But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
–2 Peter 3:7
Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true,
whatever is noble,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable–
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–
think about such things.
Changing the dial on my radio as I was driving home, I came across a broadcast of someone speaking about God.
Having only a few moments to listen before the program was over, I did not hear his context entirely.
However, one of his statements stood out to me.
He said to “spend your time wisely.”
But that wasn’t all of the sentence. He actually said, “Spend your time and your mind wisely.”
I had never heard someone say that I needed to spend my mind wisely.
I understood the principle of spending my money wisely.
I understood the concept of spending my time wisely.
But my mind?
How does one spend their mind?
Could it be that the thoughts I allow to turn over and over and over again in my head are what I am spending my mind on?
I suppose I could see the difference in someone spending an evening thinking only about video games and someone spending an evening thinking and studying for a chemistry test.
But what if I spent an evening worried about an illness as opposed to spending that same evening in prayer and praise?
Would I be spending my mind wisely by worrying?
What if I spent my thoughts criticizing others?
For those moments, I think it would fair to say I’d be wasting my mind.
What about the times I spend my mind thinking about God?
Considering what God is showing me?
That would be spending my mind wisely, wouldn’t you say?
My reaction was immediate–and I’m sad to say that it wasn’t a good one.
Arriving early for work, I had planned to do some reading at my desk just prior to moving to an assigned area.
Only having a short amount of time for the reading, I sat down at my desk and looked at the clock.
Before I could even get started, someone who would be working part of the day in the next room stopped by just to have a friendly conversation with me.
There was a sudden thought of selfishness racing across my mind.
I was truly disappointed that I would not be able to do what I had planned in those short moments, because of the interruption of another worker.
Realizing very quickly that this was not the attitude that God would want me to have, I spent the next few moments listening to my visitor and making comments, deciding that talking with them was more important than what I had planned.
Quickly, it was time for us both to change areas and say goodbye.
Arriving at my new assigned area for that specific time, I was once again alone.
Within a few moments another coworker happened to be walking by me, having just arrived at work.
Instead of only saying, “Good morning,” to me and moving on, this person stopped and asked how things were going, since they knew that I had been dealing with some concerns in my family.
They stood there, patiently, as I spoke of recent issues dear to my heart.
With caring compassion, they encouraged me with sincere words and then walked on.
I had been so focused on what I wanted to do moments earlier that I was inwardly disappointed to see someone walk into the room while I was at my desk.
Now, in complete contrast, a coworker took the time out of their busy day to stop and check on me and how I was doing, freely giving up their moments to show their concern.
What attitude was pleasing to God?
Clearly, not my initial one.
Just as clearly, my coworker’s attitude was the right one to have.
Romans 12:10 reads, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.“
There are times that I need to put my own personal agenda aside and honor someone else above myself.
We know how long it takes for a baby to form before it is born.
We know how long it takes for certain crops to mature, ready for harvest.
We know how long it takes for the earth to make its journey around the sun.
Yet, there are so many things that we have no idea how long we will have to wait for.
In fact, we are not even sure that some of the things we are waiting for will ever take place.
God sent His Son, Jesus, to the earth at just the right time.
Jesus was not early in coming, nor was He late.
In our own lives, God is in control of time.
We pray, and God answers in His time frame.
He will never be late with an answered prayer.
He will never be early with an answered prayer.
When the set time has come, He will work in the lives of His children according to His will.
Through faith, we must trust Him completely to care for us as our all-knowing Father.
But when the set time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman,
born under the law, to redeem those under the law,
that we might receive adoption to sonship.
Because you are His sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”
So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child;
and since you are His child, God has made you also an heir.
If you do not know Jesus as your Savior, today could be the day you change that.
If you do not know what would happen to you if you were to die, today could be the day that know for sure.
If you do not know that God is ready and willing to forgive you, accept you and save you, today is the day you can be confident that He does.
Ask Him for forgiveness.
Tell Him you believe.
Commit your life to Him.
