Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:7-8
We have roughly 10,000 minutes each week of which to invest in life. Apart from the non-negotiable of sleeping and eating how do you invest your time? Do you endure your ‘work’ time so that you can enjoy your ‘free time’? Do you invest your ‘free time’ on things like family, exercise, fishing, sport, movies, hobbies, reading, or some other activity that brings you pleasure? Yet what about the people who to whom the word ‘free time’ an enigma due to work or other responsibilities consuming every extra second? I spoke with a couple where the husband was completely consumed with his sales job. During every family activity, every birthday, every trip to the beach the husband was talking on the phone with potential clients. Meanwhile, his marriage was being neglected, his children’s childhood rapidly evaporating, and his faith being pushed to the burner behind the back burner. Tragically, he was choosing his work above his family. Admittedly, not all our minutes are monopolized by our jobs yet we still manage to find other buckets to pour our time. We pour our extra minutes into other things like caring for a family, raising our children, or furthering our education. The things in which we choose to invest our time reveal our priorities and our desires. A mentor once told me, “People will do, what people want to do.” If they want to fish; they will put a fishing pole in their trunk, ‘just in case’. If they want to go to a movie they will ensure that their calendar is clear on the night of the premiere. People will find time to do what they want to do. Priorities take priority. If someone were to take an inventory of how you spent the last week, what would it reveal about your priorities? Would the way you invested your 10,000 minutes time support what you claim is most valuable or would it betray it? Paul’s words to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:7-8 are a reminder that we must be ever aware of investing our time in the things that will remain for eternity. There is an endless buffet of eternally meaningless choices vying for our affection. Where will you invest your time? This is precisely where the value of godliness is so critical in the life of Ocean Park. Do the members of our congregation value God centered worship and crave the food of the Word of God? If you answered yes, does your weekly schedule reflect that claim? If you answered no, why would someone who claims Jesus as Lord disregard the opportunity to worship him or be taught his word? If someone does not have a priority on the value of worship they will find a whole host of things to divert their attention; sports, vacation, sleep, gardening, the beach, movies, automobiles and an never-ending list of leisure activities. Neglecting to attend worship on Sundays or disregarding the value of corporate prayer and Bible Study during the week is often the fruit of not valuing Christ. If we stay home from church because we are tired, we are choosing the priority of sleep over worship. If we are going to sporting events (professional or our child’s) on Sundays, we are choosing the priority of sports over worship. It wouldn’t take long for an observer to identify what we hold most precious by our weekly calendar. May it never be said, “He loves the Lord except when the Jaguars play.” What are the priorities of your life? Family or work? Fishing or the Beach? The satisfaction of knowing God and being filled with his life-giving word or your kids t-ball game? Please realize that I am not calling you to throw away your fishing pole, break your knitting needles, or take your kid off the team. Enjoy the good things that God has given. However, I urge you to lay aside the lesser pleasures of the society that pale in comparison for the eternal satisfaction and joy of worshiping the one true God who saved your soul, poured his grace upon you, and made you his child. It is my prayer that Jax Beach will recognize that our church makes worship both a priority and a pleasure. That the things that the world seeks to divert our affections towards are nothing but counterfeit pleasures robbing us of everlasting joy. May God be glorified in how Ocean Park delights in the treasure of the Gospel as our greatest desire.
Soli Deo Gloria