December 18, 2017

Treasuring Our Time (Part Two)

Jerry Sivnksty

In Ephesians 5:16 the apostle Paul wrote, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” We as God’s children are living in evil days; therefore we ought to be making the most of our time. Recently I read an article about how George Whitefield and his close friends kept records of how they spent their days. They would try to improve areas in which they felt they were wasting time. We, too, ought to take an inventory of how we spend our time.

In my previous article I stressed two areas that we should set apart in the use of our time. The first was our time of devotions. Our private time with the Lord will reveal our spiritual maturity and depth of character. The second was our time of prayer. We cannot ignore the importance of setting aside time for prayer, because this is how we build an intimate relationship with our Lord. As James 5:16 says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” In Luke 18:1 we read, “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” Clearly, every child of God should pursue a pulsating prayer life.

Now we will consider the two other vital activities that we should incorporate into our time schedule. The third area is our time of memorizing and meditating upon God’s Word. I cannot stress enough the importance of memorizing the Scripture. Psalm 119:11 says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” The Word of God is our authority for living as Christians. We are not to govern our decisions based upon our logic, reasoning, or emotions—our lives are to be controlled by the teaching of Scripture.

Psalm 119:130 says, “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” In this darkened society of ours where millions are groping in darkness, the child of God has the illuminating light of His Word. In the Old Testament, God’s people taught and memorized Scripture. Deuteronomy 11:18 says, “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.” Because God’s Word places such a strong emphasis on memorizing Scripture, we must recognize that same urgency for our own lives.

I’m grateful that when I was saved as a teenager my Sunday school teacher challenged me to memorize the Scriptures. It has been a wonderful blessing, and I encourage people to start a systematic program for memorizing the Bible. I stress two things on this matter: First, memorize God’s Word out loud by saying the reference and then the verse over and over until you’ve memorized it. Second, meditate upon the memorized passage. The Lord does not say He will make us successful if we memorize the Scriptures; rather, He promises success only when we meditate upon them. Joshua 1:8 also emphasizes that truth: “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” God’s people are wise to set aside time for memorizing His Word for their personal growth and public ministry.

The fourth and final aspect of scheduling our time involves witnessing for the Lord. When I was first saved, this was a difficult thing for me to do. I was challenged by a dear friend in West Virginia to go out with him and witness for Christ. I told him I would go as long as I didn’t have to say a word, because I was extremely shy and had a very hard time speaking in front of people. However, as I watched this man take the Word of God and deal with individuals and saw them come under conviction and accept Christ as Savior, I became eager to begin witnessing for the Lord. I asked my friend if I could witness to the next person, and he agreed. I talked so fast and got everything so mixed up that the lady to whom I was witnessing looked strangely at me with bewilderment in her eyes. But I kept working at it until I could clearly present the gospel to people. The thrill of leading people to Christ is one of the greatest privileges I’ve known.

In Romans 10:1 the apostle Paul wrote, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.” We will never have a passion for souls if we lose sight of individuals without our Lord Jesus Christ. May it be our desire as God’s people to treasure our time and take an inventory of how we are using it in these four areas.

You may contact Evangelist Jerry Sivnksty at P.O. Box 141, Starr, SC 29684, or via e-mail at .

(Originally published in FrontLine • March/April 2004. Click here to subscribe to the magazine.)

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