Search This Blog

09 March 2011

Tithing Your Time

Ephesians 5:15-16, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

It is healthy for a soul to want to do more for God and to be in a perpetual state of personal improvement and spiritual maturity.  There are 168 hours in a week, and if you tithe your time to God as you do your monetary increase then that leaves you with nearly 17 hours a week that you can dedicate solely to God.

Assuming you are faithful in your church attendance, an average service is 2 hours, then you have 11 hours left to invest in your relationship with God in a week, and the real question becomes: "What do you do with these 11 hours of great Spiritual potential?"  Consider these suggestions:

1.      Pray.  You don't have to start out praying an hour a day, but whatever time you invest in prayer will bring results.  Prayer is essential to growing in the Lord.  Learn to intercede, but don't let intercession overwhelm you and rob you of joy.

2.      Read.  Read the Word of God.  Some people spend so much time studying and chasing down rabbit tracks in the Bible that they fail to simply read the Bible.  Pray, clear your mind, then read.  Let His written Word be as food to your spirit and absorb it. Remember: The greatest and final source of self-examination is the Word of God.

3.      Study.  This is the time to follow those rabbit trails. This is the time to look into the deeper meaning of the Scriptures. This is the time to search the Scriptures.

4.      Listen.  Invest time in active listening.  Many people talk to God in prayer, but ignore the richest half of prayer time -- listening to what Jesus is saying to them.  He hears your prayer, but do you hear His?  Prayer is dialogue, not monologue.

5.      Fast.  You want to draw closer to God? Fast one day a week, one meal a day, or three days (typically, 3 days is what it takes to crucify the flesh). You can also fast by setting aside time spent on things that you enjoy (other than food), like the Internet, movies, Starbucks, chocolate, etc.

6.      Praise.  There needs to be some time in your week, or day, where you loudly and demonstratively praise God.  Dance before Him in secret prayer; sing in the Holy Ghost loudly as you're sweeping the carpet; let tears of praise flow. We praise God for what He's done. Shout! Clap! Jump! Sing! Extol!

7.     Worship.  Worship is different than praise.  Study the difference and then apply it to your life.  We worship God for who He is. Lie prostrate before God.

8.      Obey.  Whatever God tells you to do in His Word, in prayer, or by His messengers (Pastor, preachers, teachers...) do!  Remember: God will never ask/tell you to do something that violates His written Word.

Of course, there will be days when you feel like you’ve been with God all day, and others when He seems to be unavailable, but every day is full of potential investment opportunities in your relationship with your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as you tithe your time to Him.

01 March 2011

The Longest Valley In the World - Edwin S. Harper

Audio of Pastor Edwin S. Harper preaching  The Longest Valley In the World

Text: Joel 3:14, "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision."

World Population Clock

Pursuing the Beloved of the Lord

Matthew 5:21-22, "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire."

Raca comes from an old Chaldean word meaning “O empty one, that is, thou worthless (as a term of utter vilification).”[1]

In a time of prayer, I heard the Voice of God speaking to me these words:

Raca. I said, “Don’t call that word on anyone’s life. My children are not Raca. My children are not cast away. My children are not forgotten just because they are not present. Pursue the absent as you sow for new.”

I believe that we are being reminded and called to once again go to the loved ones of God, and the Church, who’ve fallen and restore them.

As we plant seed hoping for a new harvest of souls it is important that we not forget those among us who are weaker.  Just as we put up stakes in a tomato patch to strengthen the plant and keep it from falling, or breaking, we also must remember that what may appear to be a falling member is really a fellow planting of the Lord that we who are spiritual need to edify and reinforce.

The safest place in town should be with the saints of Jesus Christ, and the safest place is with the saints of Jesus Christ.  His love compels us to not only fulfill the great commission, but to also make sure that everyone in the body of Christ makes the trip.

We don’t cutoff a leg because it is broken, or pluck out an eye because it has an irritant in it, and we don’t marginalize people who may be weak among us. In fact, it is in our weakness, the weakness of the body, that our strength is realized for “we then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves” (Romans 15:1).

It is the will of God that we pursue and then bear the infirmities of the weak as we restore the fallen among us. 

What rights have we to condemn, judge, or to cast aside the children of our Lord, when He came into the world, not to condemn His children in it, but to save them? He has provided Himself a ransom for many. He has shown us His mercy, and having believed we walk in grace being patiently taught how to live a sober and godly life.  So, pass those lessons of love on to others who have fallen.

Who among us will strive to not only win a new soul to Jesus, but to also look for our missing brothers and sisters and speak words of love and restoration to them? They're missing, but not forgotten, and just as the father looked for the return of his beloved younger son, we elder brothers should go with the same fervency and intensity that we put into the work of the field to find and bring our missing home.

Determine today, with me, that you will pursue the beloved of the Lord.

[1] According to Strong’s Hebrew & Greek Dictionaries (Entry # G4469)