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Let Me Check My Schedule

Let Me Check My Schedule

   How many times have we uttered the words which make up the title of this week’s article?  Are there not things which “compete” for the time that is allowed each day of a given week?   How often are we forced to quickly prioritize because of the demands for our attention? How often is God and His Word relegated to a lesser position than are some other things in life?     These are good questions, and should be asked lest we begin to falter in our commitment to God. Do we forget that when we obeyed the gospel, we made a promise to God that we would always love, honor, serve, and obey Him? Is this not much like the “vow” one makes when entering into a marriage?  I suppose the Bible is where these marriage vows originated.  The church is the bride of Christ. Do we ever have to “check our schedule” to see if we have the time to love, honor or obey our earthly spouses?  

     One’s allotment of time toward something is in direct correlation to the amount of commitment one has for that thing. This was seen even before the start of the church.   In the Luke 14:18 parable the Lord told of those bidden to the great supper, we are told “And they all with one consent began to make excuse.” All their schedules were full with other things.

   We then see in the early part of the church the apostles saw the need to continue in the Word, in Acts 6:1-2 rather than “waiting tables” for the widows. And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.  2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.  Then in vs 4 of the same chapter, the Spirit had the apostles state their commitment.   But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the wordThese apostles were hand-picked by the Lord to receive the “keys of the kingdom”.  They were serious about the commitment they made to God and used their time making sure all who were willing to listen, heard the glorious gospel message of the Christ and how His precious blood could be contacted, so souls could be saved.    

     In addition to this great work, the apostles were also passing on the Word to the church so the church would remain faithful to God in accordance to His Word. Much time was and is needed to fulfill that commitment.   The ministry of the Word in the previous verse was actually the carrying out of the Great Commission which Jesus spoke to them in Matthew 28:18-20. Nowhere can I read that this Commission is limited by our “lack of time” or “schedules”.   And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.   This they were doing, and putting forth their full efforts in so doing.   They were: 1) teaching folks, 2) Baptizing them into Christ, and 3) teaching those that have been baptized.  This is an endeavor, even today, that will indeed take up much time and with which we should fill our schedules.

     The Bible also provides us examples of those whose schedules were full because they involved themselves in less than worthwhile pursuits.  One such example is found in Acts 17:21-23, and we know the Spirit had Paul give them a very new thing about which to talk.   (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.) 22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. 23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.    Paul didn’t have to “consult his schedule” to see if he had the time.   There were lost souls at stake!

     Another example involves Christians, albeit those who had “cast off their first faith” in 1Timothy 5:13. The pursuits in which they “wasted their time” were not worthwhile nor profitable.   And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.  When these types of activities make up our lives, we become “too busy” to serve the Lord. If or when an activity prohibits or hinders our service to God, or if it cannot be moved way down in priority, it needs to be abandoned.  

     This is perhaps why, in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:33, Christ admonished His listeners to prioritize properly.  Remember, the kingdom had yet to appear, but it soon would come. And these folks needed to adjust their “schedules” to make this first in their lives. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.   The “all these things” here were the necessities of life. The Lord has long provided them to those that follow Him. Again, in all the “versions” that I have read, nothing is said here about: “if you have time”, or “if this fits your schedule”.   What’s your schedule?   Try this on – Hear the Word and obey it. To do so is to become a Christian – Then serve God first in all areas of life while learning, growing, and showing others the way.   In short – use your time to prepare for eternity, for after you die, time and schedules mean nothing.  

                                                                  Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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