Friday, August 17, 2012

Making the Most of Your Time

“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those
who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”

-Daniel 12:3

                The start of the new school year is here and I have had several young adults ask me how they can further empower their lives and spread the Good News of God to their peers. Reflecting on my past, I realized I was once just like them: unsure about how to draw others to Christ, afraid of rejection and rebuke. Like most people who don’t have the privilege of going to a Christian academy, I wasn’t surrounded by many people who could help me stand strong against enemy attacks. It is still the same in my college years but this past summer has been very eye opening for me. God has shown me so much and has given me so much knowledge to help prepare me for this upcoming year. So, whether you’re male or female, 12 or 62, or in grade school, college, or the work field, the Bible gives us instructions on how we can be good disciples of God.

                First, we must put all fear of mankind aside. This life is fleeting; it’s just a small dash between two numbers on a stone-a hand’s breath. What matters is how we define ourselves and spend that time. The years fly by and our mortal lives will soon be over. Did you live that life for God?

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of
evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in
Heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

-Matthew 5:11-12

                God gives each and every one of us spiritual gifts. He gives us these gifts to help us draw others to Him. He wants us to use them for His works so that everyone may see His grace (1 Peter 4:10-11) and we can save spirits from death.  Ephesians 5:15-16 tells us to be careful and wise in the way we live so that we can make the most of every opportunity thrown our way. In Paul’s letter to Timothy, he gives Timothy instructions on how to be a light for others.

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set
an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity. Until I come,
devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching, and to teaching…
Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone
may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because
if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

-1 Timothy 4:12-13…15-16

                The words that come out of our mouths are very important. We don’t always have to mention Jesus’ name but we should be cautious about what we say. It is not what goes into our mouth that makes us unclean, but rather what comes out (Matthew 15:11). Things that come from the mouth are what consume the mind and the heart. Like 6:5 states that the mouth speaks what is overflowing from the heart.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is
helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

-Ephesians 4:29

“A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is deceitful.”

-Proverbs 14:25

                What we say greatly influences others. Proverbs 10:21 tells us that the lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment. The nourishment is not for the body but for the spirit. The righteous communicate spiritual knowledge and understanding of divine things; these things are the bread of life. Men suffer a spiritual death when they don’t accept and understand Biblical truths.

“The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death.”

-Proverbs 13:14

                How we talk also plays a role in who we impact. If we talk with hesitation or as though we are flustered, we will cause people to doubt. We need to be serious and firm in what we say, not stuttering or too humorous.

“In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot
be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed
because they have nothing bad to say about us.”


                You might be worried about what to say when someone asks you a question about your faith or God. You shouldn’t be afraid. Study the Scripture and pray to God for wisdom. In Nehemiah 2, the king’s cupbearer Nehemiah was very saddened by hearing about the destruction of the wall of Jerusalem. The king, upon seeing him, asked him what was troubling him and what Nehemiah wanted. Very quickly, Nehemiah prayed to the Lord that he might direct him with the right words to say. The apostle Paul, the wise speaker and loyal believer, even requested prayer for knowledge and courage.

“Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be
given to me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which
I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”

-Ephesians 6:19-20

                One tool that I use is the Pocket Testament League. You can order 30 Gospels of John every 30 days for free. The goal is to hand out at least one a day to help spread the Word. The site also sends Daily Devotions to your email and provides other tools in how you can spread the Word.

                Jesus is the ultimate example of a good teacher. We should live by his example and love at all times and allow God to work through us. Let us not choose our own words but listen to what He wants us to say and do. A simple act of kindness can have a big impact on a stranger.

“In everything set them an example by doing what is good.”

-Titus 2:7

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