MAXIMIZING OUR LIVES
We are getting to the end of the book of Acts and Paul is constantly on the move and maximizing his time in ministry. Though he may not know it yet, he is nearing the end of his life but regardless of that lack of knowledge, He is living in such a way that makes it seem that he knows that he is nearing the end. When it comes to our Christian walk, we have a tendency to get tunnel vision and focus primarily on what is right in front of us. It is so easy to get caught up in comfortable routine and realize that at times, the biggest block to our growth is comfort. Yet Paul displays for us the life of a man that is filled with the Spirit and burns for the Lord because he maximizes every moment he gets to encourage believers and preach the Gospel. Are we living in such a way where we maximize every moment for the glory of God? This may seem like an unreasonable thing but it is only unreasonable when we believe that our lives belong to us but does is not unreasonable when Jesus is truly our Lord and Savior. If Jesus is your Lord and Savior than to live for His glory is not a suggestion but a given and that we will find that our fear of living a life empty of joy is actually the total opposite. The fear is that if we sacrifice for the Lord and restrict ourselves from the pleasures of this life that we give up our freedom but the truth is that when we give up our “freedom” from the world, we actually gain true freedom in Christ because freedom in the world is actually comes with a price. To live in the freedom that the world offers where we do whatever we want apart from God actually comes with a hidden fee, which is your life. True life comes from the Lord and therefore when we forfeit our relationship with God because we want freedom, we have paid with our lives. Don’t pay the hidden fee for false freedom! Continue to live for God and maximize this life for His glory as a way of investing into the eternal life you have with him!
NOTES ON THE TEXT
Most of today’s passage deals with Luke’s view of the travels he had with Paul. There are however several points that I want to highlight in regards to the actions of Paul from the text.
20 After the uproar ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and after encouraging them, he said farewell and departed for Macedonia. 2 When he had gone through those regions and had given them much encouragement
7 On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight
Paul lived in such a way where he lives fully for the Lord. He maximizes the times he has with people to encourage and fellowship with them. I know that life gets busy and that we have tasks that we are responsible for but does our life reflect the truth that Jesus is our Lord? How can we maximize our lives for the Lord?
Don’t settle for ten minute spirituality.
You will know what you cherish in your life by the time you give it. At one point in our lives, we will be in relationships and if we say that we love someone but only give them ten minutes of our time daily, do you think they will believe in the “love” you have for them? Probably not! If we say we love God but only spend ten minutes with Him, we best check to see if we truly love him or not.
The number one excuse we have for ourselves is that we don’t have time. I am not dismissing the reality that we are all busy but we may not be busy as we think we are. To actually see what you use your time for, I suggest taking a week to do a timesheet of your life. Everyday for a week, you will log in everything you do with the amount of time you put into it. At the end of each day, you should total twenty-four hours because we are also including the amount we sleep. If you spend “ten minutes” on social media, log it in for every minute counts! At the end of the week, review how much time you spent on each thing and add up the hours on similar categories. For most of us, we will be surprised on how much time we actually leak away throughout the day.
If we find that we are truly maximizing time and not wasting it then what are some things that we need to give up to center on God. If we find that we cannot give up anything than we just exposed something deeper in our hearts that we need to address.
Develop intentional relationships
When you check your instagram or FB, you see how many followers and friends you have but the reality is that a thousand followers doesn’t mean thousand people. There can be false accounts, bots, trolls, etc. Your genuine followers may even be a lot smaller number than that! When it comes to relationships, we are tempted to focusing on having many superficial relationships and miss the point that it is not about the number of friends but the quality of friendships. This doesn’t mean that after a certain number that you close yourself off to people as the time to submit friendship applications are closed but are we intentionally living to build relationships that open the door for God to minister? Do we have a brotherhood or sisterhood that is more than just simply having fun but also laboring together for the Kingdom of God? You will have friends but will you have brothers and sisters that you live for the Lord together? You will have friends but will you have friends that you want to live in such a way to expose the love of Christ to them? Relationships are a privilege and not a right so steward them well when you have them.