Taking Control of the Time God Has Given Us

We all have 24 hours in our days. How do we use them? Do we use them selfishly for our own pleasure and glory, or do we use our time for the glory of God? I would like to mention just a few ways we can spend our time.

"Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established." {Proverbs 4:26} We need to think about where we are going each day, month, and year, and for eternity. Are we pleasing to God? "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he ..." {Proverbs 23:7}

We need to take time to work. "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." {1 Timothy 5:8} Women are to be busy about keeping their homes. [see Titus 2:5]

We need to study. "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." {2 Timothy 2:15} If we do not study, we will not have our armor on, and we will be easy prey for Satan. And we will be spending our time on the road to hell instead of heaven. We need to "search the scriptures daily." {Acts 17:11}

We need to take time to be friendly. "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly." {Proverbs 18:24} "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep." {Romans 12:15} "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." {Ephesians 4:32} "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." {Matthew 7:12} Are we being friendly like God wants us to be?

Take time to pray. We need to let God talk to us through His word, but we need also to talk to our Father in heaven to cast our cares upon him, and to express our thanksgiving and praise to Him. (1 Thessalonians 5:17) "Be careful for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." {Philippians 4:6} "Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud, and he shall hear my voice." {Psalm 55:17} God is our refuge and our strength. If we don't turn to Him in study and prayer, how strong are we as Christians? I heard someone say that prayer is a measuring stick of how strong or how weak we are as Christians. If we don't pray to God daily, and often throughout the day, are we strong and trusting in God?

Take time to worship God. If humanly possible, be at services every time the doors open. "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together ..." {Hebrews 10:25} Do we look forward to Bible study and worship, or is it drudgery? Remember, God knows what is in your heart. Are we like David who said "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD." {Psalm 122:1}

Take time to be kind to those in need. There are times when visiting the sick is all that is needed. But there will be other times when much more is needed, like taking meals, cleaning, mowing the yard, laundry, and the list goes on. It may be that someone has a spiritual need. I have talked to many who were so encouraged when someone reached out to them in their times of need. (James 1:27) We will keep ourselves unspotted from the world if we are busy applying this Bible principle.

Take time to teach others. The church at Jerusalem was scattered because of persecution, but they did not let the persecution stop them from teaching God's word. (see Acts 8:1-4) Aquila and Priscilla did some of this work. (Acts 18:26) Do we take advantage of opportunities when they are before us, or do we let fear and lack of knowledge stop us? Each one of us is part of the Lord’s church. One of our main jobs is teaching the lost and edifying the saved. May we ask God to help us, whatever the reason we are lacking in this area of our service.

Let us be committed to God. (Read John 14:15 and Matthew 5:13-16) Solomon told us our duty--"fear God and keep His commandments." (Ecclesiastes 12:13) Join with me in working to improve how we use the time God has given us!

By Jan Hepner

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