This week’s devotions are based on Week 5 of the Series “Fresh Start” – I Meet New People! (WATCH HERE)
“I just don’t have the time.”
This thought may cross your mind as you see someone from a distance that you know will engage in discussion if they see you. From past experience, you know that the conversation will not be short.
These words may come out of our mouth when we are rushing from one activity to the next and one of our children asks a question that you know is going to take time to answer. You forget to come back to it later.
Time is one of the greatest gifts we can give to people. In our 24/7 society dominated by electronic communication and brief sound bites of video, to have a meaningful conversation with someone is perhaps more rare than common these days.
But they are important.
In Jesus’ interaction in Capernaum in Mark 1:29-39, we see him investing his time with people. Sure he didn’t have social media or a “9-5” job, but he had many demands on his time and could have easily said, “I just don’t have time.”
The time he had, he wanted to invest in people because people were worth his time.
Why? Why were people worth his time?
Perhaps there are several reasons.
First, some of the people around him needed training to be ready to do the Gospel work when he returned to heaven. Mark 1:29 says, “29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew.” Jesus invested his time in the 12 he called to follow him. Four of those are mentioned here as they went to the home of Simon and Andrew to stay there. In these moments of time together, Jesus would take time to answer questions, explain his actions and correct mindsets and understandings. He called these individuals to carry the Gospel ministry forward after he was gone, and he knew that investing time in training them was time well spent.
Who will replace you as a witness for the Lord when you are in heaven? Will the voice of the Gospel fall silent from your family line when you are gone? I hope not, but if you are reading this, it’s not too late to set aside time to train someone to know the Lord perhaps better than they do now. For those who are blessed to be parents or grandparents, the Apostle Paul encourages: 4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. This verse speaks directly to dads…take the lead in training the next generation to know, love, and follow the Lord. It speaks indirectly to anyone who has influence in a child’s life. We are not to “let them choose when they are older,” but rather carry the responsibility to “bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” It is time well spent when a child’s eternity is at stake as well as the eternity of all whom the Lord will use that child to speak the Gospel in the future.
It doesn’t have to just be a child. Perhaps God has put in your life a person or people that are curious and interested in spiritual things. Perhaps its investing time at lunch, an evening together, or joining a small group together that puts them on a pathway to deeper learning and understanding.
It’s not easy, because time is precious. Yet, perhaps it becomes easier when we see people through the eyes of Jesus and know that spending time training others to carry the Gospel is priceless.
Apply: Think of one person in your life that God may be calling you to invest a little more time to bring the Gospel more deeply into their lives.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your love and grace and time that you have given to me that I might know, love and follow you. Help me to invest in a similar way in some of the people you have put around me that they too might know, love and follow you and help others to do the same. AMEN.