Friday, August 31, 2018
Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
WARNING! Do not read this devotional if you love your time.
This sounds an awful lot like yesterday. Let me explain. The context of Philippians 4:19 is that God will meet all our basic needs if we give Him the priority position in our financial management. But the principle of sowing and reaping applies to other areas than just money. What if we applied yesterday’s excuses people use to avoid giving money to the Lord to our decisions about using our time to serve the Lord?
- “If God would give me more time I would give Him more time.” We are so busy in our fast-paced world. I think everyone should be required to take a trip to a third world country where there is limited access to television, movies, internet, golf courses, summer sports leagues, lakes, and campgrounds. If you are brave enough, do an inventory for the next seven days of all the time you spend watching TV, movies, or getting involved in some form of recreation or entertainment. Compare that to how much time you spent intentionally doing the work of Jesus to reach your community with the saving message of His love and forgiveness. Then ask, “Is my Savior and Lord satisfied with my commitment to Him?”
- “But I have to take care of my own needs first, and that takes almost all of my time.” Maybe we need to reevaluate our priorities. Have we allowed selfishness to infiltrate our time management decision making process? We tend to give God only the leftover time we have, and usually there’s none left after we spend it all on us. There’s nothing wrong with relaxing and spending time refreshing yourself – Jesus did it. Life is about balance, but when a 2-hour commitment to a life group or Bible study each week cannot be fit into our “busy” schedule, then our lives are not balanced, are they?
- “When I get more organized and my calendar cleared, then I will give more time to the Lord.” We will never get our calendars cleared so long as we manage our time that way. We may get our current issues solved, but without a change our belief system it will keep happening. We will continue to add more things to our schedule and stay just as busy, unless we choose to make every minute God’s first. At some point we must take a step of faith to put God first in our calendar and build the rest of our schedule around serving Him. Don’t give Him what’s left – give Him what’s right, and that is your best!
- “But there have been so many unexpected demands on me lately.” Really? Is God the God of the good times but not the bad? God is ALWAYS God, and ALWAYS good. He is working even in the unexpected. I understand interruptions. I bet I have more of them than any of you. But no interruption changes my commitment or my priorities. The real issue here is not inconveniences that interfere with our schedule, but about commitment to a cause that never changes even if we are interrupted. Don’t wait until you have more time to commit to something, because you never will have more time. Realize that the time you have is spent according to your chosen commitments. Make Christ and His purpose your first commitment.
- “I’ll gladly give more time if it means I will have more for myself.” Major “Oops!” Selfishness has once again reared its ugly head. Serving that demands more for self is totally wrong. God honors people who serve sacrificially expecting nothing in return. In our minds it is so hard to separate this because we know that He also promised to bless us if we serve. But we must remember that He only blesses serving if it is done from a pure heart that demands no return on the investment. Serving God is a product of our love for Him, not a tool to get more from God. The true test of a servant’s heart is their commitment to the Master and their willingness to do whatever He asks no matter what the cost or commitment.
Well, there’s another load to chew on today. Here’s the heart of what I am teaching: that everyone who is a disciple of Jesus would use their spiritual gifts and abilities to serve Jesus wholeheartedly.