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Time and Time Again

Matthew 6:33, Christian time management
Priorities determine the course of our lives, and daily choices determine priorities.

Our first priority should be God (Matthew 6:33), but that doesn't mean we spend all day at church. It means we let God govern our time. We want to be flexible and open to "divine interruptions" but we still need a "plan."

"Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12

Without a budget, we often spend money impulsively or carelessly. Without a "time budget," we usually spend our time impulsively or carelessly. 

It isn't always the bad choices that trip us up. Often it's spending too much time on one good thing while neglecting another.

If you faithfully spend time with God each day, statistics show you're in the minority of believers.(1) And this is our greatest priority problem.

Why not take some time to make a "time budget" that includes time for God and allows you to do all of those things He's prepared in advance for your schedule (Ephesians 2:10)!

(1) Christianity Today


Too Laid Back

Too laid back, not caring enough, Matthew 5:23-24, James 4:8-10, Colossians 4:2
God created us with different strengths and there are blessings in being introspective and blessings in being laid-back. 

However, most strengths have accompanying weaknesses.

Introspective people can "over-think" problems and laid-back people can "under-think" them. Over-thinkers need to replace obsessive thoughts with God thoughts. (see Over Thinking)

Under-thinkers need to face problems squarely:
1. Dealing with conflict instead of ignoring it.
Matthew 5:23-24

2. Caring deeply about personal sin instead of excusing it.
James 4:8-10

3. Praying about everything, being alert, giving situations the time and effort they deserve.
Colossians 4:2

Laid back people don't let their minds ruminate over problems. They can help over-thinkers put things in perspective and leave their problems at the feet of Christ because the problems of this world are insignificant in light of eternity.

But they must avoid denying or ignoring problems, refusing to give them the time and prayer they deserve. 

What personality type are you - introspective or laid-back? Why not find a prayer partner who has the opposite strength.


Over Thinking

Psalm 46:1-3, memorizing ScripturePeople deal with difficulties in different ways. 

Some folks analyze and ponder. Others consider the situation, but quickly move on.

Introspective people can bring clarity to subjects by careful, logical examination, while laid-back personalities can bring perspective because they don't take things too seriously. 

However, we often operate in extremes, over-thinking or under-thinking problems. 

Over-thinkers who struggle with negative, sad, or angry thoughts can take these steps:

    1. Ask God for His peace in the midst of your difficulty. John 14:27
    2. Identify specific Bible verses that speak truth to your situation. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
    3. Memorize these verses or at least write them down. Psalm 119:9-16
    4. Whenever you begin to think obsessively, read or recite them. Psalm 119:9-16
    5. Make sure you meet with God daily for perspective. Psalm 130:5
      When we replace obsessive thoughts with "God thoughts," we are reminding ourselves that God is our refuge from every problem. He is our comfort, wisdom and peace! (Psalm 46:1-3)

      Tomorrow we'll discuss solutions for those who "under-think" problems.


      Blind But Seeing

      At age three Louis accidentally blinded himself. 

      In the early 1800’s prospects for a blind boy were dim, but Louis was no ordinary boy. His deep hunger for learning motivated him to invent a system of raised-type dots. 

      Louis Braille was only 12 when he made reading and writing possible for the blind. Shunning fame and fortune, he went on to live a life of service until tuberculosis took him at age 42.

      What Braille lacked in physical sight, he possessed in spiritual sight.

      Content that he’d served his mission on earth, his dying words were these:
      "God was pleased to hold before my eyes the dazzling splendors of eternal hope. After that, doesn't it seem that nothing more could keep me bound to the earth?"*

      "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him." 1Corinthians 2:9 (NLT)

      Give us spiritual eyes, Lord Jesus!
       copyright Gail Burton Purath, 2011

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      All Scripture references NIV unless otherwise noted.