way still lead to dead ends.
Just as your final destination determines the route you take on a journey, so should your final eternal destination determine the route you take while on Earth.
Too many of us get pulled away by the cares of this world and get convinced that the “comfort zone pursuits” of this mortal life are worthy of our time and energies and even eventually our souls. It is so sad a thing to live for, so very temporary.
God says in Revelation 3:16, “So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” And in Zephaniah 1:12 “I will punish the men who are complacent, those who say in their hearts, ‘The Lord will not do good, nor will he do ill.’”
So, this is why I so often ask God to please, “Kick me!” Kick me out of my comfort zone; don’t allow me to be pulled into an apathetic lifestyle or complacent way of thinking. Do whatever is necessary to keep me about Kingdom business and not my own.
Oh, he is so faithful in this! As he slaps that Blizzard out of my hand and tells me to get dressed like a big girl. Time to be un-cozy for the glory of God and for my own good.
This is what keeps me ministering to women, holding Bible studies, and staying up way too late writing blogs. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10.
Did you hear that? He has work for us to do! Why? Because he created us specifically for these specific tasks eons ago. Ladies, this means something!
If God is the Potter and we are the clay would we prefer he keep his hands off us and allow us to sit as a useless blob? No! Please fashion me into something useful that displays your goodness, Lord! No matter how painful or pleasurable, mold me as it pleases you, for “all things were created through [you] and for [you].” Colossians 1:16.
So, yes, “kick me” is often a prayer I pray. I need it. I mean it. I too easily hold on to my comfort zone. But, oh, when you get out of it and are willing to fully trust God, what a beautiful thing it is! What a glorious feeling to be used for the purposes of a great God. There is no better place to be.
Ladies, last week I posted a blog that was stern and straight forward, asking each of you to make a choice of whom you will serve: God or the world. This week I want to truly encourage you on how to go about choosing to live for God. I will still use the same chapters from Deuteronomy so I hope you did read them like I challenged you to. I want to start by sharing how God recently worked in my own heart.
God has set before me a task that I don’t feel equipped for or even adequate for right now (I’m sure you will hear more about this in the near future). I was feeling particularly burdened one evening after talking to some family about this new calling. They were not as supportive as I had hoped and a couple tried to discourage me from taking this path. Since I had been struggling with this decision for several weeks and was finally feeling more secure in my decision, hearing these words of disagreement hit me hard. I found myself in tears that night, struggling between what the world (and nearly everyone in it) wanted me to do and what I felt God was calling me to.
I prayed for God to give me insight and grabbed my Bible with a bit of ferocity, determined to seek his will alone. I thought about where to read and decided to keep on my same track in the Old Testament that I have been on in my usual nighttime routine, currently that was Deuteronomy (yep, explains my recent posts). Chapter 31 was next in line so I started in. What I read caused the tears to flow and internal shouts of thankfulness to God to explode within me.
Moses was passing on his leadership of the Israelites to Joshua and was encouraging him for this very large and important task. I’m sure Joshua did not feel fully equipped or even adequate for this role (sound familiar), but God had decided it was his and assigned it to him. Here are the words Moses spoke to Joshua:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deut. 31:6.
“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deut. 31:8
These words were like healing salve to my heart. How I needed confirmation of God’s care for me and the knowledge that he goes before me in everything he calls me to. I never walk alone, I never have to dread or be in fear since he is there.
I also needed to hear the direct commands to be strong and be courageous. These are commands, not suggestions or far hopes that Moses had for Joshua. No, he told him, “Just do it!” BE strong, BE courageous. Don’t shy away from this assignment, it is yours and I am with you in it. These words are for you today too.
When we choose to follow God and be obedient to him, we have not stepped into an easy task. Do not get visions of praying away your worries while guardian angels clamor to keep you safe and God pours blessing after blessing on your head. Sorry…it doesn’t work that way.
When the Holy Spirit grabs your heart and you accept Christ and choose to live for God, it is an awesome decision! It is the best and most important decision you will ever make in all of eternity. However, it is the very first in a long line of decisions to follow. Although the event of salvation (justification) is a one-time occurrence, the task of following Jesus is a continual and active process needing daily effort. To put it another way, we make continual choices of whether to follow God or the world every day. We need to be ready and equipped to choose wisely.
A final word of warning, when you read the book of Deuteronomy, two words will stick out to you. Those words are “be careful”. They are used over and over by Moses in this book. They are used to keep the people aware of the need to follow God’s commands always. One example, 12:28 “Be careful to obey all these words that I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God.”
Ladies, I continue to plead with you to choose God every day, choose to serve him wholeheartedly and with confidence. Not in yourself but in him. When God calls you to a task, and you know it is his will, get moving on it. Walk in strength and courage, being careful to know and follow his commands that we find in his Word. My enCOURAGEment to you today… BE strong and BE courageous!
Women, I want you to take this blog seriously today. My heart’s desire is for women of faith to be courageous and walk in the truth even when the world around them seems to be sprinting in the opposite direction. I want you to choose God over the world.
Listen to the words of Moses in Deuteronomy 31: 11-13. To the priests he says “you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as you live in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.”
Moses was soon to die and was preparing his people to move forward without him into the Promised Land. What were some of his final words? To paraphrase the above verses: “Make sure the people hear and know the words of God, make sure they obey the Lord, they must fear the Lord or they will come to ruin!”
We need to be proclaiming these same words today. We must know God’s words to us; we need to know his instructions and we need to obey him completely. Otherwise we will come to ruin like those who ignored the words of God long ago.
