Tuesday, December 29, 2015

5 ways to invest your time in 2016

Picture by Ryan McGuire
Time is the stuff of life!

In about 36 hours 2015 will be over. It is sobering to think that by the end of December 31 you and would have lived through 8,760 hours. 8,760 hours. That's how many hours are in a year.

If someone handed you a check for $8,760.00 and gave you complete freedom to spend it, how would you spend it?
The older I get, the more I believe that time is more precious than money. Each of us is given a limited supply. And while we don't know exactly how much time we will be given on this earth, few are foolish enough to believe our time here is endless.
But sometimes we act like it is.
If we truly believe our time here is limited, would we waste one day or one hour of it?
Would we waste a day in anger?
Would we waste time in mindless activities?
Would we waste our time living in the past mistakes and failures?
The way we spend our time is the way we spend our lives. Time is the most precious commodity we have. It is the priceless currency that God has given for doing the work of his kingdom. Time also happens to be one of the most difficult things we have to manage. We all have the same amount of time on a daily basis; the question is how we will spend it … or whether we will waste it.
So for 2016, how about taking a slice of your 8,760 hours in 2016 and devote some of it to five simple but formative activities:
-Be devoted to worship. The early Christians devoted themselves to worship. Not just Christmas and Easter, or once per week. Worship calls us to daily engagement with God. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise (Psalm 100:4). Invest in daily, personal worship, and also in weekly, corporate worship with your church.
-Serve. Follow Jesus closely and you immediately notice that he did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many
-Read Scripture (not a devotional book) for spiritual growth. Get a partner and begin reading the bible for insight and personal transformation through obedience to Christ. For the last 6 years I have been using Youversion as an incredible resource for ways to read through all or some of the bible.
-Pray daily as a way to grow in intimacy with Christ. Ultimately, our greatest need is for connection with God. As St. Augustine put it, "You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you." Prayer is about love not spiritual bragging rights. We pray in order to establish friendship and boldness with Christ.
-Join a small group. For accountability, support, a place to live out the challenges of discipleship, join a group. Reading Genesis 4: 1-16, it became clear to me that Cain could mercilessly kill Able because with utter detachment he said to God, "Am I my brother's keeper?" Cut off from fellowship and accountability to God and others, he could not feel his brother's pain. He could only feel and see his own concerns. Join a small group to know and be known.
Added together you would be spending less than 10% of your time check, but the return on investment will be huge. Remember, tomorrow is made by our choices today!

Happy New year!