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Time and Priorities

“I do not have enough time. I am a very busy person.”  We hear this everyday.  I seems that people are becoming busier and busier, trying to cram more activities into their lives in an attempt to feel like they are accomplishing something important.  The main areas which appear to take up more time than anything else are entertainment, sports, and financial success. Either we need to see the latest movie/television show, get our kids to soccer, football, gymnastics or dance practice, or work all night in order to get that next promotion or raise. I know, I was stuck in the third rut, hoping that if I just accomplished that next seemingly impossible task, I would be noticed and rewarded with that new office or the praise of my superiors.  However, it always turns out those things that are actually important take a back seat to that which we think is important.

We are all given the same amount of time as everyone else.  Twenty four hours in a day, seven days in a week, and around fifty two weeks in a year.  No more, no less.  And that time is given to us by God to accomplish those things that will make a difference for all eternity.  So, why then do some have time to reach out and minister to others where others do not?  It all comes down to priorities.

I am not saying that going to a movie or playing sports is a bad thing.  And working hard to provide for our families is honorable and necessary.  But it is the emphasis we place on these activities in comparison to doing what God commands is where the issue lies.  Will we give up that movie or practice session if we knew of someone in need?  Are we willing to sacrifice and serve in some capacity at church when there is a genuine need for our service?  Or do we do nothing because we are tired or burned out?  I have heard of people who have used this excuse for over five years.

Jesus said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”  (Matt 9.37-38 ESV) I am fully convinced that the reason the laborers are few today is that many Christians are focused more on themselves and what is best for them and their family than they are on the lost or how to minister to those Christians who are in need.  The great commission calls us to go out and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.  In the parable of the sheep and the goats found in Matthew 25, we are commanded to minister to the needs of all Christians, for by doing this, we are ministering to Christ Himself.  God never told us to live our lives to be entertained.  The focus of our lives should not be to pursue pleasure every possible moment.  Jesus said at the end of Matt 6, “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”  (Matt 6.31-34 ESV)  This pretty much takes care of the financial issues.

Our sabbath rest is coming, and it will arrive when either we die or Christ returns to take us home.  But until then, we are called to do the commands of God as laid out in the scriptures. That means we make the focus of our lives reaching the lost, ministering to the poor and helpless, and making disciples of all we come into contact with.  Again, this does not mean we cannot enjoy a movie, play a game or enjoy some down time with friends and family.  God understands these needs we have as well, because He made us this way.  However, we must never make these things our reason for living.  For when we do, these things become more important than God, which makes it idolatry. And we know what God thinks of idolatry. (Col 3.5)

Categories: Culture
  1. Linda Funkhouser
    April 2nd, 2011 at 19:47 | #1

    I agree Bill. The other thing about being "burned out" its amazing how those same people can spend hours taking their kids to sport practice & games. The other thing is that some people have preconceived ideas about say children ministries that aren't even true. The BIG secret is even though it may be a sacrifice of time & energy its "FUN" and so rewarding. God blesses your efforts and especially with children – the smiles and the hugs and the greetings are all worth it. Hearing children pray and share how God has answered their prayers is amazing. The insights children have blow me away. It's hard but its a good kind of tired!!

  2. patrick cutcher
    April 3rd, 2011 at 18:39 | #2

    sometimes the problem is that god is not in there lives and they do not revolve around the good lord. instead they revolve around themselves.

    • WilliamHF
      April 3rd, 2011 at 20:50 | #3

      I would agree with you. If we do not submit to God and His will, then we will begin to focus on ourselves. That is why it is so important to develop our relationship with God. Great comment, and thanks for checking my blog out. Will be posting more thoughts soon.

  3. Darrell Sroufe
    April 4th, 2011 at 05:23 | #4

    Great blog Bill. Well worth the reading time. How do I subscribe? (computer idiots like me can never figure stuff like that out).

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