Mini Lessons

But I’m Just Too Busy

But I’m Just Too Busy

The warm summer days were nice and relaxing. If I wasn’t babysitting, I could easily get everything I needed to get done finished and then have time left over. Then all of a sudden, high school hit me. I got involved in soccer, school, homework, and babysitting on top of that. Our soccer schedule is four days of the week, and after soccer I usually am working on homework for the rest of the day. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not trying to complain. It’s just that I don’t really have time for much else. But sometimes my busy schedule fools me into thinking that I have an “excuse” for not spending time with God. What do I mean?

The second day of school went a little like this: my alarm went off, and I got up to start the day. I did my hair, my clothes, ate breakfast, and then realized I hadn’t even spoken to my Savior at all. So I rushed downstairs and did one of those quick “thanks for today” kinda prayers and skimmed a chapter in the Bible. I went to school, went to lunch period with forgetting to even thank God for that, more school, and soccer. After soccer I got home and showered, unpacked, ate, and did homework. Then I probably spent a little time on Facebook or email and gave the excuse that I was “too tired” or “didn’t have enough time” to spend any quality time with the God of the universe.

But there’s no excuse. If there wasn’t enough time in the morning, I should have cut back the time getting my outside ready for the day or gotten up earlier. If there was no time to pray before lunch, I should have taken part of my lunchtime and just thanked God. I mean it’s not really that hard. If there wasn’t enough time after school, then I shouldn’t be doing soccer. I shouldn’t have spent time on the Internet, and I shouldn’t have just gone to bed.

What I’m saying is, spending time with God every day is so important. Bible class at school or chapel or church isn’t enough. We need to be cultivating our personal relationship with Jesus Christ. How can we expect to grow spiritually if we never even talk to the One who saved us? The problem is not having enough time, but it’s bad time management or laziness. If we are putting things before God, we are making them an idol. God will give us enough time each day to spend time with Him, but it may require us to sacrifice things that we enjoy doing or sacrificing extra sleep. But then again, is putting God first really a sacrifice?

God tells us in Ephesians 5:15–17: “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”

Life is but a vapor. I want to be wise in the way I spend my time. It is unwise not to spend as much time as I can to bring glory to God. Trust me, I know life can be extremely busy, especially if you are a sport-playing, working high schooler. But just make sure you are finding ways to spend time with God. He is the most important person you can ever invest your time in.

By Kristin Losier

Bad Company-A Family Devotional

Bad Company-A Family Devotional

Bible Reading of the Day: Read 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1.

Verse of the Day: “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’” (1 Corinthians 15:33, NIV).

“Don’t yell at me, Dad!” Mason said as he got into the car. He had called his dad to pick him up, giving him only the address on the phone. He knew his father would be upset when he arrived at a dark street corner in front of a liquor store in a bad neighborhood. He explained, as his father turned the car toward home, that he had been riding in a car with some friends. The other guys in the car had decided to try to buy some alcohol. When Mason heard what they were planning, he had first tried to talk them out of it, then insisted that they let him out of the car if they were going to go through with it.

“I didn’t do anything wrong, Dad,” he explained defensively. “I didn’t want any part of what they were planning.”

“You did the right thing by calling me, Son,” Dad said. “I’m proud of you for that. But what were you doing with those boys in the first place?”

Mason shrugged. “They’re just some friends.”

“What are you doing with friends like that?” Dad asked.

“They’re not close friends or anything,” Mason answered. “We just hang together sometimes.”

Dad drove for a few moments before speaking. “Do you remember,” he said after awhile, “when we used to go to our Scout outings together? Remember all those three-legged races we ran together?”

Mason cast a questioning look at his father. “Sure,” he said.

“That was fun, wasn’t it?”

Mason shrugged, relieved that his dad had apparently changed the subject. “Sure.”

Dad chuckled. “We sure fell down a lot.” He exchanged glances with Mason, who smiled. “We never did get the knack of it. Probably because my legs were so long compared to yours.” Dad wasn’t looking at Mason anymore. He just kept talking. “We were kind of mismatched-like you and those friends. You made a good decision to not participate in what they had planned, Mason. You’re a Christian; they’re not. You’re trying to listen to God; they’re listening to the Tempter’s voice.”

