Monday, January 20, 2014

Bible Study: Refined like gold or chopped into wood chips

Romans 14:9
Malachi 3:2-4
Watching the tree become wood chips
We don't have time in this life to accomplish every good thing. We have to make choices each day about what we will do and what we will say no to. Yet what are we saying no to? Is the activity we are favoring worth the one we are choosing to reject?
Christ Jesus is Lord of the living and the dead. He has the power to help us now if we choose to live for Him and the authority to decide our fates when we become one of the dead. Are we choosing for Him? Or are other important priorities (work, family, hobbies, etc) crowding out of our schedule the activities (prayers, church, Scripture, etc) that will bring us deeper in our relationship with the Lord? As important as certain things are (e.g. job responsibilities), the time we spend on them will burn like chaff in the Lord's refining fire if they are simply drawing us away from our God. Their true value lies only in the spiritual growth we gain from them. We can transform them into gold (growing in perseverance, speaking words of Christ's love to coworkers, using the money earned to honor the Lord), or we can watch them burn into nothing, all our time spent on them wasted. Or, we can say no more often to the very good activities in favor of better activities, actively prioritizing what will last at the end over what will burn away into nothing.
The fully grown maple tree in front of our house was cut down and turned into wood chips last spring. It had fulfilled its purpose in life, providing shade during the summer, helping block the wind during storms, and offering a big pile of leaves to jump in every fall, for whoknowshowmany years on end. Nothing but a rotting stump is left now. Even the wood chips are gone, scattered anonymously among our city's many mulched areas. As important as our activities can be, do they have an eternal value to outlast our lives? Or will they become like wood chips, scattered and forgotten as soon as we reach our earthly end?
How do you spend your time? What is worth keeping, what is worth transforming into gold, and what should be dropped like a hot potato in favor of something better utilizing your time and energy?
Linked with Modest Monday

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