A few weeks ago, when resolution-making or goal-setting was top of mind for many of us, I too, was thinking about how to make the most of the new year. And so, I asked God this simple question in prayer:
“How should I spend my time in 2013?”
Now, I must say that the answer that came to mind barely a heartbeat later was so immediate and so obviously what I should be doing, that I didn’t question it.
The answer to my question was, in turn, another question.
“Why not spend your time on the Great Commission and the Great Commandment?”
If you’re not familiar with these two “Greats”, they refer to two of Jesus’ key teachings. Here’s what He said:
18“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” — Matthew 28:18-20
Note: All Christians, not just the 12 disciples, are charged with the Great Commission.
37“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” — Matthew 22:37-39
Note: Love your neighbor as yourself means a lot more than just “be nice to people.”
So, let me re-phrase the answer to my prayer: “Why not spend your time (energy, forethought, plans, goals) loving people and teaching them to follow Me?”
Now, I’m nothing but an average Christian. So, I seldom consider how the way I spend my time traces back to the two “Greats.” But, I can’t deny that there could be no better use of my time.
If you’re average like me, you’ll spend 4 months this year sleeping, and another 3 months earning a living. And if you’re an average American, you’ll spend 2.5 months watching television, according to TV.com.
(Yikes!?! Here’s how we try to tame our TV watching.)
So, what will we do with the other 3-5 months? I know I’ll devote some of it to my family, household chores, vacation, hobbies, running, commuting. But, how will I fit the two “Greats” into the year?
How will you?
I won’t. You won’t.
Not without God’s grace and love motivating us, creating a passion for his “Greats” that we don’t naturally have.
So, let’s ask God to help us in our weakness…
Our Father in Heaven, we often prefer relaxation to activity, and entertainment over service. So, grant us all the love and courage to make the most of 2013 by devoting some of our time and energy to loving people and teaching them to follow Jesus. In His name we pray, Amen.
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