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Sabbatical Reflections

June 27, 2017

The old riddle goes ‘What goes up but never comes down?’

Your age!

I have been thinking a lot about time! I am having a 6 week sabbatical presently and thinking about how to use my time. I have also celebrated my birthday and reflections on the time I have left. And so I have used the acronym of time to express a few thoughts.

Treasure it – time is most definitely a gift. It is a gift of God – Psalm 139v16. So do you treasure time? Do you thank God for the time he has given you in the places and with the people you spend time with – he has determined that (Acts 17:26-28). So treasure the present and the people you spend it with, it is God’s gift for you in this season of your life. Or do you abuse time? By not valuing it – overworking, wishing your life away, not honouring the people you share your life with today?

Intentionality – are you intentional with how you use the gift of time or do you let it just fly by? The book of Proverbs compares the unintentional slug to the intentional and driven Ant – Proverbs 6:6-11. Do you rely on others to determine how you use your time or do you think ahead and plan/dream for the future. Where do you want to be in 5 years time? What do you need to do today to get there? The bible tells us that God has already prepared good works for us to do with our time (Ephesians 2:10) – how intentional are you in discovering these? For us as Christians how intentional are you in living your time for the will of God (1 Peter 4:2) and progressing as a Christian?  (Heb 5:12). How intentional are you with your time with your spouse, children, family? 

Manage it – simply being intentional can be overwhelming. We all live busy lives and more often that not time controls us so we are not intentional. We need to learn to manage our time or as Colossians 4:5 says to make the most of every opportunity. We can only do that if we are not exhausted or distracted. So managing our time means getting sufficient rest, sleep, physical exercise, time to eat properly as well as prioritising and diarising! Take control, make decisions on how you will use your time, learn to say no so you can make the most of your yes’s! For us as Christian we make the most of every opportunity when we lean to devote ourselves to prayer (Colossians 4:2) so that we can fulfil verse 5 and make the most of every opportunity. Do you have set times of prayer & bible reading.

Eternity – we all know we have limited time but the bible also tells us that God has placed eternity in our hearts (Eccl 3:11) – and so treasuring time means preparing for eternity. How? 1. ensuring that we have been reconciled to Christ because ‘now is the time of God’s favour, today is the Day of salvation’ (2Cor 6:2). 2. By prioritising meeting together Sunday by Sunday to worship because eternity is coming (Heb 10:25) 3. By telling others that Jesus has made it possible to live for eternity – both the quality and quantity of forvever! Because today is the day they can choose a forever! Is Evangelism one of your intentional uses of time? If not you are not treasuring time nor preparing for eternity!

My prayer is that as you reflect on this, you will treasure time, live time and not just exist in time.

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