Thursday, January 12, 2017

Time Given

Daily Gratitude Year 5-Day 12: Today, I will choose to be grateful for the time given.

The day has only 24 hours. The week has 7 days. The year has 12 months. 365 days are all we get most year. How do we decide to spend it.

Studies show that sleep makes a difference. Slowing down to eat, drink more water and breathe can improve our health. Fellowship with good friends can make the journey sweeter. Doing the right thing, just because it is the right thing to do can unburden our souls. JRR Tolkien says it well:
"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."  

Sounds easy, right?  Wrong. The demands never seem to stop. There are so many good things to do. Still, there are often "God assignments" right in front of us. Unplanned, but present... and perhaps even urgent. 

"yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” -James 4:14-15

Last night I was with the high school teens at church and we spent the evening in James. Such a challenging book. So full of encouragement and conviction in equal parts. The most urgent choice is how we choose to spend this moment and this day. What will we do with our time?

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. -Romans 12:1-2

Do we submit to a sovereign king who adores us and was willing to take human for and die to pay our sin debt? Or, do we long for the fleeting things this world has to offer... the things that never satisfy? Do we ask to be made new in a way that clears our vision and sees that there is abundance in the enough of what he provides for this one hour and this one day?

The lesson spoke with a typical "flipped" philosophy that is not what the world teaches. James tries to communicate what it means to live like Christ and for him.  God gifted humans with the ability to choose beyond our nature. We have choice. Do we submit to human nature or do we make a choice outside of what human nature would direct? It is part of our being made "in His image". Free will. Free choice. Freedom. 

When we BOW before the throne of His grace there is a new life born. It is a POWerful and eye opening moment when we find that in "the bow" there is a "Pow!" Recognizing his sovereignty brings intimacy and friendship beyond what we ever imagined.  And then... there is the "Wow" and wonder of watching him move and work in our lives when we humbly offer them to his service. Whatever that service might be. "Bow"..."Pow"...and "Wow"!

In that moment of submission... we no longer feel the burden of how to spend our time. We are granted the joy being in service to the King who wants us to accept him as a Father... a brother... and a constant companion through his Holy Spirit. 

Please note... I have not perfected this. But, each day I am learning a little more. His grace is sufficient. He is my enough. 

Today, I will choose to be grateful for the time given.

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