Always Late for the House of God
By David Cox
[fam15] v1 ©2008 www www.coxtracts.com
You may freely reproduce this tract for non-profit use
Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Col 4:5
We ask ourselves at times why some of our brethren always arrive late to the house of God. The world we live in grows more complicated and entangled every day, and the demands on our lives and time also grow every day. At times it seems that we will never reach something what appears like peace and tranquility. When we touch on this problem, it is only tip of the iceberg.
We need to take time to reflect and meditate on what we are doing, how we live our lives, and above all, how we relate to our God. The plan and work of Satan is to never allow us peace and calm so that we can reflect, meditate, and order our lives after what pleases God.
Why don’t I have more time?
Job 9:25 Now my days are swifter than a post: they flee away, they see no good. 26 They are passed away as the swift ships: as the eagle that hasteth to the prey.
Each person receives only 24 hours in a day, so why do some people seem to have so much time and achieve such great things with their time, and others never have time and always are fighting with what little time they do have? What is the secret? The secret begins to reveal itself when we realize that time is precious and short, an opportunity that disappears. It flies from our hands, and only when we esteem time in such a way that we “redeem time” for good, and when we hate things without eternal value that waste our time can we really dominate time instead of time dominating us.
Eph. 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. 15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
The wrong use of time is a spiritual matter. We don’t want to see this in the realm of spiritual things, but truthfully, it IS a spiritual matter. Satan wants the evil of the day to always defeat us. God wants us to “redeem the time”. This word is to rescue something lost, to rescue it before it rots, or to buy something for one’s self. The same concept is used of markets where one sees something available, then he has to act immediately or it will spoil, and not be available to us. The phrase is used in Daniel 2:8 LXX. Daniel and his friends redeemed the time praying so that God would save the nation. There is a lot of difference between the priorities and understandings of many in our day, and the view that God has over these things.
Procrastination: Losing Time
Procrastination is a wicked character flaw that controls us in such a way that we invest our little and precious time in things of little or neither eternal nor spiritual value, but rather in worldliness and vanity. This evil character so common in our day proposes to esteem things of little real importance to be very important. Fun, entertainment, and hobbies are all very common in our day, and for the Christian, they are foolish things that cause us to falter in other important areas of our life which are important, spiritual, or daily responsibilities such as supporting ourselves through a good job, family responsibilities, etc. This is laziness.
The opposite concept is industry, which is to work and produce a lot with whatever you have on hand. Industry has the idea of having a lot of initiative, working well and hard, producing high quality work, and working long hours with joy to be working.
Pro 6:6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: 7 Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, 8 Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. 9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?
Pro 10:4 He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.
Pro 21:25 The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.
Pro 26:14 As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.
Psa 119:60 I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.
Our time and life are not free from divine revision and accountability, because one day God will ask an accounting with us for every second He has loaned us. Moreover God has some goals that He wants us to achieve. Without applying time, energy, and priority to reach those goals, we will never achieve them. We remember King Hezekiah who wasted his life, and God cut it short in judgment. When we flitter away our time, we have the same goals and work to accomplish as before, but now less time to do it in. Sad is the life of a person of advanced age or confronting a soon death when they finally realize all this, but they have no time to fix it! You can never achieve in a short time what God has given you to do throughout all your life. Even the rich man in Luke 16 tried to fix his incorrectly invested life, but could not fix anything by that point. Isa 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
Time ill spent in Wickedness
Eph 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
Paul said that the reason to redeem the time is because the days are evil. They end quickly and steal from us the eternal potential of our life. We live day by day, but many times we accomplish nothing for eternity. The temporal fills our life. We don’t accomplish any part of the will of God for our lives.
Jas 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
Jesus came to visit Mary and Martha, but Mary did not understand the eternal value of worshipping at Jesus’ feet. She thought only in the priority of the worldly, the daily life. How will we see our lives from eternity in retrospect? So many days we lived, and we wasted our time in things without eternal worth. How do you see your priority and attitude towards praying, witnessing, studying the Bible, or attending church?
Frivolity and foolishness
Eph 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
The problem with investing your life in foolish things is a problem of error in spiritual vision. “Foolish” is something without eternal worth, and “wise” is something that has to do with obtaining eternal worth. We need to be clear here, the TV, entertainment, recreation, hobbies, sports, and many other things are foolish things without any value before God. It would be much better to dedicate this time and effort to something spiritual in place of this foolishness. What do people do Sunday mornings? Sunday nights? Usually, they spent them in things of no eternal value normally.
Changing the “Always Late”
Time is precious. Once we spend our time, we can never recuperate time ill spent. Nobody can make more time. If we are God’s servants, then it is important that we do that which is the will of our Master, Jesus Christ. When we give our accounting to God, the important point will be how we accomplished God’s will with the time and resources that He gave us. Time is an opportunity from God so that we do what is profitable to Him.
Luke 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
Jesus left us the homework of accomplishing his spiritual work on earth until He returns. Soon He will return, and our exhortation is to redeem the time because the time rapidly is fleeing.
Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
It is the will of our Lord that we dedicate Sundays to congregating and having a time of fellowship with our brethren. This is profitable and of spiritual value for all. God will punish us with problems and needs in our lives, with disasters and crises, because we disobey this commandment of God. Moreover time has to be redeemed with astuteness and intelligence, with effort and energy. We have to invest our time in things of eternal value. How should we live this day in sight of the soon return of our Lord Jesus Christ? The problem is not little time, but time ill spent because of our failed spiritual vision and lack of having spiritual priorities. Few see any value in praying, witnessing, church affairs, or reading the Bible. Why? How about you?
Always Late for God
Returning to the theme of why the brethren always arrive late to God’s house, we do not place the correct priority on the things of God as we should, so other things become more important to us than being with the brethren in the house of God for the activities that God wants for us on Sunday. If you calculate the time of the service, and then figure how long it takes to get ready and drive to church, and you know when you should wake up. The problem is that we figure and plan to be late, instead of PLANNING to arrive 15 minutes before Sunday School. We always arrive early for things that are very important to us, or things which are economically advantageous to us. If we have an important job interview where we could earn a lot of money, we arrive early. We don’t come early to the things of God because they are not important to us. Our brethren feel offended, but that is not the real problem, but it is in the future when we give an accounting to God. What will you answer Him? Ridiculous excuses and lies will not be acceptable on that day. We have to make this an important matter so that week after week this is not the habit of our lives.
Psa 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
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Author Pastor David Cox
|Date:||January 26, 2016|
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