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June 20, 2022 — Many Damascus Roads?

“You remember the story of what happened on the Road to Damascus,” Stan asked me one morning, “when the man known as Saul of Tarsus had a dramatic encounter with Jesus?”

“A little,” I responded. “Isn’t that where Jesus asked Saul something about why he was persecuting Him?”

“Yeah,” Stan said, “that was part of it. Quick recap. Saul, who later had his name changed and became the apostle Paul, was on his way to Damascus to harass Jews who believed in Jesus. There was a blinding light that knocked Saul to the ground. And out of that light Jesus asked him why he was persecuting Him. Jesus not only interrupted Saul’s journey to Damascus, He interrupted his eternal destination, his life, and everything about him.”

“Dramatic conversion,” I commented. “You ever have anything like that?”

“That sort of dramatic conversion?” Stan asked. “No, my conversion was very gradual. It took me a long time to accept the truth, but once I got to that point and surrendered my life to Christ, it was dramatic in the sense that suddenly I was no longer going to be separated from God for eternity.”

“But,” he continued, “there definitely was and can be a holdover and continuation of my separation from God on this side of eternity.”

“Why?”

“Lots of reasons,” Stan replied. “None of them very good. But remember I’m a slow learner and it took me long time to come to the realization that my acceptance of the finished work of the cross that changed my eternal destination was going to result in many Damascus Road experiences for me.”

“Many Damascus Road experiences?” I said. “How could there be ‘many’?”

“Each time I persecute Jesus by my thoughts, behavior, words, and everything else that reflects anything about my relationship with Him that’s contrary to what’s intended, He asks me the same question.”

“Why you are persecuting Him?” I replied. “Is that the question?”

“It is,” Stan said. “And I can only hear that question if I’m open to listening.”

“Then what?”

“What do you think?” Stan asked.

“How about confession and repentance?”

“Good answer, my friend,” Stan replied. “Kind of like what Paul said about not being disobedient to the heavenly vision.”

“Not being disobedient?” I said. “A double-negative equals a positive, so I guess that means being obedient.”

“Another good answer,” Stan replied, “but it’s to be more than just a guess!”

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Bible verses to consider:

And it came about that as he journeyed he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” Acts of the Apostles 9:3-4.

And it came about that as I was on my way, approaching Damascus about noontime, a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all around me, and I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And I answered, “Who art Thou Lord?” And He said to me, “I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.” Acts of the Apostles 22:6-8.

I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision. Acts of the Apostles 26:19.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for how you interrupted my journey of being separated from you by your free and gracious provision of life with you eternally when my time here is completed. Thank you, too, for the ways you want to interrupt my walk apart from you on this side of eternity. I confess that too often I do walk apart from you. I do that because that is what I choose. Please forgive all the ways in which I persecute you by my thoughts, words, and actions. And please help me in following every step of your lead into the deepest possible relationship where I walk only as you intend. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Have you had a “Damascus Road experience” in the sense that you have accepted God’s provision of life eternally with Him, rather than being eternally separated from Him, when your time here is completed? If you have not accepted God’s provision for that, why? What’s in the way? If you do have the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with not “persecuting” God in Christ on this side of eternity? Are there areas of your life that do “persecute” Jesus, areas in which you sense the need for change? If so, how is that change going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

June 21, 2022 — Which Three Thousand?

“Earlier this morning,” Stan commented, “I was again reading about the early church in the Book of Acts.”

“Any particular part?” I asked.

“Yeah,” Stan replied, “the story of how three thousand people were added to the church on a single day after the apostle Peter gave a powerful message about Jesus and what He had accomplished on the cross.”

“Three thousand coming to faith after a single message of what God had for them,” I commented. “Every pastor’s dream!”

“You got that right!” Stan replied. “But if you will remember, there’s another story in the Bible where something totally different happened to three thousand people because they had rejected what God had for them.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“The golden-calf party,” Stan replied, “that was going on when Moses came down from the mountain with what God had given him to tell the people.”

