Make time to be be holy

Published 8:19 pm Friday, March 23, 2018

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Sam Askew

“Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord; Abide in Him always, and feed on his word; Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak, forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.”

– Hymn by William Longstaff

Do you ever pause at the end of the day and wonder where the time went? In the last century there were introduced a multitude of time-saving devices and machinery to enable one to accomplish more in less time. Some inventions actually provided a greater amount of leisure time. Few people wait patiently for coffee to perk when the K-cup provides in less than a minute. The timer regulates cooking in the oven or crock pot while you attend to other things. Irons and ironing boards have given way to permanent press. Laundry can be done anytime day or night with a quick toss of clothes and pre-measured pods.

Behavioral changes have given us more time. We leave home with coffee in a large container that will keep it warm or keep an iced drink cold for many hours, so refills are needed less often. Shopping can be done without the investment of time in driving, searching for a parking place and waiting at the register. No need to make a personal visit or phone when we can e-mail and text. We can even avoid a long wait in the doctor’s office with use of an on-line nurse. Bills can be paid automatically by our bank without designating personal time to write out checks and stuff envelopes.

I remember as a child reading science articles in magazines about what life would be like in the next century with all its time-saving devices. We watched the cartoon “the Jetsons” portraying people who had had self-driving vehicles, cleaning machines for clothes, dishes and cars. George walked the dog on what came to be a home treadmill for people exercise. It seemed to be the thought that the use of time-saving equipment would provide more time for self and family.

The ‘it seems’ devices may actually work against us. Instead of having more time for self-growth, for family, for even worship and service to God, we fill the time with building up treasures on earth to purchase more things.

Recently in my devotional time I repeated the words of the historic confession I have prayed so often; “Almighty and most merciful Father; We have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us.”

There is that word: devices!

A device may be understood as a plan, scheme or trick with a particular aim. A device may be a thing made or adapted for a particular purpose. Have I allowed devices of both types to hinder my relationship with God? My spiritual and physical health is affected by the devices and desires I choose to make part of my life. With time saved, it seems important to use what is saved of time to reflect upon what is my salvation.

The season of Lent is quickly ending to be replaced by a season of greatest celebration. Yet, many people may not be prepared to celebration. Some have not dealt with the devices and desires that cast shadows upon their life. Their work does not satisfy; their worship of God is occasional; they speak in prayer but have not listened.

Hear these word of the Apostle John: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him for everything in the world — the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does — comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever” (I John 2:15-17.)

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Sam Askew