For “Scripture Sunday”:
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH ALL YOUR
“How sad it would be to have God say, “That’s all you accomplished with the years of life I gave you?”
Our time is our life, and how we spend it shapes our character, our happiness, our success and our future. How does God want us to spend our time?
A few years ago an African friend making her first trip to a Western nation visited our home. She observed my wife working in the house and preparing dinner. She was amazed to see one labor-saving device after the other: an electric stove, a large refrigerator and freezer, a microwave oven, a garbage disposal, a dishwasher, a washer and dryer, and a vacuum cleaner.
Finally, she turned to my wife in astonishment and asked, “What do you do with all your time?” Most of our friend’s day, every day, was taken up with performing by hand the tasks accomplished by our appliances. She couldn’t imagine having so much free time.
All our time?
It’s an interesting question to consider: What do we do with all our time?
We may not feel like it, but people today have more free time than ever before. For most of human history, people had to spend almost every waking moment providing food, clothing and shelter for themselves and their families. It is still that way in much of the world.
Yet, according to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Labor, Americans over the age of 15 average more than five hours of free time a day. That’s almost a third of the time we’re awake! And, according to the same report, most of that unprecedented leisure time is used for entertainment: television, surfing the Web, video games and so on.
Free time: a blessing or a curse?
The way some people use their free time gets them into trouble. Geoffrey Chaucer, in the 14th century, is credited with being the first to say, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” The more modern expression that someone has “too much time on his hands” usually indicates he’s done or is going to do something stupid or wrong.
It’s important to carefully consider how we use our free time and on what we should spend it. Our lives are composed of time, so how we spend our time is how we spend our lives. How does our use of free time affect us? Are there leisure activities a Christian should avoid? Does the Bible give any guidance on how we should use our free time?
What entertains us, changes us
Jesus corrected the Pharisees many times for their hypocrisy—attempting to appear good on the outside while their hearts were corrupt.
He said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also” (Matthew 23:25-26).
Jesus also explained that desiring something illicit in our minds is a transgression of God’s law even if we don’t act on the thought: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).
So it is vital to keep our minds and hearts clean and pure. This means a Christian should avoid any kind of entertainment that would cause him or her to desire to violate God’s law and way of life.
Today people who wouldn’t dream of consorting with drug dealers, assassins and prostitutes spend hundreds of hours simulating that kind of life in extremely realistic games, movies or books. They listen to catchy song lyrics that unconsciously imprint their minds with wrong ideas about sexuality. Even bad virtual company can corrupt good habits.
Almost all the young barbarians who have committed school shootings, from Columbine to Sandy Hook, were frequent players of graphically violent video games called first-person shooters, where the players practice shooting lifelike people over and over. This doesn’t mean everyone who plays such games will actually kill, but it does indicate the games have a definite and negative psychological impact on players.
God set the pattern by mandating one day of rest time each week, the Sabbath day, for us to deepen our relationship with Him, with our family and with other Christians. This shows the importance of taking time to reflect on life, to take stock and to verify that we are pursuing what is most important in life.
The Bible tells us to use our time wisely and with great care. “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16). To redeem the time means to make the most of it, to invest each minute in quality activities, not junk. It means to understand that our life is composed of time and we have a limited amount of it available to us during which we have important spiritual goals to achieve.” Complete article at: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/change/christian-conversion/what-do-you-do-with-all-your-time/
An Amazing Fact: “Everyone has a blind spot in their field of vision because of how nerve fibers pass through the retina and out of the eye. The octopus has no blind spot since the nerve fibers pass behind the retinas of their eyes.
The third chapter of Proverbs lists six commands for us to follow. It also gives us reasons for obeying these instructions. The fourth exhortation in our text for this morning starts with, “Do not be wise in your own eyes.” This same directive can be found in several places in Proverbs, most often in reference to fools (Proverbs 12:15; 26:5, 12). What does it mean to be wise in your own eyes?