“But shouldn’t I-shouldn’t I try to witness to them?” Mason asked.

“Sure,” Dad said. “But don’t run any three-legged races with them. They’re not running in the same direction that you are.”

TO DO: If weather permits, run a three-legged race as a family today (either against each other or to see which team—mom/dad, mom/daughter, dad/son—can record the best time) as a reminder not to “team up” with unwise and ungodly companions. Or light a candle during your prayer time today or tomorrow to remind you that light has no “fellowship” with darkness.

TO PRAY: “Lord, we need your help to remember not to have fellowship with darkness. Help us to be wise rather than foolish.”

From iDisciple

Verse of the Day – 8/19/2015

Verse of the Day – Jeremiah 17:7

This is what the Lord says:

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who draws strength from mere flesh
and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:5-8

Verse of the Day – 8/17/2015

Verse of the Day – Isaiah 26:3
In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
We have a strong city;
God makes salvation
its walls and ramparts.
Open the gates
that the righteous nation may enter,
the nation that keeps faith.
You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.
Isaiah 26:1-4

In Times of Trouble, Shout For Joy

In Times of Trouble, Shout For Joy
David expresses his enormous faith in God throughout the Psalms, but especially in Psalms 32, 33 and 34. In these Psalms he expresses a much-needed approach to suffering and trouble. Twice he says “shout for joy”. And in Psalm 32:7b he says, “… You will surround me with songs of deliverance….” In other words, in the midst of trouble, God Himself will surround him with songs of deliverance, or victory! This is David’s way of describing his faith in God.
Hebrews 11:1 expresses this another way: “… now faith is the substance [realization or confidence] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen….” As the old hymn states it, faith IS the victory that overcomes the world. So David is bearing witness to the faithfulness of God in his life. In times of trouble, he can “sing to the Lord and shout for joy” because he is confident that God not only WILL give him victory, but has ALREADY given it to him. It is only a matter of time until he possesses this victory of God for his life.
Now I sense that the “shout of joy” is a victory shout. Such a shout does two things, among others:
1) It unnerves the enemy.
2) It encourages and emboldens God’s people.
Perhaps we could picture this in terms of teams about to go into “conflict” in a game. They gather together, put their arms around each other (sometimes with the coach in the middle) and utter the loudest shout they can. It is a shout of anticipated victory over their rivals. When the opposing team hears this shout and sees their confidence, it is hoped that this will in some way unsettle them. It also gives courage to the team even if they are playing the strongest team in their league.
So listen to David in these Psalms: “… everyone who is godly shall pray to You in a time when You may be found; surely in a flood of great waters they shall not come near him. You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance….” (Psalm 32:6-7). Again, “… I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye … [He] who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him. Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” (Psalm 32:8,10,11).
David constantly expresses this joy in victory, even when in the midst of trouble. In Psalms 33 and 34, “… I sought the Lord, and He heard me … and delivered me from all my fears … [They] looked to Him and were radiant; and their faces were not ashamed … [This] poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles … O taste and see that the Lord is good … those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing … [Sing] to Him a new song; play skillfully with a shout of joy….” (Psalm 33:3; 34:4-6,8,10).
Now, let’s look at the application to our lives in the midst of our workplaces, homes and communities.
Every believer walks in victory, all the time. There should be (yes, must be) songs of deliverance and shouts of joy on our lips. A watching world knows nothing of this victory in the believer’s life. But God is honored when there is a constant “shout of joy” on our lips, when we together shout out the coming victory we are expecting from our Lord, in Whom we have placed our faith.
What a witness this will be: joy, in the midst of trouble, because of our God. How greatly encouraging this will be to the ones who may have become discouraged or even disheartened among God’s people. And how deeply honoring to God this is, when His children believe Him, trust Him and live according to such faith.
Dr. Henry Blackaby