Erika F. Puni, Director, General Conference Stewardship
Summary: Making time for God in our busy lives is being a good steward. Time alone with God is not an option; it is a required discipline of the Christian life.
Human life is lived out in segments of time. Whether one is engaged in church ministry or in personal activities, in corporate events or individual pursuits of life, all of our human endeavors take place in time. This reality means that none of us can afford to squander this precious gift and resource of God in the way we conduct ourselves in the world. Even the “preacher” in the Wisdom Literature recognized the importance of every moment in life by stating that “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV).
The importance of time in relationship with God is clearly expressed in Scripture from the very beginning when God instituted the seventh-day Sabbath as a special time when Adam and Eve could experience rest in Him (Genesis 2:1-3). Making time for God in our busy lives is not only “right” in terms of Christian behavior but it is good stewardship—giving God His rightful place in our lives.
God also recognized that humans would need time to revive and survive daily. He created the “night” so His creatures could sleep in order to restore energy and give the body time to do its work of repair and replenish. But more importantly, God wanted His people to make time to be in communion with Him so they would come to know Him better as Creator and Savior. Time alone with God is not an option; it is a required discipline of the Christian life.
Jesus made time
I find it significant that Matthew, Mark, and Luke all recorded the experience of Jesus in the desert where He was tested by Satan soon after His baptism. The notation that Jesus was led by the “Spirit,” and that He fasted (a spiritual exercise of faith) for forty days during this time would suggest that He was spending time alone with His Father though tempted by Satan (Matthew 4:1-2).
In essence, Christ practiced the value of being connected and being in the presence of God as a necessary preparation for service. Not only did He seek time in the beginning of His public ministry for communion with His Father, but He continued to make time for God in His prayer life (Luke 9:18; 11:1). This special time was the secret to His power as manifested in His ministry in Palestine.
The disciples made time
When questioned by the high priest and rulers of the law about the authority by which they healed the crippled man at the temple, Peter testified boldly that it was by the power of Jesus of Nazareth (Acts 4:8-10). The leaders of the temple were amazed with Peter and John’s courage, particularly because they saw them only as ordinary men with no formal education but noted that they “had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13). Power and courage are the consequences of a life connected to Jesus Christ. The disciples made time for God.
Will you make time?
If Jesus felt the necessity of making time for His Father in His life and ministry, if the twelve disciples saw it fit to be in the presence of their Master, thus enabling them to do the impossible, would it not be wise for us as stewards and God’s leaders in the church to set aside time for Him today?