Every day God gives every human being, animals , insects same time unless God takes our life back.But let us focus our discussion on us human beings.The rich and the poor, the young and old are given same time.We are free to spend it on anything we want or choose.
In simplest form we are given 24 hours a day for time to sleep, eat, work, play or have fun,and others. Even babies spend the same amount of time a day.
Once we spend time it is gone. We can not stop time but the question is how can we make the best use of our time ?
Sometimes there are many things to do and sometimes they all look important. There are now almost 7 billion people in earth, the planet where we live multiply that by 24 hours a day that makes 168 billion man-hours per day.
The Bible says there is One God revealed in three Persons or Beings who created us. God knows each of us, what we do, think and say.Either we do good or bad.Since God gave us the time, we are responsible to Him on how we spend it.
The best time I believe to spend the beginning or parts of our day is through prayer. Prayer connects us to God.
How do we pray ? Are all prayers the same ? We all hope our prayers are answered, is it not ?
When do we prepare for typhoons, storms, or earthquakes ? The simple answer is before it happens.I remember when I was a young boy, I like to build makeshift playhouse, it was weakly assembled that a slight bump ? caused it to topple down. The same way with sand castle, just a simple wave of water , caused it to be washed away. As we grow older and as we observe,it is necessary to build something sturdier. Aside from the material we use, the most important is the foundation. The foundation is the one that holds the house, building or structure.
How about our life ?Where do we anchor our life ? On our jobs ? our educational attainment ? our finances ? our business ?our friends ? our church ? our health ? our strength ? our abilities ? on our retirement resources ? our relatives ?
The Holy Bible tells us to anchor our life on God through Jesus Christ. How do we depend on Jesus ? Jesus says that hearing and doing His words are like building ones house on solid rock. While hearing and not doing His words is like building ones house on sinking sand.
Have we checked where and on what are we standing or building ? Maybe our houses are already built and it is hard to make a change but how about our life or soul ? Your choice is yours but if you ask mine, I have decided to build on Jesus Christ or trust in Jesus Christ.
On Christ, the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand.
Which prayer does God listen to ? The Bible says the prayer of the righteous avail much. But who are the righteous ? The Bible says our righteousness comes from God through Jesus Christ. How about sinners, does God listen to sinners ? There is a prayer called " the sinner's prayer" a prayer admitting one is a sinner. Where does this comes from? The Bible says the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin. So we realize we are sinners through the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible tells us of a tax collector who can barely look up to heaven because of his sins while a Pharisee was thanking God that he was not made like the tax collector. The Bible tell us that the tax collector is more justified. Why ? because the tax collector was honest in his prayer while the Pharisee is proud of himself.
If we are not careful, we could also be like the Pharisee. Sometimes it is needful for us to listen to our own prayers, we could be exalting ourselves,or we could be telling God what to do, or we could be praying without thinking.
For the meantime, I believe i need to review my prayers and ask honestly before God.
By the way if God listens to repentant sinners, should we remain sinners. I believe the answer to that is "no" because God wants us to be like His Son Jesus Christ. How can we be like Jesus Christ ? By praying, and asking , is it not ?
I was reading and studying about forgiveness and I thought I understood what it meant. I also thought I confessed all my sins but....
Perhaps I will spare you all the details but I realized that I had more sins than I had previously confessed in private or even realized before.
God wants to forgive us and He has forgiven us and sent His Son to pay for our sins. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins but He does not condemn us if we confess our sins and repent of them.Through Jesus Christ we have forgiveness of our sins and in Him there is no more condemnation.
Let me close with a verse in the Bible from II Chronicles 7:14 which says " If My people , which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
Lately, selfie or taking pictures of ourselves became popular. Is self a mystery ? Self is a delicate person to handle, we can focus on us too much or we can be hard on us.
Self is the person we are responsible for and we are responsible to God. We must make account of ourselves to God.
What have we done with ourselves ?
Our Lord Jesus says when we lose ourselves for His sake then that is when we found ourselves. You see we are created by God. God made us so He knows what is good for us. Living life without God is living blindly. If God created us did we come with an operating manual? Yes, I believe the Bible is our operating manual. Do we have one or read one ?
Do we want to know ourselves ? Study the life of Jesus Christ and see.
Has your Christian life lost its excitement or challenge ? Have you tried different things and yet the world seems to be pulling you back ?
Perhaps you can try one of the discipleship programs in churches today.Speaking of discipleship programs there are many good ones out there like Experiencing God, Master Life, Mind of Christ, Purpose Driven Life, Transformation, Operation Solid Lives etc.
If you really want one more in depth, inquire about the one from Biblical Counseling Foundation called " Self - Confrontation".
From Christian perspective, the old life is the life we have before we meet or have Jesus Christ in our lives and new life is when we repent of our sins and invite or accept Jesus Christ into our lives as our Lord and Savior.
I still remember my old life, I was self centered, selfish, greedy, yet self righteous, deceived, thinking I am going to heaven based on whatever good works I have. Outwardly I looked good but I knew something wrong with me.
Then I became aware of who Jesus Christ is, where He came from, why He came into this earth as revealed in the Bible.
Further seeking of truth, revealed that I am a sinner, lost and in need of a Savior.Then finally I saw that I needed Jesus Christ and prayed that He be the Savior and Lord of my life. When this happened the Bible called this a new life. For many years, the change is not very clear to me, the change is slow, I was living up and down. To others the change that I see in them is faster.
There was a tendency to hang on to the old life or parts of it.God has been very patient with me, He gave me the desire not to give up.He wants complete surrender, for me to deny or die to self and fully embrace the new life.
New life means new life, new life means new way of living, living God's way. I realize God wants not just parts of us but whole of us. Can we do it ? yes we can with God's help ,grace and mercy through Jesus and the Holy Spirit and His words and our surrender and obedience.
There are many ways to start 2015, let us count the ways. We could start with hope, with goals, with resolutions , promises, with prayers,with positive outlook, with love. All these seems to be great start.
Here is my suggestion , start the year with Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ ? yes Jesus Christ. Get to know Him deeper. Will this take you away from what is important ? No I believe it will bring you to what is important.
Some of you might say but "I have Him". To that I say " get more of Him ".
Some of you might say but " I have business to run" or school to attend or work to do" or family to love and enjoy or project to finish ".To that I say " Jesus will make a good partner or Teacher." Jesus already suffered and died for you and me so we know His performance and His passion.
Since He rose from dead, we too will rise if we are with Him.