Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Buy Up the Time by Reading This Dynamic Little Book

This morning I read a portion from a small book that I've found to be most encouraging - Shopping for Time by Carolyn Mahaney and her three daughters. The premise of the book is founded on the text in Ephesians 5:15-16, which says, "Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil."

Carolyn writes about this verse, "This phrase, 'making the best' means to 'buy up, rescue from loss, or improve' the use of time. It is a metaphor taken from the merchants and traders of the ancient Near East, who aggressively pursued the best deals when they would buy, sell, or trade." Hence the idea of shopping for time.

The book's subtitle is How to Do It All and NOT Be Overwhelmed. But really, the book focuses on how to have a vibrant time daily with the Lord. I have been convicted, encouraged, enlightened and exhorted through this little dynamo of a book that is less than one-hundred pages long.

I've posted about using a Bible reading plan in order to have direction in God's word on a day-to-day basis and even though I follow a specific reading plan on the days when I am not preparing to teach the womens' Bible study that I lead, there are times when I just do not "connect" with the Lord. I may have been in the word and prayer for an hour, yet I walk away with an emptiness.

In Shopping for Time, Carolyn takes it one step beyond the reading plan. For your encouragement here is an excerpt from Shopping for Time regarding getting the most from God's word and the time you spend with the Lord daily:

...take time to listen - meditate - on the words in front of you. One simple method is to write down two sentences, one beginning with "God" and the other starting with "I". To complete your "God" sentence, ask yourself, "What do these verses reveal about God? For your "I" sentence, you can ask two questions: "What do I learn about myself in relation to God from these verses?" and "What do I resolve to do in response to God's revelation of Himself in these verses?" Oh, and you're not limited to one "God" and "I" sentence each - write as many as you like!

Then spend time in prayer. Worship God for the aspects of His character that He's revealed in the verses you've just read. Thank Him for the many facets of His grace you've glimpsed in the passage. Ask for His assistance to respond in obedience to His word. And likewise, pray for others.
 Hope you've been as encouraged as I was. I plan to start tomorrow morning with the three questions as I look into God's word.

How do you deal with those times when you just can't seem to "connect" with the Lord? Do you have a tip for vibrant Bible study that you could pass along? 

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  1. I NEED to get this book! thanks for sharing Sharon.

  2. When I feel far from God and can't seem to "connect" with Him I must remind myself of His promises in Scripture, the He will never leave me or forsake me. It is I that wonder off, not Him! By His mercy He restores me, often by showing me sin that needs to be confessed. My pastor, Steve, has been going through 1 Peter and last month he spoke on 5:6-7. I was so convicted of sin in my life when he talked about pride. "A person who wants to shine above everyone else ... looking down upon overestimation of our own attainments and our own humility...We fail to see that we're not nearly what we ought! Do we love God half as much as we should? Do we serve God half as much as we should? Are we growing half as much as we should? NO! We don't extimate ourselves rightly! Humility is going low, stepping down, but we've got no where to step down from! We are already at the bottom!" Steve also said that our duty is to learn humility, accept our circumstances, and acknowledge God's soveriegn hand in all our troubles. Ever since that Sunday God has revealed what a foothold this sin of pride has in me. As I confess my sins, I am reminded of God's forgiveness and my own lowliness. How sweet it is to put off myself and draw close to Him. The closest place to God I've found is at His feet, and how quickly the confession of my sin brings me there! When I think of the miry pit of sin He saved me out of and where I would be today, but for His mercy, I am broken.

    I'm a poor sinner, I'm nothing at all. Jesus Christ is my All in All!