Good morning, and a most blessed Thursday to you.
This past Sunday was Response Sunday - such an important Sunday in the life of the church, as we pledge our time, talent, and treasures to the work and mission that God is doing at and through Living Word Lutheran Church. We do this to prepare for how we can work to expand His Kingdom, and to bless the people in our community and beyond.
As I was thinking about tithes and offerings, I really started to think through how we can give of our time as first fruits. It is such a joy to begin every single morning with time spent with God in the Word and in prayer. I love my first fruits each morning being with the Lord in preparing for the rest of the day.
I was thinking of taking it a step further. What would it be like, or look like to tithe 10% of my time to the Lord? How would that play out? Or how would that be different in my life? I started doing the math. The easiest break down is to do a 24-hour period. If we took a complete 10% of those 24 hours… that would be 2.4 hours. Then I was thinking… oh my goodness… I don't have an extra 2.4 hours to do everything I want to do. So how could how I give 2.4 hours. Then I thought of a Scripture that convicted me.
Ephesians 5:15-17. Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit…
15 Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, 16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil. 17 So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
I was thinking about those that 2.4 hours, and that sounds like a lot. But then I thought about how I sometimes waste 2.4 hours in a day. How many times have I ever looked up from my phone and said, “Wow ! Where did the time go?” Or look up for my computer and say, “Wow! How much time was I on my computer?” Or watching a movie. Reading a book, or anything that is Idle or time-wasting. Now, that is not to say that we shouldn't enjoy life, or enjoy our time, with a variety of activities and entertainment. I was really more than anything, thinking through and highlighting the stewardship of time, and considering how we cram our calendars so full. But actually, there is never a time that we are not called as God's people, and there is never a time that we are not disciples. We don't plan our discipleship. We are disciples. And that is brought into every moment of every day.
Now I'm sure this is probably sounding like a legalistic sort of devotion. But it's not intended to be. I'm not telling anyone that they should be giving 2.4 hours of every single day. I’m really just sharing from my own thoughts and considerations. I just thought it was really interesting, when thinking about stewardship to consider tithing my time. Not sure if I actually will or not, but I'm certainly exploring that further.
We know that all time belongs to God, and that at all times he is in our corner. He is loving us, caring for us, providing for us. And He never lets us go. We know that our salvation is secured for all time, and all eternity through the blood of his Son Jesus Christ. We have forgiveness, not because we have given enough of our time, talents, or treasure, but just because he loves us, and gave himself for us. He loves us out of his own grace and mercy. So know that, and enjoy the time that God gives you. We serve an awesome God, who blessed us out of his goodness and glory.
Let's pray. Lord, we thank you so much for the gift of time. We thank you for calling us to spend our time with you, with our neighbors, and with other brothers and sisters in Christ. Lord, we ask that we would be good stewards of time, and that we would enjoy the moments that you give us here on this side of heaven. Lord, we ask that as we give our time for the expansion of your kingdom and for your mission, that you would guide us… that you would highlight those divine appointments each day, where we are given the opportunity to share your love, your mercy, and your grace. Lord, guide us and bless us today and always. We ask all of this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Have a most magnificent rest of your week, and I look forward to spending time in worship with you this Sunday.