This is the third and final installment regarding the use of your time. For those of you that received the first two messages, I’ve got great news for you. Those two messages cover the three foundations required for spiritual growth. The first message, part 1, addressed spending time alone with God in prayer and reading the Bible. The second message, part 2, addressed spending time in fellowship. I realize that there are many more aspects to Christian living, but I like to keep things simple.
This is simple: reading the Word, prayer, and fellowship. These three activities are foundational and will lead you down His “good, perfect, and pleasing will” if followed wholeheartedly.
This week I want to discuss time in general. The time that is not for the specific purpose of meeting with or serving God and/or His people.
When we have the strong conviction that our master and employer is the person of Jesus Christ, we do all things in an effort to please Him. Meditate on these verses:
Colossians 3: 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord. 23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 24 Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.
Be the ambassador you are meant to be!
When our “regular work” is seen as a place of service where God has appointed us to be His ambassadors, it changes everything:
2 Corinthians 5: 18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
Even if you currently loathe your work, this new understanding of Divine appointment will change your attitude. I’m not saying that you will instantly love your work, but you will have found purpose in it, which makes a substantial difference.
Psalm 105: 4 “Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him.”
Don’t stop seeking Jesus
When you continually seek Him, your purpose and the work He gives you will become more and more clear but it takes time and commitment. Keep in mind that if you truly want to pursue those God-given desires that you have, continue asking Him to lead you in that direction. He will either take you there or change your desires altogether.
If you desire to be in “full-time” ministry act like you already are. God is not looking for “part-timers” anyway. God has put people in each of our lives that we can serve today. Do not wait for that “full-time” ministry position to miraculously appear if you are not already serving with a servants heart to begin with. God works on refining the servant’s heart first, then promotes His people and puts them to work at His perfect timing. Our ministry is right in front of our eyes and our primary and most obvious task is to abide in Him so that we can hear and know His voice.
John 6:29 Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”
Believing in Jesus always comes first and after we’ve believed in Him over a period of time, we get assigned different tasks. Our hearts change because of our deepening relationship with Him, then we have the same burdens that He does such as for the sick and oppressed people, which leads to service. So then it’s no longer a service out of obligation, but out of pure desire and sincere burden.
Learn to be content
Philippians 4: 11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.
If we can learn this secret our lives and circumstances will be less and less important which will open us up to greater levels of service. At that point it is no longer about “my needs”, but about “their needs”.
I’ll leave you with this:
Matthew 6: 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Are you working full-time?
“God, you are wonderful. You’ve taken care of me in ways that I cannot even express. Thank you for your Word and all that it teaches me. Please change my heart and show me your ways, for I truly desire to serve you with all my heart. I choose to give you my best in my service to others and will strive to put you first in all areas of my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen”