Friday, January 22, 2010

Make the Effort

As I grow older the more aware I am of the passing moments of life. The younger you are the easier it is to put things off by saying, "I will do it tomorrow". With each passing day time slips through our fingers. We have to remember that we only have a limited supply of tomorrows, and we don't know when they will run out. The good intentions that we have will remain undone if we don't begin to make an effort to accomplish them.

We all have dreams, goals, and passions that we would like to accomplish. Maybe you want to start improving the relationship you have with a distant brother/sister or maybe start to pursue a romantic relationship. Perhaps you want to write a book or go back to college. Maybe you want to change careers or start your own business. Perhaps you want to serve God in a new capacity or go on some type of missions trip. We will not accomplish any of it unless we put forth the effort to accomplish them.

Tomorrow will not be any less busy than today is. We can be certain that tomorrow will bring with it a new set of troubles and expectations. The only way to achieve the good we wish to accomplish today is to start taking the steps we need to do in order to accomplish our dreams and goals. Sooner or later we will realize that tomorrow will not come and the chances we had in the past are now forever lost.

The big problem I face in this process is the lure of entertainment. It is so easy to get sucked into watching that next TV show we were told we couldn't miss or to watch the latest movies releases so we can have something to talk about with our friends and family.

The hours spent watching TV shows, movies, playing video games, and surfing the net are hours that we could have spent doing something productive. Entertainment keeps us from using the blessings God has given us when we allow it to consume our lives. I am not saying the entertainment is evil, what I am saying is that when we allow the entertainment industry to consume us we waste the time, money, and talents God has blessed us with. We have to realize that one of the victims of our over indulgence of entertainment and other distractions are the good intentions of our lives. Lost are the relationships we wanted to cultivate, the projects we wanted to complete, and the people we wanted to help.
Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near. (Hebrews 10:23-25; NLT)

There are two points I would like to draw from this passage in Hebrews. First we are to encourage each other "to outbursts of love and good deeds" It so much easier to accomplish the good we intend to do if we have people in our lives encouraging us to do the right thing rather than enabling us to waste the time God has granted. if we do not have people in our corner urging us on is so easy just to be swept along by the current of everyday demands. Encouragement is needed if we are going to make good on the intentions that we have.

There is is a flip side to this as well. If we expect encouragement then it is very important that we offer encouragement. We cannot expect from others what we are not willing to give. I believe that was we get involved in the lives of other people we will find ourselves being more intentional with the way we use our time.

Second point is "that the day of his coming back is drawing near". Jesus never gave us a blue print by which we are to map His return. The "signs" that so many point to are so general that they can apply to almost any age, and as we look at history we will notice that they have been. That doesn't mean the Jesus isn't coming back, but it does mean that we can't predict when He will return. Even if Jesus doesn't come back in our lifetime (though I have a belief in my heart that He will) we still have the fact that with each passing day our death becomes more of a reality. We can only put things off for so long before time and death catches up to us. Then it will not matter what our good intentions were because they have simply remained intentions.

We can intend to do good all we want, but if we never start to work toward accomplishing them they won't mean a thing. Unlike in gift giving it is not the thought that counts. It comes down to whether or not we will use what God has given us to accomplish the good works that He has called us to do. What are you doing to accomplish the good you want to do?

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