I read a great article by Steve Maxwell and thought I'd share it with you. It was of encouragement to me!
Everywhere I turn these days, it seems there is encouragement to "Go Green" and conserve our natural resources. I believe the Lord Jesus would have us to be good stewards of the world He has given us. Yet, it would seem that many have joined the frenzy with less than stellar motives. I've seen store ads take advantage of people stating many crazy "Go Green" reasons to purchase their products when a logical evaluation of those reasons showed there was likely little real benefit to the environment. When we stay in a hotel, there is usually a note to "save our environment" by not having the towels washed daily. While it is most certainly true that not washing towels every day will have a positive impact on the environment, the reality is that this saves the hotel great amounts of time and money in the housekeeping staff and laundry. Could it be that the hotel is all too happy to "Go Green," but mainly because it benefits their pocketbooks? There are good things to conserve on, and others that mean little. Tick, tick, tick, tick.
With all the "Green Craze," I'm very surprised no one has sought to promote conservation of our most precious resource. How could it have been overlooked? As a matter of fact, if anything, there seems to be a promotion to squander this most valuable resource, and it is the one resource that is one hundred percent non-renewable! Once you use it, it is gone forever. On top of that, it is the most priceless, precious resource we have. Have you guessed what the resource might be? Tick, tick, tick, tick.
I'm convinced that if there ever was a campaign worth championing, conservation of time through its wise usage is the one. I suppose that anyone who has been to one of our conferences or read any of our books would say we have flown this banner and rallied to support this cause since the inception of Titus2. Not only must we as parents embrace the need to treasure our time, but it is something we want to teach our children. Tick, tick, tick, tick.
In order to help our children learn to value time, we as their parents, must first model for them how precious time is to us. Our example shouts even louder than any words that we speak. What is our attitude about our time? Do we see time as the most limited and priceless resource we have on earth to be used only as the Lord Jesus directs? Tick, tick, tick, tick.
If we don't treasure our time, we will be likely to waste it. "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:15-16). The Holy Spirit, through Paul, is commanding us to buy up the opportunity to use our time for good. If we do nothing with our time, it slips through our fingers like sand with nothing beneficial to show for it. Tick, tick, tick, tick.
We model to our children our value of time by how we use our time – first with our Lord, then with our spouses, next with our children, and finally with others. How a person uses his time shows others his value of it. Compare the following two passages of Scripture. "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:1-3). "And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God" (Luke 12:19-21). Tick, tick, tick, tick.
Colossians 3 begins with "If ye then be risen with Christ" which means, are you saved and do you have a mindset toward eternity? Believers, who have a correct view on life, know they are only on this earth for a short time and desire to use their time as the Lord directs. However, the carnal uses his time for things of the flesh. In setting his affection on things above, the believer loves God's Word and makes it a priority to read it. He knows the Bible sharpens and empowers him so he avoids sin and can be used of the Lord. Sadly, I speak to many professing believers who have time for many other things each day but no time for reading God's Word. Tick, tick, tick, tick.
The Luke 12 passage shows us those who are carnally minded are focused on having a good time on earth. They are not valuing their limited time as a great treasure. They are pleasure and entertainment minded much like the one who is not rich toward God. This world is all they have to look forward to; and therefore, they are making the best of it while they are alive. Tick, tick, tick, tick.
Christians are to have a mindset of being pilgrims. This world is just something we are passing through. "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation" (1 Peter 2:11-12). Tick, tick, tick, tick.
We are to be on guard against those things that will steal our time away from the good works on which God would have us spend our time. It is as if we knew we were to catch a plane to heaven, but we didn't know when the plane was leaving. We would only be given an hour to dash for the airport once the call came for us. So in the meantime, we wanted to be careful to use every minute wisely because we didn't know how many more minutes we had left. Yet, Satan desires that we spend our time on things that have no eternal value. Tick, tick, tick, tick.
"For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey" (Matthew 25:14-15). We all have twenty-four hours to make available to our Lord. However, we each have varying abilities, which will affect what we have to show for how we spent our time. Will we give Him everything or just what is left over? Tick, tick, tick, tick.
Do each of us spend time with our wife and value each minute of that time? A wife is our helpmeet, but we are called to lay down our lives for them. "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it" (Ephesians 5:25). Do we delight in time with that special one God has given us? Do we spend time as needed on the things she needs done, or do they seem as impositions? May we cherish each minute we have as we serve together with our wife. There is coming a day when one of us will go to be with the Lord, and she might be first. Live each day with her as if it could be the last. Tick, tick, tick, tick.
Dads often think their primary job in life is to bring home a paycheck. However the Spirit directs otherwise through Paul, "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). Raising our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord is our vital priority, and that will take enormous amounts of time. The Lord says He will provide for the family's material needs, "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?" (Matthew 6:31). Yes, we are to work, but as we spend our time in the ways the Lord directs, He will provide for the family. The minutes are ticking away while our children are in our homes. Each minute is precious and is important in shaping their lives. We will have no regrets if we are zealous that our time is used in obedience to the Lord Jesus. Tick, tick, tick, tick.
However there is a gluttony of things to do that waste time – there is no eternal benefit to them. "But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken" (Matthew 24:48-49). Fun seems to be the idol of today, and our great treasure – time – is sacrificed on the altar to this idol. May we treasure our time because there is a point when it is gone. Tick, tick . . . . . . . . .
"But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:20-21).