Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Call to Give, Part 2: Time

~Tuesday Thoughts~ 

These November Tuesdays I want to explore the theme of giving. The Dictionary of Bible Themes divides it up into four things: giving of oneself, of possessions, of talents, and of time. I'm mixing that order up and we’ll have possessions first, time second, talents third and then –oh, the climax!- the giving of oneself. Last Tuesday we talked about giving possesions. Now let's talk about time. 

One important thing to remember about time is that we really don't have a lot of it here on Earth. What's 60 or 80 or even 120 years compared to ETERNITY? And we don't even know if we'll live to 60.

"Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." James 4:14 (NIV)

But that doesn't mean we should enjoy ourselves and do whatever "while it lasts." On the contrary, realizing the brevity of life we should strive to do something with it.

"Teach us to number our days,
 that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12 (NIV)

What we need to do is open up our eyes to the numerous opportunities of using the time given us for God's glory. 

"Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is." Ephesians 5:15-17 (NIV)

What, then, should we use time on? I'm taking the following list from what The Dictionary of Bible Themes has on the topic and adding thoughts and some Bible verses. 

1.   Worship and meditation 

Blessed is the one
  who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
  or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
  and who meditates on his law day and night. Psalm 1:1-2 (NIV)

God is SO worthy of our time!!! Let's give it to Him! 

2. Work 

"Six days you shall labor and do all your work," Exodus 20:9 (NIV)

3. Rest 

"but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns." Exodus 20:10 (NIV)

What we sometimes do is give too much time to work. We should not forget to leave a day for rest. 

4. With one's family

"These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIV)

Spending time with family is a good thing too, you know. 

5. In fellowship 

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)

We are to spend time with our fellow believers, spurring each other on. 

But what does all this have to do with GIVING? 

Actually, I was kind of taken by surprise by what The Dictionary of Bible Themes had on giving time. I though it would be more about giving it to the others, using it to help those in need. 

But, brothers and sisters, 

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42 (NIV)

That is NOT to say we shouldn't spend time doing good to others. 

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:9-10 (NIV)

Let us. then, give time to God and to others for that is the will of Him who saved us!

How about you? What do you thinking of giving time? What inspires you to give? In what ways do you already use time to benefit others? Please share!

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