I’ve been thinking a lot lately of how we in the free world are living out our faith. We have access 24/7 to some solid biblical teaching via the internet or tv. We can freely read our bibles. We are able to worship openly and without persecution. We have access to more than most of the third world; clean water, an abundance of food, vehicles, churches in just about every city or town, even some disposable income. We have so much. Though living with so much can be a great blessing, it can also be a huge distraction. We have to choose every hour of every day what will consume us. Will we take advantage of all that God has provided for our spiritual growth or will be spend our time fulfilling the flesh?
My hearts cry is that Jesus will draw me away from the things that really don’t matter. Things that consume my time and leave me less like Him. It is and will continue to be a battle in my flesh but my heart does want to live out the life He has designed me for. The life He has called me into. Having lost loved ones I know life can be cut short. None of us know how much time we have to make a difference. The longer I allow myself to waste precious time doing my own thing the shorter the time I have to accomplish His purposes for my life.
I’m not talking about shutting myself off from the world and becoming a monk. I am referring to the things I do throughout my day that either draw me closer to Christ or further away. Where I allow my thoughts to go, what I allow my ears to hear or what I choose to see can make the difference between choosing life or death. Between following Christ or following the flesh. God has called each and every one of us who call Christ our Lord to use our time wisely. Here are a just a few verses emphasizing the importance of how we use our time…
1Peter 4:1-11 NIV 4 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2 As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4 They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. 5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. 7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others,as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 5:1-15 NIV 5 1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord.11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:“Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Colossians 3:1-17 NIV 3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew,circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
If you too are feeling the draw to walk closer to Christ and to pull away from the things that draw us further from Him why not pray with me now?
Father, I thank you for calling me out of the world and saving me. I thank you for your precious Son Jesus. I ask Lord that you would give me the desire to seek You day and night. To walk in intimacy with you. To listen and obey the gentle promptings of the Holy Spirit as He guides me throughout my day. Please create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me so that I will choose obedience. I thank You Father that You have started a work in me that You promise to finish. I thank you for Jesus, who makes it all possible. In His precious name, Amen.