Wednesday, December 5, 2012

TIME WELL SPENT

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In Christ, Mark

The scriptures. May God bless the reading of His holy word.

We are consumed by Your anger and terrified by Your indignation. You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your presence. All our days pass away under Your wrath; we finish our years with a moan. Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. If only we knew the power of Your anger! Your wrath is as great as the fear that is Your due. Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:7-12

This ends this reading from God's holy word. Thanks be to God.

How do you spend the bulk of your time?

Do you spend it pursuing your desires or do you dedicate your time toward seeking, discovering, and carrying out the Lord’s will?

These are questions worth pondering, especially as we begin to consider life and our purpose in it.

On one hand, if we are focused on our desires, then we are dictating our paths toward what we want. Too often, this leads us into more communion with the world than with the One who made it. And that communion with the world usually ends up with us falling into sin in some way. The world’s desires have a way of drawing us into transgression.

We get a sense that this is exactly what happened to the Israelites when we read the middle verses of the 90th Psalm. Here are the words of the psalmist:

We are consumed by Your anger and terrified by Your indignation. You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your presence. All our days pass away under Your wrath; we finish our years with a moan. Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. If only we knew the power of Your anger! Your wrath is as great as the fear that is Your due. Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Clearly, God doesn’t take well to people turning away from Him and His righteousness, opting for sin instead. The people of Israel were experiencing that first-hand as they found themselves consumed by the Lord’s anger and terrified by His fury. God made it no secret as to why He was upset. He set Israel’s iniquities before them, particularly the sins the people did in secret, perhaps forgetting that God sees everything and nothing is hidden from His sight.

In the midst of this hardship, we read an important lament. For the psalmist writes:

If only we knew the power of Your anger! Your wrath is as great as the fear that is Your due.”

In other words, if the people of Israel had just paused to remember how much God hated sin and how He had brought down His wrath before in response to sinful behavior, then they might have acted differently. In the midst of God’s consequences, they yearned for relief, forgiveness, and restoration – and so they did the only thing they knew to do. They turned back to God, asking Him to “number their days” so that they might “gain a heart of wisdom.”

Friends, perhaps we would be well suited to do this too, to turn to God and ask Him to show us the value of the days He blesses us with and guide us toward seeking and finding His wisdom in the midst of them.

We can only do this if we choose the second option I mentioned earlier, deciding to pursue God’s desires over our own. If we do this, then we will discover a life worth rejoicing over each and every day, a life punctuated by the Lord’s righteousness in everything we do, say, and think. We find the mind and will of God through the Holy Spirit He imparted on us when we chose to believe in Jesus as Savior. And we learn how to travel the Christian walk daily by living as Jesus lived, learning how we are to live by studying His life in the Bible. One thing is certain, Christ Jesus will never lead us wrong and we will find the richest blessings possible during this temporary life on earth while we await the day when we’ll experience the salvation promise He granted.

Yes, we all have time to spend. But it’s how we choose to spend it that matters the most.

Will you choose yourself or the Lord? It’s really as simple a question as that.

If I were you, I would choose the Lord. For I can guarantee you that it will always be time well spent.

Amen.

In Christ,

Mark

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