“The Ten Commandments?”

“That’s it,” Stan said. “And when Moses saw what was going on, three thousand of the disobedient Jews ended up dead.”

“Wow!” I said, “three thousand saved one day, while three thousand were lost another day. That’s quite a contrast.”

“It is, isn’t it?” Stan responded. “I can see that it could make people wonder about the risks and benefits of either rejecting or accepting all that God has for them.”

“Yeah,” I replied. “The question of which group of three thousand to be a part of!”

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Bible verses to consider:

And he (Moses) said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Every one of you, put his sword upon his thigh, and go back and forth from gate to gate in the camp, and kill every man his brother, and every man his friend, and every man his neighbor.’” So the sons of Levi did as Moses instructed, and about three thousand men of the people fell that day. Exodus 32:27-28.

And with many other words he (Peter) solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousand souls. Acts of the Apostles 2:40-41.

The Lord is not slow about His promises, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your provision of life with you eternally when it’s time through the finished work of the cross. Thank you for those who brought that truth to me (and me to that truth) so I could accept it as your free and gracious gift. Thank you I was and am able to know the truth so I will no longer be eternally separated from you. I confess that too often I do not make the effort to tell others the truth so they, too, can have the assurance of salvation and will not perish apart from you. Please forgive me. And please, Father, help me follow every step of your lead in helping other people to leave the group of those perishing and join those who are saved for eternity. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: What do you think of the parallel of the two different groups of three thousand people, those who perished and those who were saved? Have you left the one group to be a part of the other by accepting what God has for you? If no, why? If you are a Christian, how are you dong with telling others that they do not have to perish, but can be saved? If you sense the need for change in your commitment to doing that, how is that change going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

June 22, 2022 — Giving God the Credit

“Earlier this morning,” Stan commented, “I was reading in the Book of Acts and I was reminded of two essential things about my faith walk. One I am to do and one I am not to do.”

“One to do and one not to do,” I repeated. “What were you reading?”

“It was about two of the apostles, Paul and Barnabas, who were in Antioch working with the early church. A lot of great things were happening, but as is likely whenever people are involved in anything, a dispute arose.”

“I’ve seen that lots of times,” I replied, “as soon as good things are happening in the church, Satan tries to cause some problems. Is that what was going on?”

“I don’t know about Satan’s involvement in this instance,” Stan said, “but you’re right. Satan just hates it when good things are happening with the church and just loves to cause division.”

“In this instance,” he continued, “there were a lot of Gentiles who were coming to faith, and some of the Jewish believers wanted to require that the Gentile believers be circumcised before they could be ‘real Christians’.”

“A little legalism can go a long way in causing a problem,” I commented. “It’s kind of like belief in Jesus alone is not enough. Some people are always saying there has to be more.”

“You’re right,” Stan replied, “but that’s another story for another day. The point here I want to talk about has to do with how Paul and Barnabas handled the situation in the right way, and how too often my tendency is to do it wrong.”

“How so?”

“This was a big issue between the Jewish believers and the Gentiles who were coming to faith,” Stan replied. “The matter was so big, in fact, that Paul and Barnabas made their way to Jerusalem to talk with the elders and leaders about the question.”

“It wasn’t something they wanted to decide on their own,” I commented.

“That’s right,” Stan said, “and it’s how Paul and Barnabas handled the situation in Jerusalem that’s important for me to remember.”

“What’d they do?” I asked.

“They reported on all the great things going on in the church in Antioch,” Stan replied. “And they pointed directly at what God was doing, not anything they were doing on their own.”

“Oh,” I said, “they didn’t pat themselves on the back and point to themselves for the great things that were happening. Is that it?”

“Exactly,” Stan replied, “and if I’m not careful, my tendency is to take credit for what God is doing.  I tend to think too highly of myself and think abut how God must be really pleased with what I’m doing for Him.”

“Versus what?” I asked.