As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says,
“In the time of my favor I heard you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you.”
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
—2 Corinthians 6:1-2
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It’s actually quite a distance away.
I have friends that live in a different country from my own.
In order to keep up with exactly what time it is where they are, I have set a world clock on my smart phone to their time zone.
Also, on the same phone page, I have the time zone where I live, on the far eastern side of my country.
That way, I can compare what time it is here to what time it is there at a glance.
By default, the manufacturer of my smart phone placed the time that it would be where their company is located—on the far western side of my country.
While checking the time on my world clock page today, I was struck with a thought as I read the words that went along with my friends’ time zone in another country.
It simply read,
Tomorrow. 9hr 30m ahead.
Although I understand the concept in simple numbers of minutes, seconds and hours, something else came to mind.
Tomorrow—my friends are already experiencing it.
I will be soon, but not yet.
When tomorrow comes for me, God will already be there.
In fact, He’s there now.
He is as much in my future as He is in my present.
God is not constrained by human measurements of existence.
The Bible tells us that,
“A thousand years in Your sight
are like a day that has just gone by,
or like a watch in the night.”
Whatever concerns we may have about the future, we must trust that God will be there with His power, sovereignty and love.
So, how can we compare what time it is here to what time it is with God?
It’s already tomorrow.
Infinitely eternal hours ahead…..
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It’s January now.
The leaves are turning brown and falling off the trees.
For most of the country that I live in, this happened a few months ago.
It appears that autumn has finally arrived, but what about winter?
There’s also another twist–
Even though the leaves are turning colors and falling to the ground, the ground is quite likely to be covered in green, as though it was spring or summer.
Since I live in a subtropical climate zone, all is as it should be.
No one is concerned.
Leaves are falling.
Plants are still blooming.
The high temperature today was probably around 84 degrees.
It’s the right time for all of that.
There’s a right time for everything, even in our lives.
God is in control of that, just as He is in control of the climate.
We can get impatient or worried because we don’t see things happening in our lives like we see in others’ lives.
If the “trees” are turning beautiful colors of red and gold in the life of someone we know, we may question why everything is still green for us.
God knows exactly what we need when we need it.
He knows when to introduce opportunities.
He knows the perfect timetable for every aspect of our journey.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
We need places to live.
Places to eat and sleep in.
Places to talk and laugh in.
A way to get to our jobs.
A way to go where we need to go.
We could make a longer list of things that are important to our lifestyles, but what is most important?
Many years ago, my husband’s parents and younger brother survived the direct hit of a tornado to their property.
As we drove to another state to get to them, we were not concerned about a house.
We were not worried about cars, furniture, televisions or appliances.
Our concern was for the lives of our loved ones.
Were they okay?
That was what mattered.
I spend a tremendous amount of time working to afford things in my life.
Things like a house and a car.
A cell phone and a computer.
Stuff like that.
But what do I really care about?
Do I spend a good bit of my time showing love and concern for them?
If they are more important to me than houses or cars, why wouldn’t I be devoting moments to nurturing our relationships?
Maybe it’s time to reevaluate my priorities.
Wash my car or call a struggling friend?
Clean the garage or attend my son’s ballgame?
What really matters, anyway?
I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.
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Do you know the feeling of going from “Oh, no!” to “Okay!” in a matter of seconds?
There was the time when the power company accidentally placed an extra zero on the amount of our monthly bill.
After calling them, they realized their error and adjusted things accordingly.
There was the time that a doctor was showing me my diagnostic image that was taken because of a health concern.
I asked why someone else’s name was on the corner.
It was the wrong image. Not mine.
The doctor was able to get the proper one with MY name on it.
Our hearts can jump in our throats in a second, and blessed relief and assurance can come just as speedily.
When we are fearful, we can immediately reach out to God.
He can turn our, “Oh, no!”s into “Okay!”s just like that.
Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a terrible storm came up, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went to him and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” And Jesus answered, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he stood up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly all was calm. –Matthew 8:23-26