“I’d love to study more, but I JUST DON’T HAVE TIME!”
“Oh, I wish I had the time to read the Bible all the way through, but I just don’t have time!”
“I’d have come to Bible study but I was soooo busy this week!”
How many times have YOU uttered those words? How often THIS WEEK?? And when you said it didn’t you mean “I didn’t MAKE time”?
Time is a constant (outside of the theory of general relativity, but that’s another subject). It applies to everyone equally. Every person has the same amount of time, and most live at least several decades. Yet somehow, some people manage to read the Bible from cover to cover – several times – and others don’t. Now why is that?
Granted, some people have better paying jobs. Less family to support or care for. Some people are too busy with work or money or family to take time for God. And God understands that… He even mentions it in the Bible…
Luke 14:5-15 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, … some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. … Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God… And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
You see? God understands perfectly; people just get too busy with the cares of this life to take time for Him. Of course, those people are not going to ever bring forth any fruit; so they won’t be in the first resurrection…. But God DOES understand. But here is the question…
Are YOU one of those people?
Have you ever used one of those excuses listed above – or one of hundreds like them? Yes? Well, that’s not a good sign.
You can, of course change that… but it will take work. You’ll have to… prioritize. WHICH IS more important – studying, or working? Is it better to go hungry, or to study, and CHANGE your nature into a nature that GOD, Himself, would be proud to have?
Ponder the question carefully – for it IS the choice you have before you now.
And in case you think that you CAN’T… that your situation is so dire, and your life so hectic, that you simply CAN’T make time… ask yourself what you DO make time for. Of course, the obvious victim to pick on is… how much time you do spend watching TV? 4 hours a day, you say? And you can’t spare 30 minutes of that? Or maybe you watch it for only an hour? And during that hour you only watch the news and weather? I ask you… Which is more important… knowing who is bombing who and knowing if it’s going to rain on Friday – which is never right anyway – or knowing how you’ll spend eternity?
You see, there are some very GOOD excuses out there. But excuses don’t change the facts – if you step off a cliff, you might have a very good REASON to step off a cliff – but you will STILL wind up being a lot shorter when you hit the bottom!
People gave Jesus some very good excuses for WHY they couldn’t take the time to follow him in a parable; let’s look at them…
Luke 14:16-18 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
This man was very busy with his life – he couldn’t take the time to go to dinner. That’s understandable enough, isn’t it? And he asked very nicely, too!
Verse 19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
Surely, those are good excuses; having just married someone was even a good enough excuse for military exemption in the Old Testament!
Verses 21-24 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house BEING ANGRY said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.
If you think you’ve been called in this life; and if you call yourself a Christian, and make excuses for why you are scripturally ignorant, excuses to justify WHY you don’t MAKE THE TIME to do what YOU KNOW you should do – well, it is very easy to see how God will feel; He will be quite angry, and you will *NOT* be entering the kingdom anytime soon.
So, if you still have any chance at all to attain the goal for which you seek, you MUST prioritize. You must PUT FIRST THINGS FIRST! Christ continues in this same train of thought and says
Verse 26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
You must hate not only your job, your house, your car, but also your family, and YOUR OWN LIFE ALSO, and have God – and studying, fasting, and anything else YOU KNOW you should do, as the absolute FIRST thing in your life – otherwise, you’re worse off than before you started!
Now, fortunately for you, God created insurance. He dedicated one of the Ten Commandments to ensuring that you have absolutely NO EXCUSE for not doing these things!
You see, from the very beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, and then man, in due time… it was all good, but there was a problem; man was essentially a clean slate. He knew nothing about the purpose for which he was created, nor the rules by which he was to live.
Furthermore, God knew that for a man, getting food was going to be pretty much a full time job. He knew man would likely be too busy finding food to take the time to learn these things. Not to mention man’s natural tendency to be self-involved. So, to make sure the other rules were not only remembered, but learned in the first place… God made the sabbath.
Mark 2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
Notice very clearly that the sabbath was CREATED FOR MAN. Not for God. It doesn’t profit God a bit whether you work a certain day or whether you don’t. Not stealing or not lying at least make the world a better place – but not working one day a week doesn’t help anyone! It’s a totally worthless command. It has ONE main purpose. That purpose is to ensure that you are left WITHOUT EXCUSE!
This commandment exists so that when you try to tell God “Oh, but I didn’t have TIME to do what you wanted, God!” He’d be able to say “Oh, yeah? What did you do from Friday evening to Saturday evening? Hmm? What did you use that time for? Did you use it to find out what YOU’RE doing wrong? Did you use it to find and eliminate your iniquity, like you were supposed to? Well?” (At this point you stare at your feet and mumble)
Malachi 2:6-7 The law of truth was in his [the priest’s] mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity. For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.
The true priesthood is one of the ways you can find out your iniquity – IF that’s why you go to him! Church was intended to be an all-day affair, discussing the Bible and your weaknesses and understanding how to do better. Since that’s impractical at the moment, you have to motivate yourself to dig into the Bible and find the answers for yourself!
Exodus 31:15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
You labor for six days and do all your work. During those six days you devote what, 8 hours a day at your job? 10? 12? Now compare this and see if it’s fair… God requires one day from you. How many hours of that day do you spend at “work” for Him? 1? 2? And how many hours at “rest”, and “play” for you? You don’t have time? I don’t think so!
God created the sabbath so that none of you would be able to say “Oh, I didn’t have time to do my Bible study paper!” Or, “I didn’t have time to do it right!” So be prepared for a rebuke if you use the excuse “I didn’t have time” again… Because all it means is that YOU are breaking the sabbath!
Luke 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
You sat down, and decided to begin to build this tabernacle for God – that is, you – into something of value. You laid the foundation with Baptism. And now that you’ve started, the cares of this world, the job, family, friends, have choked you. And now you’re not able to COMMIT enough of your precious time to doing something that is of ETERNAL VALUE to FINISH!
And because of that, you will be the pitied laughingstock of all eternity.
Now, IF you’re scared enough of that thought to change, perhaps there is hope for you. I say “perhaps” because it WILL take work, it WILL take determination, and you will have to RULE your spirit and MAKE IT DO WHAT IS RIGHT!
There is only one way for you to change it, however; and that is to MAKE time. When? Well, that’s up to you. If you want to change, you’ll be able to find a way easy enough. How much time? That, too, is up to you. Just remember this; God is watching, and your reward will be commensurate with your decision.
So, let me ask you…
Do you have enough time?