“Giving God all the credit for whatever He’s doing in and through me.” Stan said. “All for him; none for me.”

“Seems to me,” he continued that my role is to be surrendered to what God wants to do. If He wants to say, ‘Well done,’ I’m okay with that, but I don’t think it’s my role to point to myself and say anything about what I have done for God. I am to be a conduit for whatever He wants to do, and I am to give Him all the credit.”

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Bible verses to consider:

And when they arrived at Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. Acts of the Apostles 15:4.

And when they had arrived and gathered the church together, they began to report all things that God had done with them and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. Acts of the Apostles 14:27.

And all the multitude kept silent, and they were listening to Barnabas and Paul as they were relating what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. Acts of the Apostles 15:12.

I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:5.

For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. Romans 12:3.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, that you want to do your will and your work in and through me. I confess that too often I want to take personal credit for what you are doing. Please forgive the foolishness of trying to exalt myself by taking any credit for what you do. Please help me in denying myself and in setting aside my self-focus and desire to be recognized by others.  Help me in giving you all of the credit, honor, and glory for what you are doing.  All for you, none for me.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Think on this: Do you believe you cannot enter into God’s eternal presence by anything you do other than accept His free and gracious gift of life eternally with Him when it’s time? If you do believe that, have you accepted that gift? If no, why? If you are a Christian, how are you doing with giving God all of the credit, honor, and glory for whatever He chooses to do in and through you? If you sense there may be a need for change in how you give all credit to God, and take none for yourself, how is that change going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

June 23, 2022 — Waiting for God — or Waiting on Him?

“Where’s Ricky?” Stan asked the new employee who came to our table one morning.

“Not sure,” he replied. “Some special errand Cook had for him. He’s supposed to be back in a couple of days.”

“Okay,” Stan said. “What’s your name?”

“Jason,” he replied, “and I’m going to be waiting on you this morning. What can I get you?”

After we ordered our coffee and breakfast, and Jason left to take care of it, Stan said, “Did you hear the spiritual significance of what that young man just said?”

“Spiritual significance?” I said.  “All he did was ask what we wanted for breakfast!”

“Not the breakfast order part,” Stan replied. “The ‘waiting on us’ part.”

“The waiting on us part?” I said. “How does that have any spiritual significance?”

“The difference between waiting for God and waiting on Him.”

“So,” I said, “the difference between ‘on’ and ‘for’?

“That’s right,” Stan replied. “There are way too many times in my life when my focus is completely on waiting for God to do something, usually something I want Him to do for me.”

“However,” he continued, “it seems to me that what God really wants is for me to be waiting on Him, in the sense of serving Him.”

“So,” I replied, “the difference between focusing on yourself in waiting for God to do something for you, verses focusing on God to see how you can do something for Him. Is that it?”

“Exactly,” Stan replied. “Something for God and for His kingdom while I do another kind of waiting.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“While I wait for the train that’s going to take me to glory!” Stan replied with a smile.

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Bible verses to consider:

Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.  Isaiah 40:31.

And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only’.” Luke 4:8. (See also Deuteronomy 6:13).

If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. John 14:15.

So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, that you want me to serve you. I confess that too often I am more interested in what you will do for me rather than what I can do for you and for your kingdom. Please forgive the foolishness of living this life that way. And please help me in following every step of your lead into an ever-deepening personal relationship where my focus is only on how I can serve you and your kingdom. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Is God waiting for you to arrive in heaven in the sense that you have accepted His free and gracious provision of life with Him for eternity when your time here is completed? If you have not done that, why? What’s in the way? If you do have the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing in serving Him and His kingdom on this side of eternity? Do you too often find yourself waiting for God to do something for you, rather than focusing on what you can do for Him? If you sense the need for change, how is that change going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

June 24, 2022 — Sowing in the Best Way Possible

“The other day,” Stan commented one morning, “I was again reading what is referred to in the Bible as the parable of the sower.”

“Where Jesus talked about the different kinds of soil for the word of God?”

