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Girlfriends in God - Sept. 17, 2009

  • 2009 Sep 17
  • COMMENTS

September 17, 2009 
Learning to Invest Time 
Mary Southerland

Today's Truth 
Psalm 90:12 "Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom" (NLT).

Friend To Friend 
Every minute of every day is either wasted or invested. Since the bible contains over 400 verses about time, we can safely assume that time management is important to God and is, in fact, a spiritual discipline.  We not only need to view time as an eternal investment, but as an immediate one as well. One of the most valuable investments we can make is to spend time in solitude. 

I once read an African proverb and prayer, "Lord Jesus, make my heart sit down". Solitude is deliberately and diligently setting aside time to "sit down" at the feet of Jesus.  It's in those still, quiet moments of solitude at his feet that we hear God's voice and gain strength and wisdom for the journey ahead.  In order to practice solitude, we must learn how to budget time. 

It's been said that women must balance their time more carefully than men because women don't have wives. The fact is we're all responsible for how we spend the time God has given us. Time is a precious gift!  Every morning we are credited with 86,400 seconds.  No balance is carried into the next day and every night erases what we fail to use. If we use it in the wrong way, that time is lost forever and cannot be reclaimed.  Un-budgeted time gravitates to our weaknesses, is stolen by others or wasted on the unimportant.  We must budget time, just as Jesus did. 

Luke 2:52 "Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men" (NIV).

At the age of 12, Jesus traveled to Jerusalem with his parents for the annual Passover Celebration. When his parents began the long trip home, they didn't miss their son at first and when they did, assumed he was traveling with friends.

Jesus was found in the temple, teaching. My first reaction would probably have been pride in the fact that religious scholars and veteran teachers were actually listening to my young son. I would most likely have encouraged Jesus to continue, basking in the looming recognition and acclaim. Instead, Jesus returned home where, for 18 to 20 years, he simply grew. Luke 2:52 tells us Jesus grew mentally, physically, spiritually and socially. In Luke 3, Jesus begins his ministry, the most powerful ministry ever known.  In other words, Jesus Christ budgeted his time wisely, resulting in a balanced life of fulfilled purpose.  We can live the same kind of life - if our priorities are right.

Set priorities:  Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us "there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven" (NLT).  We either set our life priorities or allow circumstances and other people to set them. 

Schedule priorities:  There is a right time and a right way to carry out right priorities.  Ecclesiastes 8:5-6 warns, "For a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure. For there is a proper time and procedure for every delight" (NASB). We must schedule time for solitude.  We must set aside portions of each day to spend with God. 

Stick to priorities: In Ephesians 5:16, the apostle Paul teaches us to "make the most of every opportunity" (NIV).  Every challenge will either wreck or affirm our priorities.  Right priorities stand firm in the face of change.

One day, we will all stand before the Father and give an account of how we invested our time. Today, examine your time management habits in light of eternity. Initiate schedule changes that honor God.  Make a new commitment to invest your time wisely. 

Let's Pray

Father, I recognize my need for time alone with You. I lay down my schedule, my agenda and anything else in my life that would keep me from that time.  Please forgive me for the way I often squander away the minutes, hours and days of my life. Give me the power to invest time wisely and the wisdom to live a balanced life. 

In Jesus' name, 
Amen.

Now It's Your Turn  

  • Choose to practice solitude - today.  
  • Select a place to spend time in solitude - today.  
  • Lay down your agenda.   
  • Focus on God and listen for His voice.  
  • Read and memorize Psalm 37:7.  
  • Ask yourself the following questions and use the answers to shape a plan for regular solitude:

Why am I afraid of silence?

What is the greatest obstacle to solitude in my life?

What steps do I have to take in order to remove those obstacles?

What do I hope to gain from time spent in solitude?

More From The Girlfriends 
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