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Using Our Gift of Time

“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,” (1 Tim 2:1)

Time, talent and treasure, three gifts that each of us have been given to use for the Glory of the Giver. When I think about these I have realized the order they are listed holds a significance. I think I would not have much treasure weighting down my pockets if I hadn’t any marketable talent. Then if I did have a lot of marketable talent which produced abundant treasure to cause my pants to sag like so many of the younger fellows, what good would that do for me if I didn’t have time. By far time is the most important of the three I should think. We all manage to fill up our time with this, that and some of the other along the way, as I have done for so many of the years past. Lately I have looked back over all that time I have been given thus far and tried to see how much of it has produced anything really meaningful. Well we are not going to talk about my opinion on that as I really do not want to embarrass myself. Let it be well enough to say that I should have used my time more effectively and share some of my guilt with you as well.

I find myself talking to myself often, and I will admit that, as we all do either to ourselves or like I out loud. So I said to myself, self, as Paul was saying to Timothy in his letter you really have to stop being so wasteful with that you cannot replace, time. Paul urged Timothy to make entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgiving on behalf of all men. What a noble thing to do! Not with our spare time but with time that we designate to the cause of praying for others. What better thing to spend our time in than praying on behalf of others. We all need prayer. I need prayer, you need prayer, and we all need it constantly. (1 Thessalonians 5:17) We should be about in prayer for our family, our friends, our associates, our enemies, and the lost. The lost are the ones we should be greatly concerned about, as they have no hope of escaping the wrath to come from God.

Paul is telling Timothy that he should make entreaties for them to the Lord. We are to urge the Lord that they might be saved. That is our prayer for the lost should be fervent. James 5:16 says “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” We are to be passionate in our prayers for the lost.

The Apostle Peter wrote about the patience of the Lord. “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) Judgment Day is coming and by the simple math it is coming sooner than later. The world is marching in lockstep towards that time when they will begin to feel the effects of the truth of God’s Word. The Lord is patient with us, the Lord is calling us to prayer. It is not His wish that man should perish, its man’s rejection of God’s Word that man is perishing.

Why? Why is man so blinded to the truth? The events going on in the world are shouting the warning, are waving the red flag, and yet man seems to have no fear and still considers God’s Word as foolishness. Why? The Adversary. “In whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4) Satan has blinded the minds of man by the popular culture of this day and days of the past. There’s that false sense that says I got away before so I will be able to get away in the future. They are caught in the world philosophies, they take faith in todays expanded knowledge, and they are attracted in the hope of the new world system. All of this has blinded the minds of men because the ruler of this world is the adversary Satan himself. They have allowed these false hope to come between then and God.

There are so many on the pursuit of truth and yet pass by the well that springs forth and never runs dry, the Truth of God’s Word. Could it be they have never really listened? I think the problem is that most people claim to believe in God but they really don’t. We read in Hebrews, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6) One cannot come to God unless first he “believes that He is.” If you forsake the world’s silly philosophy, the education of evolution and Darwinism and place your faith in God who is the Creator of Heaven and earth then He can draw you unto salvation. “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:44) God will draw them with His Word, with the truth of the Gospel message. To be drawn to Jesus is the only way to restore the fellowship with God. “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)

You and I are in a battle for the souls of the lost. You and I cannot save one lost soul in this world. Only God can work miracles and the salvation of a lost soul is His greatest miracle. Our battle is a spiritual battle and we must fight it in the spirit not in the flesh. If we try to fight in the flesh we will lose every time. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) We are the sowers of the seed of His truth, we water of the seed of His truth, but God causes the seed of His truth to grow. (1 Corinthians 3:7)

Our weapon is prayer. Prayer is the foundation that unlocks all the possibilities available to us through God. Jesus is our High Priest and He intercedes for us to the Father through our prayers. This is our greatest spiritual weapon and it assures victory. “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.” (2 Corinthians 10:4)

This is my challenge to each of you for the sake of the lost in this world to “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) You may not know here the fruit of your labors in the good work for His Kingdom. But you will in that day when you shall be with Him. We all know someone who desperately needs someone to move God to open their hearts to the truth of His Word. We are all commanded to pray so we all must have that talent. I believe there is no better time investment than to spend time in conversation with the Lord on behalf of a lost soul dying in this world. “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:18)

Man cries for peace, the world cries for peace, peace, peace, and yet there is no peace. Peace is not the absence of noise nor the absence of confusion. Pease is a right relationship with God the Father. I used to work in the midst of confusion in a very noisy place. People making their demands on my time and phones that never stop ringing. Yet I was at peace because I was working for the glory of God. There will never be peace until man has a right relationship with God the Father. We have to do our part in the love of our fellows to make them aware of the Truth of God’s Word. We can do it through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13) and if we pray for God to open the doors to their hearts.

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

The Bridges, October 5, 2014

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