“That’s it,” Stan replied. “And as I was focusing on what Jesus said and thinking about the actual act of sowing, it occurred to me that the parable can apply not only to where the seed falls, but how much of it is sowed.”

“How much is sowed? In what way?”

“Let me give you an example from the person I know best,” Stan replied.

“As I have told you many times,” he continued, “I was very slow in coming to faith.”

“Yeah,” I replied, “I think you described yourself as a tough nut to crack!”

“That’s it,” Stan said. “And there was one point in my life when a well-meaning friend gave me a Bible and said I should read it.”

“So,” I replied, “he was sowing God’s word. Good for him!”

“He meant well,” Stan said, “but it was too much. It overwhelmed me. I started to read it, beginning in Genesis, but was quickly discouraged because there was too much for me to take in. I simply didn’t understand and got nothing out of it.”

“So you stopped?” I asked.

“I did,’ Stan replied. “I put the Bible on the shelf and didn’t take it down again for a long time.”

“What caused you to take it down again?”

“Another friend,” Stan said. “But this time the person came alongside of me and helped me to understand and eventually to accept the truth of God’s word.”

“So you came to faith through the help of the second friend?”

“That’s right,” Stan replied. “And my experience has helped me with my approach to others. It’s one thing to sow God’s word in a way that will produce fruit, while it’s a totally different thing to dump God’s word on another person and expect it to make a difference.”

“Isn’t that kind of what discipleship and discipling another person are supposed to be all about? Coming alongside of them?”

“Sure seems like that to me!” Stan replied with a smile. “Since we’re going to reap what we sow, we just as well sow in the best way possible!”

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Bible verses to consider:

The parable of the sower. Matthew 13:3-23.

Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. Luke 8:11.

And when Philip had run up, he heard him (the Ethiopian eunuch) reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Acts of the Apostles 9:30-31.

Now this I say, that he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully. 2 Corinthians 9:6.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for those people who sowed your word so I could understand, accept, and embrace it. I confess that too often I do not seek to sow your word in ways so that others can accept and embrace all you have available to them: life eternally with you when it’s time, along with the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus before then. Please, Father, help me to sow your word just as you intend so it will make a difference for you and for your kingdom. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Has God’s word been sown in your life in the sense you have accepted His free and gracious provision of life with Him in eternity when it’s time? If no, why? If you are a Christian, how are you doing in having God sow His word in your life so you draw ever closer to Him? And how are you doing in sowing His word so it makes an eternal difference to and for others? As well as you would like? As well as God wants? If you sense the need for change in how you view the sowing of God’s word — in your life and in the lives of others — how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

Refilling the Coffee Cup

Stans’s main takeaway for each day this past week:

Monday, June 20 (Many Damascus Roads?) — Are we persecuting Jesus by our thoughts, words, and deeds?

Tuesday, June 21 (Which Three Thousand?) — We can be a part of the group that accepts what God has for us or a part of the group that rejects it. It’s a matter of choice. Choose wisely.

Wednesday, June 22 (Giving God the Credit) — Our role is to acknowledge and give glory to God for what He does in and through us, not take credit ourselves.

Thursday, June 23 (Waiting for God — or Waiting on Him?) — Too often we wait for God to do something, usually for us, while we are to wait on Him in the sense of serving Him.

Friday June 24 (Sowing in the Best Way Possible) — Taking a cue from the parable of the sower, are we sowing God’s word in the best way possible so it yields fruit?

To access the complete postings, go to http://www.waiting4thetrain.com

June 27, 2022 — It’s a Personal Decision

“As I’ve mentioned before,” Stan said one morning, “I was not raised in a Christian home. We always went to church, but, in retrospect, it’s clear I wasn’t a Christian.”

“Probably a lot of people like that,” I commented.

“That’s right,” Stan replied. “And there’s probably a lot of people in the exact opposite situation.”

“What exact opposite?”

“Being raised in a Christian home and not being a Christian,” Stan replied. “In fact, I was talking with a neighbor about that just the other day.”

