Redeeming the Time

You’ve heard the phrase, “Time is money”.  You have 24 hours each day, which equals 1440 minutes a day.  If you assume that you need 8 hours of reset each day and you need 4 hours a day for personal time for things like eating, dressing, bathing, etc. then that leaves you with 12 hours a day for you to invest into things like Worship, study, work, ministries, recreation, creativity, etc.  To put it another way you have 1220 minutes per day to invest into the activities that you deem the most important.  Consider your investment of time as you would a budget.  Where did you invest your 1220 minutes today.

You can understand a person’s values by analyzing his budget.  Since today is Sunday and it also happens to be the date of the Super Bowl, it would be insightful if we would evaluate how we spent our 1220 minutes today.  We often say that worship should be high on our list of values so we could count 1 hour for Sunday School and one hour for Worship services and 30 minutes for travel to and from these events making a total of 150 minutes of the 1220 minutes of your day, or 12% of your available time for worship which would say that you have made worship a priority.

Now let us look at a second event, the Super Bowl.  A game is 60 minutes but by the time you add in all of the commercials, the breaks in the game such as halftime, etc., the game will become a three hour investment or 180 minutes 16.4% of your day for entertainment.  If you add a pregame and/or post game event it could turn into a  major portion of your day

But you argue that the Super Bowl only comes once a year, which is correct.  But to be equally correct you should add in all of the time spent on football for the year.  It could be equally argued that Sunday only comes once a week so that percentage would be much less on a weekly basis.  It could also be that you spend time in your daily devotions, study, etc. which would also affect the percentages.  It could also be argued that football is only one type of recreation which would also effect the percentages.

My point is not to determine what the percentage is but to invite you to do some personal inventory on how you invest your 1220 minutes of each day.  It can be an eye opener, especially if you are honest with the total picture.

Because each day is filled with different opportunities as well as challenges, you will find that there is a variation of results and over a longer period of time it can help you to see where your values really are.  The main thing is that you make each day count.  It may be an expenditure, an investment or even a waste.  Your values will determine that, but even if you don’t agree with how you spent your 1220 minutes you still have the opportunity to adjust it each day you are given an opportunity.

I leave you with two verses that you may want to study a bit closer.                            Ephesians 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.                               Colossians 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

 

Prisoners 6

This is the last post I will make on prisoners, at least for now.  These are not a complete list of all of the different types of prisons that there are but enough that you get the idea that most of the world is living in a prison of one type or another.  We become prisoners because of our own choices that we make, often with incomplete or erroneous information.  The way out of the prison is always the same.  You can not do it on your own strength but there is one who can and will set you free on the condition that you place your faith in Him instead of yourself, and then follow His instructions.

Today we will look at the prison of  MISAPPROPRIATED AUTHORITY.  Whenever a person is placed in a position of authority, it is for the purpose of service to others.  It is not for personal gain or because you are something special.  As long as that service is maintained then the people under that authority are blessed.  But when that authority is used for personal gain then the people under that authority suffer.   Authority itself is not the problem, but when that authority ceases to serve others and assumes an alternate purpose, it becomes a restricting and controlling prison.  Those under that authority are caught in a prison of abuse and pride and the original purpose of being a blessing, is lost.

So what is the proper response to those caught in this prison?  Rebellion against authority is not the answer for authority is necessary.  There are seven types of authority that have been established by God to serve the people. (See The Mystery of Faith, chapter 3, page 26)  A respect for authority must be maintained and as much as is possible it should be obeyed. Just as those who find themselves caught in other prisons cannot free themselves, neither can these free themselves.  They must be set free.  These prisoners should appeal to the ultimate authority, God.  By living under the established authority does not mean blind obedience, but rather a conscious acceptance of the result of your own actions.  If you disobey the authority it may bring consequence.  Just as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3) faced the fiery furnace because of the refusal to bow to the golden idol, we must be willing to accept the consequence of our actions.  It is then up to God how we are delivered.  It may be that we will suffer pain for a season or even death but God will give us grace to sustain us, and we will have pleased the Lord.  It may be that we will be miraculously delivered that God will be seen for who He is.  The real trial is not the circumstance but do we trust the Lord with our lives?  John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

 

Prisoners 4

Today we will visit a prison that starts out as a good thing that turns into a monster.  It is the prison of SEXUAL PERVERSION.  Sex is a good thing.  It was created by God for the propagation of the human race,  His command to Adam to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the Earth came with commitments to subdue it and to have dominion over it.  That is not a license for pleasure but a charge of responsibility.  This subduing is not meant for the woman to be subdued but for the man to subdue his own lower nature and to manage things in this world, in a manner that is consistent with God’s reign over His creation.  The pleasure is God’s reward for proper management.  What we see today is a mismanagement of our authority and to steal the reward without carrying the responsibility to care for and manage this world.  What God had commanded for the good of man was perverted into self gratification and became a curse on man.  It was open rebellion to God and produces untold numbers of problems and pain.

When pleasure becomes the goal, it now has become the plan of man and not the plan of God.  God’s plan will bless man as a reward but the blessing is God’s gift.  Man’s plan is simple theft; in that is he steals the blessing and refuses to carry the responsibility.  The lust of the flesh then reigns over the man and he becomes it’s prisoner.  As time goes on, the pleasure begins to decrease but the desire for that pleasure increases until it reduces man to the level of animals and his conduct becomes irresponsible.  This downward spiral continues its perversion through pornography, the wrecking the lives of lives (both male and female) in making them sex slaves, profiteering, bestiality, mutilation and finally ends in death.

So how does one escape such a prison when one of the strongest urges of man has been perverted?  It is not a mind over matter fight.  The cravings of the body don’t care about facts and it will fight dirty.  It is not so much of an effort as it is a fight for control.  Which will rule, the right thinking or the emotional gratification.  The problem is one of basic belief.  Is it worth the cost to forego the moment that will quickly fade in time to gain that which will never fade away.  The enriching of the soul that comes from having valued that person’s life more than your own gratification can be a treasure that enriches your life from now on.  The body will scream “I want” or “I need” but that is because it has never learned or been trained in self control.  A person who has not learned self control is really out of control.  A person who gratifies the flesh is concerned about pleasure but the one who edifies the soul and spirit gains eternal growth and benefit.  One is for a moment and the other is for eternity.  It really comes down to who is going to control your life.  When you are in charge you will make the wrong choice most of the time but when the Lord is in control you can and will overcome Satan’s devious trap and be freed from this prison.   John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.