How Your Spend Your Time Reflects What You Value

game_timeContinued from here.

Show me how you spend your time, and I’ll tell you what you prioritize. People don’t like to hear this, but it’s true. While I would have told you that God was my number one priority, I would squeeze in my Bible study while waiting in the car line to pick up my child from school or cram it all in the night before the meeting. I did not set aside dedicated time for God. I would say my prayers as I drifted off to sleep. I would go to church on Sundays, but God was not really a part of my day-to-day life or decision-making. And yet, because I knew the Bible better than most and went to church on Sundays, I assumed I was prioritizing God.

However, you know what I did have time for? I watched my favorite television shows religiously. I faithfully set aside time to hang out with my girlfriends. I ensured I made it to the gym to exercise 4 or 5 times a week. I was strict about getting to bed on time to be sure to get the sleep my body needed. None of these priorities are “bad,” and, in fact, taking care of my body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit, is a good thing to do. However, even taking care of the temple should not take precedence over spending time with the God that the temple houses.

For God to come first, we need to place Him … well … first … ahead of everything else. Paul told us,

If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. ~ Rom. 11:16

We can apply this verse to our time with God. When we give God the firstfruits of our day by setting aside sacred time with Him, then that firstfruits offering starts off our day in a way that directs us toward making the entire day about Him. Because our first hour of the day is holy, that holiness can spread to the other 23 hours as well.

Continued here.

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace in a recliner with snacks above the words, “Game Time!” Courtesy Bitmoji.]

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Seven Fundamental Practices: Daily Quiet Time with God

no_1Continued from here.

As I shared here, other than receiving Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior, the most important decision I ever made was to spend daily quiet time with God. The Bible promises that we will find God if we will seek Him with all our hearts.

Note that seeking requires effort. When you play Hide & Seek, the seeker must make an effort to find the hider. Otherwise, the game is a waste of time. The seeker does not just go about his day and occasionally glance around. Seeking is an activity that takes effort, focus, and time.

If you are a Christian, when someone asks you what your #1 priority is, you will likely say God. However, if someone were to watch everything you do for a week, would that priority be evident in your actions? Do you set aside any time during your day for one-on-one time with God?

I didn’t! I was leading Bible studies but did not prioritize God. If you has asked me if God was the most important part of my life, I would have said yes, but my actions said otherwise. I would squeeze in doing my Bible study “homework” while waiting in the carline or cram it all in the night before we met. I would say prayers to God on the fly, mostly when I needed something. (Not to say there isn’t a place for that – I’ll get to that when I discuss prayer.)

However, I certainly set aside time to watch my favorite TV shows, to hang out with friends each week, and do other activities that I valued. Sadly, I valued them more than I valued God, and this was evidenced by the fact that I set aside regular time for those activities while squeezing in time for God.

All of this changed when I made the life decision in March 2013 to tithe the first hour of my day to God. Instead of giving God the scraps of my time, I made Him my first priority, and that was when I found Him. Of course, God was always with me, but when I started setting aside quality time with God, I started being with God.

Continued here.

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace smiling while holding a red ribbon that says “#1.” Courtesy Bitmoji.]