Those who are wise in their own eyes have a spiritual blind spot. They can be arrogant and have an inflated estimation of their own opinions. Such people are proud, overconfident, and closed to input from others. Solomon’s admonition really builds on what comes before in verse 5—“Trust in the Lord.” In other words, don’t trust in your own wisdom. Acknowledge God in everything you do and He will bless you.
Our text promises health and strength when we seek the Lord’s ways. Saul, the first king of Israel, is a prime example of someone who was wise in his own eyes. His position as leader of God’s people went to his head. He began to believe that his opinions were always right … and woe to anyone who would dare cross him! This is why he tried to kill David.
When the Lord instructed Saul to utterly destroy the Amalekites, the arrogant king did not follow God’s command. When Samuel confronted the king for disobeying, he insisted he had not transgressed the order. Saul thought so much of himself that he became blind to his own sins—and he ultimately fell on his own sword
The end result of being wise in our own eyes leads us to separate ourselves from God and, therefore, to self-destruction. When we are independent of the Lord, it ends in detachment from the One who gives life. Because of his blind spots, Saul died tragically. We do not need to follow the same path. Humbly heed God’s commands “for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you.”
“Dear Lord, thank you for your commands. Help me see clearly where I diverge from them. Today I commit to obey your Word and receive the blessings of acknowledging you in all my choices.” Additional reading: Proverbs 3:1–18
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. Proverbs 3:7-8
The Righteousness of God
“But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference.
In the first part of the book of Romans, the apostle Paul showed that both gentiles (Greek ethnos, other nations) and Jews were guilty before God, having broken God’s holy laws and having earned the death penalty. Since God’s laws are good and for our benefit, breaking them is self-destructive and causes us to fall far short of God’s glory. (See more about the fact that “All Have Sinned” in our commentary on Romans 3:23.)
For more on sin and its cure, see our free booklet Change Your Life!”
Another busy week. A lot more trash has been hauled off the two lots of Roni’s that I inherited, and a lot of things could be burned in the burn pile. Then a bit of cleaning up and repair work done around here. My helper and I moved some things out of the old storeroom and moved a great big filing cabinets in there. This is the kind that has five wide sideways metal drawers. I had acquired two of them and had them stored in one of the guest house carports. They make great tool cabinets, but not very good ormaments in the front of a house. We got as far as jacking up the front of the dead “Puddle Jumper” (little Mercury station wagon) with the floor jack and putting stands under it, but no one has looked underneath it yet to see if the battery cable is still attached to the starter. Someone always interrupts just when you are going to do something, and then you get sidetracked.
My helper and his fishing buddy spent another day and night out on their boat, and they didn’t get one bite, though the bass are supposed to be spawning. My helper did buy an old Chevy Blazer, so he can tow the boat down to the lake himnself now.
For the church potluck I made some cabbage sautéed in butter with some shredded carrots, chopped celery and seasonings, and it was a great hit. The main thing is not to cook the cabbage too long, or it becomes tasteless. I also made some organic black bean chili with brown rice which went down well too. I didn’t know that the pastor’s wife was still not able to come to church, so I didn’t leave early and was pounced upon by frantic folks not knowing what to do in the kitchen. They expect either the pastor’s wife or me to be there to ramrod things.
The prepared casserole dishes (Stouffer’s) were brought out of the freezer and put it in the oven, then later on while listening to the sermon over the speaker, I warmed up the veggies and bread. One elder had brought some rump roast in a crockpot, and both my dishes were in crockpots, so those were easy. But someone had brought some fish-stick looking things so those had to be put on a baking sheet and put in the oven with the other casseroles. Once the salads were put out everything was ready, so I went back into the chapel and caught the end of the service in there. Everyone had plenty to eat and as usual, there were left-overs for those who wanted to take some home. I bring some to my neighbor every week.
The Bible readings were Exo. 27:20-30:10, Exe. 43:10-27 and Hebrew 5. The Teaching was about Israel’s enemies and Purim. (The joyous holiday of Purim celebrates the salvation of the Jews from the wicked Haman, through the leadership of Queen Esther and her cousin Mordecai.)
The weather has been mild for winter, occasional rain, and it was a great day.