God told Moses what his people would do after they entered the bountiful land they would soon possess. Read these words and see if it reminds you of America today. Deuteronomy 31:20, “For when I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to give to their fathers, and they have eaten and are full and grown fat, they will turn to other gods and serve them, and despise me and break my covenant.”
The Israelites long ago lived in a blessed land filled with abundance and freedom. When they became comfortable, they forgot the words of their God, no longer obeying his commands. Maybe even the priests, who were charged with the task of reading these words out loud to the people, forgot (or outright neglected) their job and did not remind the people of God’s instructions. They did not correct their bad behaviors for fear of offending them; they did not proclaim God to the people as they were instructed.
Oh, how these same words so accurately describe today’s world. We as a country, a blessed people, have neglected God’s words and instructions to us and have turned to serve other gods. Worthless gods of success, fleshy pleasures and greed. We have grown fat on God’s blessings and have turned our backs on him, now despising him and his word. Not even those behind a pulpit often preach the truth any longer. Under the guise of acceptance and love, truth is shoved out the door; no longer desired or found worthy.
What happens to those who choose to disobey God? The answers are painfully spelled out in detail just a page back. Deuteronomy 28 contains the lengthy lists from God given through Moses; blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. The blessings cover 14 verses and are grand; the curses cover 54 long verses and are excruciating even to read. Moses, responsible for this group of God’s people, wanted everything completely spelled out and crystal clear so that the Israelites would make a well informed decision.
After describing the blessings and curses in detail, he then calls the people to choose. Deuteronomy 30:19-20 “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him.” Moses offers two options and proceeds to tell them exactly what to choose, the obvious choice – life!
I challenge all of you ladies to read these chapters in Deuteronomy today and think on what is happening in the world around us. Just as very few chose to follow God back then, very few choose to follow God today. Do not be swayed by the world and the opinions so prevalent all around you. Don’t form your beliefs to how you feel and then try to make God’s word fit your desires. It doesn’t work that way. There is only one perfect God and you are not him, you don’t get to rewrite scripture.
There is absolute truth and you must seek it earnestly. You must know God’s word (the Bible) by hearing it, reading it and studying it. The Word of God is the standard upon what all else must be measured, weighed and judged. If you do not agree with what it says or do not desire to obey God, then this faith is not for you and you must stop claiming to be a Christian, you are not a follower of God.
Ladies, the decision remains the same, choose this day whom you will serve. There are only two choices and will never be more; it’s the world or God. Decide. The rules are clear and do not bend. Do not think that Almighty God should bend for you or change his commands so you can live as you desire. He does not have to tolerate anything, he is God. He is just and he is good. I choose to follow him. I enCOURAGE you to choose the same.
“There are never enough hours in the day!” Ladies, do you find yourself saying that often? I sure do. As if God has given us more work than we are able to complete in the 24 hours he has given us to do it in. Something in our day usually has to give, we simply can’t (or won’t) get everything done. Too often what gets pushed off our schedule is time in the Bible or prayer. By the end of the day we are spent and exhausted and tell ourselves that it just can’t happen today, but maybe with a little luck tomorrow will be better. There is always tomorrow… or next week… or next year…
There is no way around it, you only have 24 hours in a day, that will never change (okay, daylight savings time messes things up twice a year, but it evens out). God is perfect, so how he set up our measure of time and the hours set in a day is also perfect. You don’t need more time. That is not our problem. I fully believe that if we were given 30 hours in a day we would still find ourselves in the same position and asking for more. Do not accuse God of being stingy in his blessing of giving you any time at all.
I believe God desires us to have this sense of limited time, a sense that time is flying by. Why? Well for one, I can feel it every day of my life. I am amazed at how quickly the weeks go by, how fast my children grow, and how the years slip by faster and faster. More importantly, I see it in Scripture. God gives us many reminders of how limited our time here on Earth is. Here are just a couple:
“Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” – James 4:14
“O LORD, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!” – Psalms 39:4
Having the knowledge that our earthly time truly is short and purposefully designed that way by God should lead us to some important conclusions.
First, we need to use our time wisely. Ephesians 5:15-17 says, “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.” Understand the will of God so that you can walk through life in wisdom.
We get this wisdom from God’s Word, so Bible reading needs to be at the top of your list instead of at the bottom. We need to prioritize our days carefully. Some items on our agenda will have to be removed to make room for what is truly important. This could mean forgoing the baseball or softball tournament teams so your family can be in church on Sundays. This may mean getting rid of television so that it is no longer a distraction for you or your family. How you spend your days is how you spend your life, therefore “look carefully then how you walk” as instructed.
Secondly, we need to live for our eternal life not our earthly life. “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” – Colossians 3:2. This breath of a life is not worth living for, not worth spending our riches and resources on, not worth giving our soul for. We need to invest all of our treasures in Heaven (Matt. 6:20). We need to spend ourselves on what will last forever. For
Christians, this earth is just a temporary stop before we go to our forever home in Heaven; send your goods on ahead of you instead of hoarding dust here. For non-Christians, this place is as good as you get, dust is as good as you can ever hope for.
Finally, we need to understand that the minutes of our lives are like sand pouring through an hourglass; and we don’t know how much sand we have left. We need to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to our loved ones and to the nations. This is the work we need to be about (Matt. 28:19). We shouldn’t wait for a better time; there may not be more time. Let the urgency of this affect the way you live each day. Proclaim Christ always.
Let Psalms 90:12 be your prayer, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”
Limited time on earth is truly a great blessing from God. If we belong to him we should long to be with him in glory, not toiling away here on earth. We should yearn to be home. Today I enCOURAGE you to praise God that your days are flying by, praise God that we are but a mist and so very fleeting, praise God that we will be soon be with him in glory! Revelation 22:20 - “’Surely I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”