Continuing, he added, “My neighbor’s testimony is that her parents were Christians, committed believers, but that she finally had to come to the conclusion she was trying to live off of borrowed faith and it wasn’t working very well.”

“Borrowed faith?”

“Yeah,” Stan replied. “People have to make their own personal decision about believing. What someone else believes doesn’t make any difference other than being a good witness.”

“That kind of reminds me of something I once heard a pastor say,” I commented.

“What’s that?” Stan asked.

“Just because a person is born in a Christian home it doesn’t mean the person is a Christian any more than being born in a garage makes that person a car!”

“That’s the point!” Stan exclaimed. “Each one of us has to come to the point of making a personal decision. No one can make it for us. It’s just like the person described in the Bible as the ‘rich young ruler’.”

“How so?”

“He came to Jesus and asked Him, ‘What must I do to obtain eternal life?’ It was a personal question about what he had to do. Each one of us has to ask the same question.”

“Ask, get the answer, and then make a decision,” I replied. “Is that it?”

“That’s it,” Stan said. “It’s a personal decision that each person has to make. I can’t speak for you or for anyone else. I can only speak for myself.”

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Bible verses to consider:

And behold, one came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” Matthew 19:16.

Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve. Joshua 24:15.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16.

If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. Romans 10:9-10.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for your provision of life eternally with you when my time here is done.  Thank you for those who brought that truth to me (and me to that truth) so I could choose to accept your free and gracious provision. I confess that too often I do not seek to help others know the truth so they can choose you over everything else. Please forgive me for that, and please, Father, help me follow every step of your lead so I do help others choose you and your kingdom. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Have you chosen to accept God’s free and gracious provision of life eternally with Him when it’s time? If no, why? Do you not know it’s a free gift, but you have to accept it personally? If you are a Christian, how are you doing with telling others the truth of God’s provision so they can also choose all He has available? If you sense the need for any change in when and how you present to others the truth of the gospel, how is that change going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

June 28, 2022 — Thinking Again About Romans 8:28

“The other day,” Stan commented one morning, “I was looking at some photos from when we lived in the old town, and there was a picture of a friend that brought back some memories.”

“Photos can do that,” I replied. “Was he a good friend?”

“I wouldn’t call him a ‘good friend’,” Stan said, “but he was one of those people who can have an impact on a person’s faith walk without even meaning to do so.”

“How so?” I asked.

“He went to church,” Stan Replied, ” but there wasn’t a lot of evidence that he was a believer.”

“I’ve seen and I still see lots of those people!” I responded. “But you mentioned your friend had an impact on your faith walk. How could that be if he wasn’t even a believer?”

“Romans 8:28,” Stan responded.

“The ‘all things’ verse?” I asked. “How?”

“I remember clearly one day after church,” Stan replied, “my friend said something about that he thought Romans 8:28 was just some wishful thinking; kind of a cop-out or a fairly tale response for when things don’t go well.”

“Did you ask him to explain that?” I asked.

“I did,” Stan replied,”and that’s when what he said really showed me something.”

“What?”

“In kind of an arrogant way,” Stan said, “he told me that saying that all things work together for good is simply not true. Not everything is good.”

“So,” I said, “your friend didn’t get the whole thing, the parts about God causing all things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose?”

“That’s right,” Stan replied. “Seems to me that there are a lot of people who don’t get the two qualifications of loving God and being called by Him. In addition, I think there’s another essential part of this that can have a real impact on a person’s faith walk.”

“What’s that?”

“The first three words in the verse,” Stan replied. “The part that says, ‘And we know.’ Seems to me that If we don’t know it, we can’t believe it and we can’t live it.”

“To me,” he continued, “this falls under the umbrella of what Jesus said about knowing Him and God the Father.”

“If a person knows Jesus and God the Father,” I said, “that person is apt to know that God does, in fact, cause all things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called. Is that it? Is that the point?”

