|Volume 22 Number 6 August 2020||
A Day in the Life
Recently, Crossway Publishing conducted a survey regarding how much time people spend doing a variety of activities. The question they asked was what percentage of people spend 30 minutes or more each day in specific activities. Some of the results were 70% on email, 59% on television, 55% on housework, 42% on hobbies, 28% on Facebook, 26% on YouTube, 11% on Instagram and 65% on Twitter. This does not imply there is anything intrinsically evil in any of these activities, but this is just a reflection on how people spend their time.
If one can spend 30 minutes or more a day engaging in things like this, can you spare some time reading God’s Word every day? I know we all have things to do, activities with which we’re busy. Yet, if we have time for such as these, why not make the time to read Scripture, to let God speak to us through His Word? If you take 9 minutes a day, you can read through the Old Testament in a year. If you take 3 minutes a day, you can read through the New Testament in a year. If you take 12 minutes a day, you can read the entire Bible in a year. Surely, we all have 12 minutes a day we could spend in reading the Bible. If not, how about 3 minutes a day to read the New Testament? Perhaps after spending a few seconds with a single verse, then we could reflect on that verse throughout the day. There are different ways we can read from the Bible and allow it to bless us.
Paul reminded Timothy, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16). The value of Scripture is in what it helps us to be. It transforms our minds (Romans 12:2), which transforms our lives (2 Corinthians 3:18). “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:12-13). It enables us to see our true selves, both our strengths and our weaknesses. The Word of God helps us to overcome the influence of sin that would condemn us. It works God’s purposes in and through us now, so we can stand approved before God when we give account of our lives before Him in Judgment (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Without the influence of Scripture in us, we are prone to listen to the philosophy of the world around us, to be influenced by Satan and his designs for us. As Jesus defeated the temptations of Satan by the power of the Word (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10), so God’s Word can help enable us to overcome as well (Ephesians 6:17). For God to work through His Word for our good, we have to spend time in it. If we treasure it in our heart, we can recall it in times of need (Psalm 119:11). It is available in many places, at reasonable prices (many times free!) and accessible in various formats (paper, digital, audio). If we truly desire to learn and apply God’s Word, we can. What blessings will be ours if we take advantage of the opportunity to have God instruct us in the path that leads to eternal life (Psalm 119:105)!
As we consider the nature of life and what life is all about, does your schedule have time to read Scripture? Do you have a few seconds to consider a verse or a few verses each day? How about 3 minutes a day to read the New Testament in a year? Or, could you devote 9 minutes a day to read the Old Testament in a year? How about 12 minutes a day to read the entire Bible in a year? You will be amazed at the change it can make. The other activities mentioned earlier can have value for today, but God’s Word has value that will last forever. Will you take time in your day, in your life, to let God make a difference in you?
Gary C. Hampton
Paul, even as a prisoner, was confident God would deliver him (Philippians 1:19). His confidence did not seem to have been in a deliverance from prison. The apostle seemed to have been assured that the Almighty would work everything out for good (1:20). It did not matter whether he was delivered from prison to preach freely again or delivered from this life to be with the Lord.
God’s spokesman to the Gentiles seemed to have based his confidence, in part, on the prayers of the saints for him. He had learned not to trust in himself but in God who is able to raise the dead (2 Corinthians 1:9-11). Paul also benefited by the “supply,” or help which undergirds and strengthens, of the Spirit. He expressed a powerful trust in the Lord as a part of his closing words to his son in the faith (2 Timothy 4:18). Such thinking would surely support one through the most difficult of times.
An “earnest expectation” is “primarily a watching with outstretched head.” It “signifies strained expectancy, eager longing, the stretching forth of the head indicating an expectation of something from a certain place” (W.E. Vine, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words 61). Paul did not look forward to failure but to success in showing the Savior more clearly to others either through his life or through his death (Philippians 1:20). Thus, death would be gain because it would bring the long-awaited reward of rest (2 Corinthians 5:18; 2 Timothy 4:6-8; Revelation 14:13).
One has to know how to live to be able to die with the same assurance Paul expressed (Philippians 1:21). He told the Galatian brethren, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).