Time is of the essence

 

The New Year fast approaches. New Year’s Day reminds of a year that has past and a new one has begun. We can do nothing about time’s incessant march toward eternity future and away from eternity past but we can change our attitude toward time. Time is a precious, investable commodity given to us as a gift from God. 

Though time is a constant, life changes seem to be speeding up. I often see the term “acceleration” used. Changes in world events and in the spiritual lives of people, seem to be occurring at a more rapid pace than ever before. 2008 could very well be a year in which even more rapid changes take place in the spiritual lives of people as the Holy Spirit moves, drawing us all closer to Jesus Christ. 

Time is of the essence! We serve an ever-loving, ever-moving, all-powerful God who has given us this moment in all of eternity to invest for Him. Think of it! Father God has given each of us a very, very brief portion of time and He then asks: “What are you going to do with it? Are you going to invest it in selfish pursuits or are you going to invest it in Me – in loving and serving Me?”

The choice is simple, the choosing is difficult. We must become more committed to our Lord instead of getting wrapped up in the world’s pitiful offerings. We no longer have the luxury of postponing, and foot-dragging when it comes to bringing ourselves and our families and our church to the foot of the Cross to say, “Here I am, Lord.” Time passes, the world changes and, too often, we wait for the status quo to produce better results – but it never happens. It never will. 

Two enemies impede our spiritual progress, even stopping us in our tracks: fear and doubt. Fear and doubt, conceive and give birth to indifference and indifference is expressed in our daily lives as busyness.

In our personal lives we have embraced Martha as our role-model. You may remember Martha flitting about the house, trying to do the good things for Jesus but missing the Person of Jesus in the process. (Luke 10.38-42) Jesus said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only a few things are necessary, really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10.41-42)

Good-intentioned Martha was busy but she allowed herself to be led away from Jesus instead of toward Him. She accomplished nothing. 

So much of our busyness is simply fluff. Fluff is a time-filler and a time-waster offered in generous portions by the world, the flesh and the devil. Fluff makes us look productive and purposeful, but it contains no substance. Fluff will lead us to spend inordinate time and energy on the good things in life, but cause us to miss the best. Fluff will help us appear good in the eyes of people; it will help us appear good to ourselves, but it can cause us to miss Jesus.

Jesus’ parable of the Great Banquet is also a striking illustration of how we humans lose sight of priorities. In the parable a man prepared a great banquet, inviting many guests. When the servants were sent out to gather the guests, they made excuses: “The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’” (Luke 14.18a-20)

They were consumed by important things – things that were important to a sick and dying world. But they missed the best: the invitation by the King. 

Nothing is more important than your invitation to dine with the King of Kings!

“Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ; so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” Philippians 1.27

May God’s blessings be ours this new year as we strive to be of one spirit, one mind and one heart and to serve the Lord together.

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