Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year (and every moment) stewardship

Today marks the beginning of 2013.  It is impossible on New Year's Day not to think about the year ahead. Questions and anticipations come to my mind: How will I grow in grace and the likeness of Christ in 2013?  Will my children exhibit greater godliness and spiritual sensitivity and personal maturity in the coming months?  In what ways will our church see growth in spiritual depth and breadth?  Will I consistently maintain disciplines of personal health in 2013 and become a more faithful friend and evangelist to my neighbors?  Similar questions race through your mind, no doubt.

One benefit of New Year's is how it highlights the reality of time.  God lives above and beyond time.  He is not bound by its constraints.  In contrast, God bounds our lives with time to remind us that we are mere creatures made to depend on and glorify Him.  New Year's forces us to thoughtfully examine the precious commodity which time is.  As Christians, we should be particularly concerned to steward time in a way which glorifies God and brings us and others maximum blessing.

In his book The Excellent Husband, Stuart Scott lists some biblical convictions about time which should be true of all believers (pp. 167-168).  May these prove helpful to you as we step into a new year.

Christian convictions about time:

  • Our days are all numbered by God, so we can trust His oversight of them (Ps. 139:16).
  • Our days will come to an end due to our mortality, therefore we should use them wisely (Ps. 90:12).
  • God wants us to spend regular time with Him in prayer and study of His Word (Mt. 14:23).
  • God promises us blessing when we make gathering for worship and fellowship with His people a priority (Acts 2:42ff).
  • At all times we should seek to glorify God and be a witness to Him (I Cor. 10:31, Acts 1:8).
  • We should make the most of the time God has given us in glorifying Him and blessing others, rather than being slothful or wasting our time on worthless pursuits (Pr. 24:30-34, Eph. 5:15-16).
  • We should proactively plan our days/lives for maximum impact (Pr. 16:9).
  • We have enough time to do what God wants us to do (Eph. 2:10).
  • We should plan our use of time by biblical principles, rather than following our feelings or the fads of our culture (Josh. 1:8).
  • When we consider how to spend our time, we must consider the chief responsibilities God has given us and the people He has placed in our lives for us to serve (I Cor. 4:2).
  • Since God is all powerful and all good, we can trust Him when He changes our plans and redirects our steps (Pr. 16:9b).
  • We should seek godly counsel about how best to order our time for God's glory (Pr. 15:22).
  • We should be at peace about the time in which we live and our future.  Since God is not worried about anything, we should not be either (Mt. 6:25ff.).
With God in control of history, we can know 2013 will be a great year.  Let's live each moment for His glory.

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