“That’s what it seems to me,” Stan replied. “If I don’t know God and if I’m not continually seeking to know Him in an ever-deepening personal relationship, it would be easy to not know what God can and will do with everything He brings into my life.”

“To not know,” I said, “versus really knowing and being able to rely on the truth. Seems like that kind of knowing could really free us from being concerned about the things that come at us in this life.”

“Could really free?” Stan asked with a smile. “How about does really free?”

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Bible verses to consider:

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28.

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Romans11:29.

And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. John 17:3.

Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed in Him, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for the truth that you do cause all things to work together for good to those who love you, to those who are called according to your purpose. I confess that too often I mouth the words without really believing that “all things” can be and are for the good you want. Please forgive that foolishness. And please help me to know and to live the truth in ways that will manifest the truth to those in the watching world so they, too, will want to love and to be called by you. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Do you know and believe the truth of Romans 8:28? Do you sometimes find it difficult to see how God could possibly make something good out of what’s happening in your life? If so, what’s that all about? If you sense the need for change in how you view what the apostle Paul wrote, that you need to know the truth, and that you need to love God and to be called according to His purpose, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

Mistaken Post

Due to an error with the blog host, some of you may have already received a post dated for July 11. It has been deleted from the blog site to be posted on the right date, Sorry for any confusion!

S. Tory Teller

June 29, 2022 — Time Zips By

“You know,” I commented to Stan one morning, “it seems like it was just yesterday that we celebrated Christmas, and now we’re headed into summer.”

“Yeah,” Stan replied. “It’s very common to sense that time is going faster and faster. Before we know it, it will be time to get on the train!”

“I can sure relate to that,” I said. “It seems that the days, weeks, months, and years whiz by faster and faster. And I wonder where the time went. I look in the mirror and wonder where the young person went!”

“In one of the apostle Paul’s letters,” Stan replied, “he addressed the question of time in a way that helps keep me focused on what’s important.”

‘What’d he write?” I ask.

“In his letter to the church in Ephesus, which certainly applies to each one of us today, he encouraged the readers to make the most of their time.”

“Make the most of their time,” I repeated, “that could mean a lot of things.”

“I think you’re right,” Stan replied, “but, to me, the primary emphasis on making the most of my time that God has given me is to use it for His purposes.”

“As in spreading the truth of the gospel so people know they can spend eternity in God’s presence when it’s time?”

“Certainly that,” Stan replied, “along with the truth of eternal life that John expressed in the seventeenth chapter of his gospel.”

“Where he wrote that eternal life is knowing God the Father and Jesus the Son?”

“That’s it,” Stan replied. “Seems to me that God has freely and graciously given us the gift of life eternally with Him when it’s time, and He wants us to pursue knowing Him and Jesus for as long as He keeps us on this side of eternity.”

“And what are we supposed to do with that knowledge?” I asked.

“Looks to me,” Stan replied, “like that’s the whole point of discipleship. If I pursue knowing Jesus and God the Father, I will know how I am to make the most of the time I have been given.”

“Regardless of how long that time is,” I commented.

“You got it, my friend,” Stan replied with a smile.

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Bible verses to consider:,

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.  Ephesians 5:15-16.

Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Colossians 4:5.

And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:9.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for the free and gracious gift of life eternally with you when my time here is completed. Thank you, too, for the time you have given me while I remain on this side of eternity. I confess that too often I do not make the best use of the time you have given me. I do that because I choose to use that time pursuing things other than what you have for me. Please forgive that foolish waste of time. And please, Father, help me in following every step of your lead so I do choose to make the best use of that time for you and your kingdom. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Think on this: Have you accepted God’s free and gracious provision of life with Him in eternity when your time here is completed? If no, why? Do you not know that there is no better use of your time, and that eternity is a long time to spend separated from God? If you are a Christian and have the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing in using the time you  have been given for this side of eternity? Are you making the most of that time by seeking to help build the kingdom? If you sense the need for change in how you spend your time, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?