by: Gary L. Hutchens
What should be our focus as to making the most of our time as Christians, pertaining both to our personal lives and to those of this world who are spiritually lost? In the broader view of things, we really have little time. Many texts in God’s word deal with this principle, but two call for particularly careful thoughtfulness in considering how we should use our time (Eph. 5:15-18; Col. 4:3-6). Both texts emphasize making the most of our time, and both admonish using our time wisely. What are some specific steps we can take to use our time wisely, in regards to both our personal spiritual well being and to considering how we can help the lost find salvation?
First, let’s consider our own spiritual growth and development. We need to set our minds such that our lives are centered on faithfully serving God (Col. 3:1-11). Everything we do should be directed by our determination to live for God. His will should be our will. His teachings should serve as our daily road map to guide us through each day. Our goal above all goals should be to get to Heaven, and the way we live our lives each day should reflect that.
We need to implement practices that will help us in this focus. Prayer should be a regular, frequent part of our daily living (1 Thess. 5:17). We should pray for God’s blessings, wisdom guidance and protection. We should pray for patience and strength, for the needs of others and for the lost. And remember to give God thanks for all that He does for us (1 Thess. 5:18).
Studying God’s word is crucial to our spiritual health (2 Tim. 3:15-17). Not just the Bible study that takes place in church services either. We need to regularly study the Bible in our private lives as well (2 Tim. 2:15). We need to be diligent students of The Book!
We should commit our time so as to be at all church services possible. In those gatherings we gain spiritual strength and encouragement through what we learn as we study together with our spiritual family, through the worship in which we take part and by knowing that we have openly demonstrated our dedication to God. We also strengthen and encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ gathered together with us (Heb. 10:23-25). Arriving on time, or a little early, gives us extra time to interact on a personal basis with our spiritual family and with visitors.
We also need to consider ways in which we can touch the hearts of those lost in sin (Matt. 28:19-20). We could make it a point to personally talk to people each week and encourage them to attend a worship service or Bible class. We could hand them a tract and ask them to read it. We could even enroll them in a Bible correspondence course. Some people are ready to study the Bible one on one, if asked. Many will respond positively if approached positively. We could leave tracts laying around many places where we go, such as doctors’ offices, restaurants, etc.
Congregationally, there are many methods of reaching out to the lost that we need to consider. But before we can do anything really effective, personally or congregationally, we must be dedicated enough to try. God only expects us to do our part. We plant and water, then we step aside and let God bring the increase (1 Cor. 3:5-7). But the planting and watering- our part- have to come first. We only have so much time. We need to make up our minds to use it for the Lord. It won’t happen by accident, it is up to us…
Gary L. Hutchens