Welcome to the footnote¹ blog. Our goal each day is to examine a verse and give a short summary in commentary form or simply an encouraging note to help you remain faithful to God throughout the week. Either way we hope that the footnote¹ blog will comfort you through God's word and give you a better understanding of His will.
“Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word.” (Acts 8.4, ESV)¹
¹In the context, Christians were dealing with persecution including prison time, beatings, and/or death (See the books of Acts). Despite this, Christians went about preaching the word. In fact, since the Christians were so diligent in teaching others, Luke recorded in Acts that the church multiplied by the thousands and yet persecutions abounded!
What’s our excuse for not teaching others? Is it the television? Coming home after a long day and putting up our feet to watch T.V. sounds great. Is it the internet? Spending time surfing the net and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter is very relaxing. Is it tiredness? Indeed, forty to fifty hours a week at work can be exhausting. Too many activities? Little Johnny has soccer, Suzie has softball, Bobby has piano lessons, Bill has chess club, etc. Of course, these activities are necessary.
Surely one can see the sarcasm above. Simply put, we put too much before our God. We focus on the wrong things. We fill our lives with so much that we neglect spiritual things. If we find ourselves not teaching sinners, isn’t it time we examine our lives and discover what we need to eliminate to make time?
Perhaps time is not the issue. Perhaps a lack of knowledge is the reason why we do not teach. What are we doing about that, brethren? Are we diligently studying? Are we seeking to learn God’s word to teach our family or friends?
Here are the facts: If Christians in the first century lived in a time with no electricity and no modern-day comforts, and dealt with constant hardship due to persecution and yet still taught sinners, then God will not accept our excuses of being too tired, wanting to watch our favorite television shows, or that little billy has football practice every afternoon, etc. It is scary how many of us will be using those excuses on judgment day!
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” (Eph. 5.15-16, ESV)¹
¹Time is one of the most precious things in this life. One reason for this is because every second that goes by is another second that we cannot get back and another second closer to our death. Here’s a scary thought: the second we are born we begin to die!
A quick internet search will show that we watch an average of 5 hours of television a day while browsing our social media accounts for an average of 1 hour and 40 minutes and consuming food and drink for nearly 1 hour and 8 minutes. This does not include sleep, work, commute times, shopping, sports, school, cooking, cleaning, reading, exercising, playing games, or even going to the bathroom! Simply put, we spend a lot of time doing several things in this life.
However, in all that we do, are we making the best use of our time? There is nothing necessarily wrong in the stated activities above, but one could argue that it becomes wrong when these things either consume all our time or are placed before the time necessary to serve God.
In fact, as Christians all our time belongs to God! What does that say about the things we do? Again, while watching television or playing sports is not sinful in and of itself, they become sinful when these things compete with God’s time (our service to Him and others). When this happens, God is no longer first in our lives, but placed on the “back burner.”
On the flip side, what happens when we fill our lives with sinful things? Since the two (sin and God) cannot co-exist in one’s life, we must choose what remains consistent. In other words, which master will we serve, sin or God? (Matt. 6.24, 33; Rom. 6.16-18, etc.)
Let us not fill our lives with innocent or sinful activities that simply distract us from giving our time to God. If you’re interested in learning how to walk wisely before God, e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.