Archive | October 2015

Carpe Diem – Seize The Day

“Teach us to number our days…” Psalm 90:12 NIVcarpe-diem-quotes-hd-wallpaper-4-660x330

“This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”  Psalm 118:24 NKJV

Our time is not our own.  As believers, every breath belongs to God.  When we confessed Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives and received salvation, He became Lord of our time as well.  As disciples of Jesus Christ, we must be good stewards of our time.  We have 24 hours, 1440 minutes and 86,400 seconds in every day.  What are we doing with them?  Is our time wasting away?  Are we careful or frivolous with our time…letting it slip through our hands like sand in an hourglass?

Time is a precious commodity…once lost it is gone forever.  Time is unique in that it cannot be accumulated like money or stockpiled like some other resources.  In addition, we are forced to use time whether we choose to or not…but once used it is irretrievable.

Lost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset,

two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes.

No reward offered, for they are gone forever.  (Anonymous)

 So the question becomes, “Am I using God’s gift of time wisely and purposefully?”  Regrettably God often gets our leftover minutes after we have exhausted our hearts and minds and energy on everything else?

We have become masters at wasting our time.  We live in the age of distraction with IPads, IPhones, Xboxes, TV, video games, the internet and so much more…things that can detract from our relationship with God and our growth as a Christian.  It has been said that the average American watches 4 hours of TV each day (or 28 hours/week, or 2 months of TV-watching per year).  Oh by the way, Satan is the prince of the power of the air so who do you think is feeding our hearts and minds during those four hours we are watching TV?

So, how do we maximize the moments that we have on this earth?  Ephesians 5:15-16 says “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil”.  (KJV)

John Blanchard said, “Time should not be spent, it should be invested in the kingdom of God.”

Let’s redeem the time because…

  • It is precious…for the richest woman in the world cannot purchase a single second.
  • It has eternal consequences. (1 Timothy 4:8)
  • It is so short.
  • It cannot be recovered once it is past.
  • It is not our own. (1 Corinthians 6:19,20)

In reality our calendar should have only two days…today and that day (the day we will be with the Lord).  If we remind ourselves every day of the purpose of our time on earth we will cultivate an eternal perspective on time – one that will influence our work and all our relationships.

It has been said that life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away…the times we know that what has happened in us, around us or through us was orchestrated by our loving God.

So how do we redeem the time?  Perhaps we can start by asking some questions.

  • Am I present in the moment? Do I do one thing at a time, giving whatever is at hand my undivided attention?  We only get one chance to spend the present moment – let us invest it in something of eternal worth.
  • What am I doing that really doesn’t need doing? Eliminate the unnecessary.
  • What am I doing that could be done just as well by someone else? Learn to delegate.
  • What am I doing that wastes my time or others’ time? Have I observed that often what I put off I end up not doing anyway?
  • Am I biting off more than I can chew, time-wise? Am I trying to cram too much into one day?  Remember the importance of prioritizing.  Break down big or hard tasks into smaller, manageable tasks.
  • Am I setting deadlines for what I want to do? Or, am I drifting through life with no plans, no schedules, and no organization?

How we use our time reveals a lot about our character.  It shows where our heart is (Matthew 6:21).  Matters that are important to us and of eternal value will receive proper attention only if we first learn to use our time wisely.

We have no other time in which to live.

The past is gone;

The future has not arrived;

We shall never have any time but time present. 

(Author Unknown)

So, what will you do with your next 24 hours?  Redeem the time!  What are you waiting for?

Truth to Claim:  Our time is not our own…it belongs to God.

Application:  Consider the questions above and ask God to reveal to you how you can redeem time in your life.

Solo Deo Gloria

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Things That Go Bump In The Night

                                                                “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.scared-girl-running-clipart-august145vv5  I will strengthen you and help you;I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” 

                                                                   Isaiah 41:10

Well, it is the season for “things that go bump in the night”.  Whether you like Halloween or not it is difficult to avoid it.  All the stores are full of Halloween decorations and scary movies are the norm in movie theaters and on TV during the month of October.

Two of my grandsons told me they wanted to dress as zombies for Halloween…what happened to super heroes?  My 3 year old grandson on the other hand said he wanted to be a “little boy” for Halloween  – or in other words… just who he is.  I think he has the right idea!

All of the Halloween hoopla got me to thinking about what kinds of “things go bump in the night” in a spiritual sense.

Sometimes the things that “go bump in the night” are things of our own making .We make rebellious choices and then act surprised when we find ourselves in a mess…scared to death not knowing what to do or where to turn.

But we aren’t alone in our disobedience are we? – remember Adam & Eve?  They weren’t hiding under the covers but they were hiding in the garden.

“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.  And the Lord God called Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?  And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”            Genesis 3:8-10

Being rebellious or disobedient results in broken fellowship with God and breaking fellowship with the Lord is a scary place to be.  But, like the monster under the bed, once we face it, confess it and give it the Lord we can move from fear to victory.

Other things that often “go bump in the night” are the things that are bigger than we are…a financial crisis, a job loss, a wayward child or a health crisis…things over which we have no control.

These burdens are so heavy that we often feel that we cannot bear them. They look like a monster in the dark with fangs looming over us and as a result we feel tiny & helpless.

David was familiar with things bigger that he was – namely a giant named Goliath who sent shivers through the big strong men of the Israelite army. But, David knew the key to standing against the giant.

“David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, who you have defied….All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s and he will give all of you into our hands.”  1 Sam. 17:45, 47

Like David let’s remember whatever our challenge the battle is the Lord’s and He is faithful.

Or, our “bump in the night” may be things we don’t understand. In a way these are the scariest because it is hard to deal with those things we don’t know how to process or to see in a tangible way…a betrayal, a divorce, the death of a child.

We could learn from Mary, the mother of Jesus, in Luke 1.  The angel came to her and told her that she was chosen to carry the Christ-child.  Certainly Mary had reason to be afraid.  She didn’t understand what was happening – a virgin, not married, facing the possibility of becoming a social outcast?

“And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.  And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favor with God.”           Luke 1:29,30

How did Mary respond to her fear? – “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered.   “May it be to me as you have said.”     Luke 1:38

When we don’t understand, we must trust who God is…loving, merciful, and full of grace.

There are always going to be “things that go bump in the night” – things that are going to frighten us and make us afraid…even as Christians.  Fear is an emotion that we have built in us as humans but we need not let fear overtake us.

Psalm 56:3 says, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”

It’s not that we have fear but what do we do with that fear that is important. We can tremble with the sheets over our head or face our fears and trust God to see us through it.

We might still feel afraid, but we can choose to claim God’s promise that He is with us. We may not be in control, but we can trust the One who is. We may not know the future, but we can know the God who does.

Truth to Claim:  God is with us when we feel afraid and we can trust Him to help us overcome our fear.

Practical Application:  When feeling fearful remember that God is with you, He is in control and He will work all things for your good.

Solo Deo Gloria