Faith / Life Lessons

Robbing God

How do you use all the minutes in your life?  Mathematically speaking, there are 1,440 minutes in a day, 10,080 minutes in a week and 43,830 minutes in a month.  The number of minutes we have in a year:  525,960.

When it comes to getting things done, does the phrase, “there never seems to be enough time,” come to mind?  I know it does for me.  I’ve heard it said that the average person watches 35 hours of TV a week;  That is equivalent to holding a full time job.  I recall a comment I heard from a Pastor once who declared that by cutting TV out of your life you could master a foreign language in a year.  After thinking on that statement I began wondering what I could really accomplish in life, if I cut some things out of my schedule that were eating away at my time.    However, once we recognize the things that are sucking the life out of us and stealing our time, we face another dilemma:  How are we going to use the time we have?

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It just so happened that for many months, I had been going about my days believing I was, “doing the best I could.”  I was tithing, giving money to charity and going to church on Sunday;  So when I heard a sermon on Robbing God, I certainly thought, “Oh, this is not for me – right?”  But earlier that week The Lord had taken me to this very passage;  “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.  And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.
And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts,”  Malachi 3 6-12

Now, seeing this was the second time, within about a week, I had heard that same message;  I knew there was something in it for me.  Now I realize, that as Christians, we are under Grace and not Law.  And what we give is really a matter, solely, between us and The Lord.  We don’t give because we “have to”, but because we “want to”.  “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver,”  2 Corinthians 9:7.  It is a matter of the heart.  For me, giving is just an expression of our heart towards God, not a legalistic mandate.

But there definitely was something in this message I needed to heed.  What was it?  When I meditated on the words, tithes and OFFERINGS, I began to realize that God wasn’t just talking to me about money;  He was talking to me about how I was using my time and talents.  Was I using my time wisely and for his Kingdom, or just for myself?  I felt a nudge in a couple areas of my life that The Lord was putting his finger on.  Things I had heard before, started and stopped, started again and then stopped for one reason or another.  I needed to take inventory on my talents and see how I could use them in a way to honor God and not just to advance my own agenda.

For in the end, what is really going to matter:  Living for our selfish desires or living for God?  How will you use your time today?