July 13, 2017

Everything in its time . . .

God has a sense of humor. With company coming this morning at 10, I planned to be up early and ready. I woke at 4:30, too early, so went back to sleep — waking at 9:00! Rushing, I washed, dressed, grabbed an apple and opened my Bible — to discover that today’s devotional is about time management!

Specifically, it is about redeeming the time, or making best use of it. Fortner points to 1 Corinthians and Ephesians, but the Holy Spirit dropped this into my memory first —it fits my need of the moment:

“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” (Colossians 4:5–6)

My visitor is not a Christian, needy, and I need to be gracious and know how to answer her. My focus also must be on that, not all the other stuff that threatens to clog my mind and my schedule. This is what God is getting at in these verses:

“This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.” (1 Corinthians 7:29–31)
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:15–21)

Most of the activities of today are ‘temporary’ in the sense that what we do will not last for eternity. However, our conversation could change her destiny. Wisdom means living this day and all days with my focus on eternity. Jesus spoke of the time being short and giving my attention to serving Him. I’m not to faint or grow weary. After that much sleep, at least I should be alert today, but still feel a bit fuzzy-eyed and even thought: I’m too old for this, but God says,

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16–18)

Jesus, I cannot get back the 2-3 hours that I ‘wasted’ by sleeping in, but You can use them to give me the alert energy I need to serve You today — whatever that might mean with my friend who does not yet know You, but needs to. Help me redeem the time and use the opportunity to worship and serve You by serving her. Open my still-sleepy eyes, but more important, open my heart and mind to whatever You want me to do today.

[Later: Oh my, what an answer to prayer. I cannot share it, but God did exactly what I asked! Jesus, again, You are totally amazing! And funny too.]

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