Thursday, 21 June 2012

The workroom

‘As the author has Jesus ask, “What are you producing with your life for the kingdom of God?” Toys? Gadgets? Are you whiling away the time God gives you working on hobbies? Or are you steadily going about the business of producing a masterpiece of your life for the glory of God? After all, you are his workmanship!’ (Elizbeth George)

As I was looking at this ‘room’ I was a little worried as to what more I could say. It’s pretty simple to see that we need to make sure that all we do brings glory to God and that we don’t waste the time that He has given us – but it goes deeper than that.

God gives us each day, hour, minute and second of our days as a gift. He graciously gives us the very breath that allows us to live and enjoy each moment of our life. But how does that affect how we go about living each day? Does it affect us at all?

If you were to take a day in your life and actually write down what you do and how you spend the 24 hours you’ve been given – how would it look? This is actually a fantastic exercise to do because it is fascinating to see how much time each day we manage to waste. We can spend excess time in the bathroom, in the kitchen making dinner (or spend half an hour looking in the cupboards to try to find out what you’re going to have for dinner in the first place!), watching TV, or doing all the craft or reading – whatever hobby you enjoy doing.

But God wants us to be accountable for the time that we spend each day. Of course He wants us to prioritise time spent with Him each day, but He also wants to challenge us as to what we spend time on – is it bringing Him glory or is it wasting time?

This is a challenge to me. I’ve already confessed my love of reading, but I also love to do crafts – cross stitching and card-making my favourites – and I can spend hours on them without a single thought. Is that time spent gloryfing God or is it time wasted? I do believe that if God has given you a talent – whether it be in music, crafts or sport – He expects you to use it for His glory. For instance -  if you have a gift of music and decide to only play it in your bedroom and never in church, or if you are a fantastic hockey player but don’t go out to play for a team – is that talent wasted? Is it not better to use your talent for God’s glory – giving Him the opportunity to use you for His purpose and for His good works.

This may be off on a tangent but over the past 10 years I have had the privilege of working with hockey players and other sports women who have used their gifts in an amazing way – enabling God to use them to be His witness in the team in which they play, by their attitudes, language and by direct witnessing to their team-mates. God wants us to use our talents for Him, no matter what that talent is. Don’t hide it – why not use it to let God shine through you.

Gilbert Lennox (from Glenabbey Church)  reminded me in his sermon the other week that God will judge. This can be perceived as a negative teaching. It is becoming less and less popular to see God as judge as the world around us becomes more secular and as people lose the consciousness of the reality of God in their everyday life. But Gilbert encourages you to look at it as a positive thing for those of us who know Christ as Saviour. In 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 (in the NLT) we read this:

‘For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.’

Judgment will be positive – all the bad will be burnt away – all my bad moods, bad attitudes and bad deeds… but the question then remains – will you have anything left to stand? Will you have something that truly glorifies God that you have spent your time on? Or will everything you have spent your life on perish in the fire leaving you with nothing?

We are to be part of something bigger – part of God’s grand plan – using our time to glorify Him and do what He has set out for us. In Ephesians 2:10 we read

‘For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus,
so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.’

I pray that you all will be challenged by this, but that you will not be discouraged – God is right here waiting for you to decide to put Him first and spend your time glorifying Him rather than wasting it on things that will be burnt away. If you have anything you want to share, whether it’s something you discovered when you charted your time, or how you plan to spend your time this week, then please do leave us a comment.
And above all - keep shining… J

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