Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Time is of the Essence
It is. Extremely. The phrase is popular in contractual language meaning that the specified time in the contract is mandatory. It implies that, “I’m really serious about this time thing…”.

How serious? How about grounds for negating the contract…?

Time is of the essence. That just SOUNDS serious. Say it. It sounds like something a protagonist might say in a movie when things are starting to get really good!

The plan we’re attempting to execute is gonna have to fall within a certain timeframe. Or we’re in trouble.

In our Christian lives… time is of the essence. I used to work in a morgue.

Take my word for it. Time is of the essence. I used to look at the toe tags and think… I wonder if they were ready for what happened yesterday?

I thought about myself… and I ultimately came to the conclusion that I didn’t have yesterday. It was gone. I don’t have tomorrow. Just a little consideration for tomorrow will bring you to the inescapable conclusion that tomorrow is just about as abstract a thought as you can have. Tomorrow never gets here. It never comes into existence.

It’s always today.

That’s what you have. Today.

That’s the time that is essential. What you do today is infinitely more important than what you did yesterday… I don’t care what you did yesterday. Unless you bought me a present then I want to know what it is (I just put that in to see if you were still reading…). But seriously, what you did yesterday… forget it. What you do today… right now is what’s important.

What you’re gonna do tomorrow? Forget it! Well maybe not forget it… but don’t place an importance on it that is equal to or greater than today. (man this is good advice… I should probably take it for myself).

Now… here we go. Ready?

How we spend our time is of the upmost importance. It easily defines who we are. It is a major source of our identity. Some people’s lives are their jobs. They eat, sleep, and tweet their careers. For some… its hobbies. For others: video games, children, charity work, an online life, etc.

We are locked in a cell our whole lives… it is a 24hour/day cell. There’s no lock on the door because there’s no door. There is no escape. We are bound to that time limit.

One day… you will give an account of how you spent your time on earth.
We are accountable to how we spend our time. What we say. What we do. What we think.

How we spend our time is gonna determine how we spend our Eternity.

2 Corinthians 6 begins with these words…

1And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain--

2for He says,
Behold, now is "THE ACCEPTABLE TIME," behold, now is "THE DAY OF SALVATION"—

Now is the time to Obey the gospel.

Now is the time to rededicate your life.

Now is the time to let go of all excuses that hold us back.

Now is the time to find what it is that is keeping us from being closer to God than we are right now..

There is no other time. Only this time. Right now. That is why it is: of the essence.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Silent Invasion

You live in your house.
Your whole family does.
You have a way you do things.
Your family does too...
And you do it that way because... that's just the way it’s done. It seems like it’s been this way forever…
For example. You have a certain time you set aside to eat. To sleep. to watch tv.
You have your own space. You have places where you come together with your family. you have certain freedoms and certain responsibilities.
In your house. Right?
You come home one day…
There's a guy in your house.
He's not supposed to be there. Where did he come from? He hasn't ever been here before.
He's in your house!... like he deserves to be there. He's acting completely natural.
You speak. "Who are you? What are you doing here?"

He doesn’t even look up before responding… “Don’t worry about who I am. You’ll get used to me soon… I’ll be showing up from time to time… maybe once a month… every two months. Sometimes… I’ll stay for an entire month… whatever. When I show up… you’ll sleep in the back yard… don’t come in here… when I’m here, you sleep outside.”
What would you say to this person?
What would you do?
This is the time of the reading where you weigh your options… You know you need to do something. But… you are just floored that this is happening? Are you on Candid Camera? No… no one is jumping out of the shadows yelling, “Gotcha!”. Are you ready with your decision on what to do? Good. *INSERT OBVIOUS ANSWER HERE*
So what you are saying is that if something came into your life… and you didn’t like it… you’d do whatever you could ( if you could do something about it) to make it go away. To get things back to normal. To make your life right. Correct?
Well, then we agree. If that guy’s in your house when you get home… call the cops. Or Terminex. Either way… he’ll leave.
Sometimes we let things in our lives that get in the way of our walk with God. We don’t even know how they got there. We don’t know how long they’ve been there, sometimes. We just notice, one day, that it’s there. And it’s wrong. Regardless of what we once thought of this… now we see it for what it is.
It’s trash, basically. If it takes us even a step away from God… it’s trash. Throw it away.
Now let’s meet the players in our little analogy today.
Your house represents your Christian life.
You represent your knowledge and understanding of God’s word and His will for your life.
The man in your house represents anything in your Christian life that doesn’t belong. If it doesn’t belong in your Christian life… it doesn’t belong in your work life, your spare-time life, your waiting-in-line-at-the-store life, etc… cause they are all the same life anyway.
The cops represent your will. They represent the power you have over your own mind. When I quit smoking… my mind was the battleground where that fight was won. It wasn’t anything physical. Make no mistake… if you have control of your own mind… you are a powerful person. And if you love the Lord your God with all your mind… You are a powerful soldier in the Lord’s Army.
Proverbs 16:
1The plans of the heart belong to man,
But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.
2All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight,
But the LORD weighs the motives.
3Commit your works to the LORD
And your plans will be established.