Don’t Have Time? Make Time, Not Excuses!
A few days ago, I was talking to some students of mine, and when I asked them how many times a week they were in the Bible, the general response was once or twice a week, if that. When I asked how many times they did homework, it was higher, leisurely activities still higher, and video games and TV even higher. When I made the suggestion that, if their schedules were so busy, that maybe they should wake up early, one said “But I’d be so tired,” to which I replied “Aren’t you glad Jesus didn’t find reasons and excuses not to be inconvenienced by us, but instead showed us what to do, and died for us?” And it’s true, isn’t it? How often do we excuse ourselves from spending time with God, not because we don’t have time, but because it’s so convenient to do something else?
Sometimes, we think our lives are so busy, we’ll find the time, eventually, or we decided (yes, I said it) to not make the time at all to spend with God. Yet in the life of Jesus, and in men and women across history who have followed him, we find the busier they were, the more deliberate they were in time alone with God and His word. Martin Luther was quoted as saying he would pray an hour a day, and if he was busy, would pray 2 hours. George Mueller, who had some 10,000 answers to prayer found in his prayer journals after he had passed away, said his one regret and request was not reading God’s word more…and he had read the word thousands of times by the end of the day! If you look at the movers and shakers within any church that measures close to God’s word, you’ll find busy people, busy ministries, busy lives and a strong prayer and reading life. It’s important (note the lack of the “if”), you’ll find the time, or you’ll make the time, but don’t make excuses. Jesus didn’t, nor should we!
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.] Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
1 Peter 3:13-22
Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil.
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.