Time that is well spent
Published 4:44 pm Friday, September 23, 2016
Gale and I have been married almost thirty-nine years and we still enjoy spending time together. After knowing each other for forty years we are still learning about each other and growing in our relationship together. One of the things that nurtures our marriage is being able to spend time together without interruption, and one of the ways we achieve that is by going on a date occasionally. Admittedly we do not have as many of those opportunities as we would like, but we cherish the occasions that we do have.
Last Saturday evening was one of those times that we were able to get away for a few hours. Amazingly there were no kids in the back seats, no agenda—our primary mission was to spend some time together. Our evening was not fancy or particularly expensive, yet it provided a season of joy that a price tag cannot be put on.
We both had more study and preparation for Sunday morning service that we could have spent the rest of the evening on, but we chose to spend time with each other. Sure, study and preparation for ministry are tremendously important and should never be minimized or neglected, nevertheless, time together is important to relationships and is pleasing to God too. I am convinced that my ability to minister effectively is enhanced when my relationship with my wife remains strong and healthy.
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Our relationship with God also grows stronger when we set aside time to spend with Him. All of us live in a high-energy, high-demand world that can easily cause us to give far too little attention to our relationship with God. Sometimes it requires us to lay aside some things—even important things—to do the better thing and commune with God.
In the New Testament book of Ephesians, written by Paul the apostle, we get a reminder of a great man of God who valued being able to commune with God in prayer. He realized that he, along with all followers of Christ, were members of a spiritual family headed up by God Himself. As a member of that family he could communicate with the Father through prayer; communing with God in this way brought growth and vitality to his spiritual life. Putting it into practice in our spiritual lives today will add great strength to our relationship with God.
As a result of his awareness that he belonged to the family of God and that God was his heavenly Father, Paul had the assurance that when he prayed he was heard by Him. He wrote regarding his communication with God: “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from Whom His whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name” (Ephesians 3:14-15, New International Version). He continues: “I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being” (verse 16). What joy Paul must have experienced with the assurance that He was heard by God as he called out to Him in prayer. He went on to refer to God as the One Who is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (verse 20).
The more time we spend with God, the greater realization we have of His goodness and availability. As we grow in our relationship with Him the more we value prayer and the results that it yields in us and through us.
Without a doubt, time spent with Him is time well spent.