Slidell Louisiana (LA)
Florence Montana (MT)
Baptists for Life of Wisconsin
Newnan Georgia (GA)
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
Scheduling Your Time for the New Year Have you ever found yourself thinking: “I wish I had more time?” When flying back home from the East Coast, I have sometimes had the ridiculous notion—“This is going to be an awesome day! I gain three hours flying home. I have twenty-seven hours today to get everything done.” By the end of those days, I am glad the Lord, in His wisdom, only gave us twenty-four!The story is told of an old Norwegian who kept very careful notes of his life in a series of notebooks. On his eightieth birthday he pulled all of those notebooks off the shelf and began to compute his life. He was surprised to find that he had spent five of his eighty years waiting for people. He had spent six months tying neckties, three months scolding children, and eight days telling dogs to lie down and be quiet!Each week of our lives brings us one hundred sixty-eight hours. When someone complained to Ralph Waldo Emerson that they did not have enough time, Emerson responded with: “Well, I suppose you have all the time there is.” According to reports, the average person spends fifty-six hours a week for rest and recuperation. We spend approximately twenty-eight hours for eating and personal duties. We use forty to fifty hours each week earning a living. That leaves us with thirty to forty hours every week to use as we please.May I challenge you in this New Year to set some goals with respect to your time for God. One wise man has said: “God has not bowed to our nervous haste nor embraced the methods of our machine age. The man who would know God must give time to Him.”Now, I know that some of you reading this have tried New Year's resolutions in the past and have failed. We have decided we are going to lose fifteen pounds or read fifteen chapters in the Bible a day or memorize fifteen verses a week or stay out soulwinning until someone gets saved. Often, these types of numerical goals leave us frustrated and defeated.In 1 Corinthians 16, the Apostle Paul is letting some folks know that he has set some goals of “time.” In verse five and following he writes: “Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia: for I do pass through Macedonia. And it may be that I will abide, yea, and winter with you, that ye may bring me on my journey whithersoever I go. For I will not see you now by the way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit. But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.” Notice that Paul is not focusing on what he would like to accomplish at these places—only that he is designating on his schedule some “time” for them.Look at your schedule—particularly those thirty to forty hours that are “left over.” Set some goals for the year. How about spending fifteen or thirty minutes a day in Bible reading and prayer, an hour or two a week for soulwinning, ten minutes a day for Scripture memory, or perhaps a couple hours a week for some special family time. I will let you decide your priorities, but if they really are priorities, they are going to require some “time.”When asked what he would do if he knew Christ would return in three days, Evangelist George Whitefield replied, “I would do just what I have scheduled to do.” How will you schedule your time in 2020?
The word steward in the New Testament speaks of one who is given the administration of a master's household. A steward oversees the property and affairs of another person. Concerning our stewardship, God is the Owner and we are the managers.The importance of obedient stewardship cannot be overemphasized. Stewardship over all that God has put into our care is foundational to the matter of our giving. All that we have and enjoy are because of God's grace and goodness. As our Master and Lord, He holds each one of us accountable for how well we manage all He has entrusted to us (Matthew 25:14–30; Romans 14:12).As we maintain this divine perspective, it helps us to understand that our purpose for all of life is to glorify God. We must invest our time, talents, and treasures to bring glory to our Lord. We must fulfill His mission of fulfilling the Great Commission through our personal soulwinning and stewardship. We must invest wisely our time, talents, and treasures in God's kingdom.It is easy to allow the day-to-day demands on our finances to turn our eyes away from this priority of glorifying God. We must give to God's work through the giving of our tithes and offerings. We cannot allow the pressures of our materialistic world to redirect our stewardship.We give to please the Lord and express our love to Him. We give out of obedience to our Lord's commands. We give to lay eternal treasure in Heaven. We give to be a channel of God's abundant blessings to God's work here and around the world. We give to glorify the Lord! Let' s seek to give God the glory through another year of faithful personal stewardship.
The great thing about the Internet is that everything is just a click away. If youâ€™re interested in finding information, all you have to do is key a few words into the address bar of your browser and within seconds you will have all the facts, statistics, articles, and reviews that you might need. If youâ€™re interested in purchasing something, you have only to reach as far as your back pocket to find what you want. Grab your credit card and browse an online marketplace to make instant purchases. You can even order home-delivery pizza from several major franchises directly through their websites.This kind of convenience seems to be the end-goal of every major industry. Fast food restaurants attempt to fill your drive-thru order in as little time as possible. Television networks try to provide you with your favorite TV shows according to your busy schedule through Tivo or On-Demand Pay-Per-View programming. Some stores even allow you to have your groceries delivered directly to your home. By now, your probably beginning to get the idea. Convenience vs. Character Most people have been conditioned by these luxuries into what I like to call an â€˜instant gratification mindset.â€™ People with this mindset always seem to be in a hurry. They want things now, and I mean right now! They are in a hurry to get things they want, in a hurry to make a lot of money through get-rich-quick schemes, in a hurry to see something finished that normally requires a lot of time and hard work and, last but not least, in a hurry to see results.Years ago there was a maxim: Patience is a virtue. A few generations ago, Americans believed that the key to being wealthy was through years of hard work and a solid buy-and-hold investing strategy. Former generations of Americans avoided debt like the plague. They would never have imagined putting a new pair of shoes on a credit card since they wouldnâ€™t have enough money to pay for them for a few more months. They saved and spent only the money they had. Theirs was a generation, not of instant gratification, but of patience. The truth in this principle has nearly been forgotten to todayâ€™s modern society. The World's Influence On Christianity As America continues this downward spiral toward impatience and instant gratification, she seems to be dragging Christianity along for the ride. American Christians seem to typify these same negative character traits leading to a drastic decline in their spirituality and in their ability to positively influence the world.Christians seem to be living their lives in such a hurry that they neglect the very activities that they were commanded to be doing. Many Christians have stopped praying because they didnâ€™t see instant answers. Many Christians have quit soul-winning because they didnâ€™t claim instant conversions. Many churches have compromised on music, dress, and doctrine because standing for truth didnâ€™t bring instant crowds.What are your thoughts? Are you one who patiently obeys and serves God or are you neglecting your responsibilities and your stand for truth because you didnâ€™t see instant results?In Christ,Nicholas Z. Cardot
Powered by Ekklesia-Online