Daily Devotional for Tuesday September 24, 2019

How do you use the 168 hours each week God gives you?

(Ephesians 5:15,16)

***DAILY PERSONAL PRAYER FOR YOU: Dear Lord, this nation is under Your judgment for our sin, wickedness, and rebellion. Help me to be courageous as I stand for You in these perilous times. Use me as a beacon of Your light in the darkness of our world today. Though our enemies surround us, the world around me curses You, help me to stand for Your Truth that will ultimately defeat the lies of satan. May the evil of this world become so apparent, people will begin to bow their knee to You in repentance knowing YOU are their only hope and only answer! In the name of Jesus…AMEN!!!

***THE DAILY LIVEPRAYER TV NUGGET: As the nation gets further from God, we are becoming more nasty, more mean to each other. A great example is the fact that many local towns and communities are having a problem finding referees and umpires for kids sports leagues. The issue? Parents are being verbally and often physically abusive to those who have been assigned to officiate these sporting events. Officials interviewed state that for the little money they are compensated for their time, it simply isn’t worth the inevitable fights they have with the parents. When I was 14 and 15, I umpired baseball games for boys 9, 10, and 11 at the local recreation center. I enjoyed it and made some extra money. Overall I did a good job, but like in any sporting event there are always going to be close plays that are the judgement call for the umpire. Obviously we didn’t have the benefit of slo-motion replay, so my call, right or wrong was final. Were there coaches, players, parents upset at a close call that went against them? Sure. However, they knew me because I umpired lots of games, and while they may boo the call, there was never any foul language and NEVER any kind of physical altercation. I realize this is a fairly isolated example, but it is a brief look into society as a whole that has become increasingly nasty, vulgar, and often physical. Social media has unleashed some of that raw anger, but I say the declining civility in our culture is a byproduct of a culture that has rejected God and His Truth. One of those truths being lost is to love one another.

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As many of you know, I am a very big sports fan. Please indulge me, GO BUCKEYES!!! O-H! Sports has been a part of my life since I was very little. I have played and still do play many different sports regularly, and have always followed all sports at all levels. Most weekends, I usually spend several hours in front of the television watching whatever sporting event is on. While it is something that I enjoy, there are some weekends that I overdo it and wonder if that was the best use of my time.

As I have stated in past Devotionals, each day is a wonderful gift from God. It is unique unto itself, and when it is gone it is never coming back. The one equalizer all people enjoy is that we each get 24 hours each day. The issue then becomes how we use that time God gives us.

I am a firm believer in balance. I believe the Bible teaches us to live balanced lives. Balance between our work, our family, our time of relaxation, and our time serving God. Of course, throughout all of this, the thread that runs through every aspect of our life is our personal relationship with the Lord. That is with us at all times, and is a part of everything we do.

We can't delegate our relationship with Christ to being just a part of our life, but it must be the common element in ALL of our life.

Having said that, I want to encourage you and challenge you today to take 15 minutes and sit down with a legal pad. Set up the following categories down the left hand side of the page. Work/School, Family, Recreation, Serving God, Sleep. Now, there are 168 hours in a week. As best as you can, fill in the amount of hours you spend in each category. The family time is time you spend with your wife and/or children doing things together. The recreation time includes TV, the Internet, as well as any hobbies you may have. Time involved in church activities and worship would be included in the Serving God section.

A good balance would be 40-50 hours in Work/School, 40-50 hours in Sleep, and 20-30 hours a week in Family, Recreation, and Serving God. Now, of course, this will vary depending on your living situations and other factors, but it will at least give you some idea in black and white of how you spend your time.

The purpose of this is two-fold. First, to again get you to realize that in ALL aspects of our life, our personal relationship with Christ must be present. Secondly though, most people I have counseled in this area over the years end up with the Family, Recreation, and Serving God sections totally out of balance. It is usually weighted heavily in the Recreation area.

Most need to make an effort to turn off the TV and computer more, and spend more time with the family and in ways to serve the Lord. We often use the TV, computer, books, and hobbies as avenues of escape. There is nothing wrong with that in perspective. It is a problem though when we fail to deal properly with our family issues and commitments, when we have hours to spend watching TV, but have no time to help out at church.

I love you and care about you so much!!! I don't need to say any more about this. The Holy Spirit is more than able to take these words and convict those who need convicting. I will be praying for you today, that you pay attention to how you are spending your time. Never forget that each day is a precious gift from God and we are to be good stewards of all that God gives us, including time.

The Lord has brought these words into your life today to show you how much He loves you. He wants you to be the best you can be and know ALL of His blessings in your life. The fact is, the time we have in this life is so very brief. While we need to balance our time as we live in this world, let us never forget that everything we are and everything we have, including our time, belongs to Him.

In His love and service,

Your friend and brother in Christ,

Bill Keller