Thursday, January 31, 2013

Misplaced Time

            Pastor Clay preached a very convicting message this last Sunday.  It was about how we, as Christians spend our time.  He said it’s so easy for Christians to ignore the critical and focus all their attentions on the frivolous.  He read John 19:19-24, which talks about how the soldiers were casting lots for Jesus’ clothes as He was hanging on the cross, dying.  They got so caught up in their game, that they did not realize the significance of what was taking place behind them.  Clay spoke of misplaced passion and asked “What do you care the most about?”  Our passion is evidenced by how we spend our time.

            Of course, I have heard messages or read devotionals on the subject of time before.  But, at this point in my life, that message really hit home.  Lately, I have found myself highly interested in (aka: addicted to) an online game.  Those who introduced me to it will know what I’m talking about.  I found myself making all kinds of excuses for spending so much time playing: “My friends might be/get on,” “I had a hard day at work and need an escape,” “Just one more hour, I need to finish this mission,” etc.  In fact, let’s just focus on that work excuse, I tend to use it a lot to explain away wasted time on TV, gaming, reading, and music.  These things are not bad in and of themselves, but when they consume most or all of your free time, that’s when they become a problem.  Instead of trying to escape the stress, I should be turning to God at the end of each work day.  I should use that time to pray about the specific things, at work or elsewhere, that make me feel that need to escape. 
            As human beings, we have a tendency to be passionate.  Think of the sports fans cheering when their team wins or the readers who cry when a book character dies.  Christians should have that kind of passion for God.  We should desire to read the Bible and talk to God, to serve Him and bring honor to His name.  Once we are saved, that should be our passion and purpose, but how often do we find ourselves focusing on the things of this earth?  Col. 3:1-3 says, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”  Enjoying something, such as a movie, a football game, or a good book, is not bad; but just remember that these things hold no significance in light of eternity, so don’t let them consume you.  We should build our lives around God and doing His work.  Although, it may seem difficult at first, when you spend enough time with Him, you start to realize just how important your relationship with God is.

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Titus 2:11-13 (KJV)
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