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Wasted Time or Extra Hours in Your Day

On my way to work the other morning I thought about all the time I spent driving to/from work and taking our older son and his friend to/from youth group. We live just over 25 miles outside of town, so the commute is about 35-45 minutes each way. That night alone I spent just over an hour driving home, loading the car up with kids and dropping them off at youth group. The thought about how much time I “wasted” driving when I could have been doing something productive crossed my mind, but the Lord quickly corrected me in that thought, telling me the time was not “wasted”. He reminded me that the time I spent driving alone in the car was time spent with Him and the time with the kids was “family” time. The time could have been a waste had I not chosen to pray as I drove alone and then talk with the children as drove to youth group.

I realized at that time that we choose to have wasted hours in our day. We can either complain about the lemons in our life or make lemonade and create a profit from our choices. How much profit are you making with the lemons in your life? We make a choice about how we spend each minute of each day. If we choose to “waste” those minutes being unprofitable, then we cannot be called good stewards of what God has given us. He gives each person the same number of minutes in each day, and we choose how to spend or invest those minutes. It is a learning and growing process, as long as we learn from the “not so wise” choices, then those minutes have profited us too.

For example, how many people say they do not have time to pray each morning, but still have time to stop at the latte stand on the way to work? I know our local latte stands get mighty busy in the mornings, taking as much as ten or more minutes just to get through the line! What do you do while waiting in line? How about taking those few minutes and pray, meditate, and/or worship while in line.

How can you turn “wasted time” into “extra hours” in your life?


Daily Weeding of Our Hearts

I have to admit this week the Lord has done some “uncovering” of some of  my unsurrendered areas. The good thing about Him uncovering areas like this is that it preps our heart like a garden, so it is ready for His good seeds to be planted and take root. Unless we surrender to Him and allow Him to pull the weeds of our own will, selfishness, and pride, we will never be able to grow His fruit in our hearts and lives for others to see or pick (taste). Without the tilling of the soil, the weeds will continue to grow and choke out the seedlings He has planted and wishes to grow in our lives. When someone wants to plant a garden it takes time, planning, and a lot of hard work, so do the changes God wants to do in our hearts and lives. But we must remember it is His time, His planning, and His hard work; “all” we need to do is surrender to His will for our lives.

When there are times we feel we are unable to hear clearly from the Lord or that He seems distant, perhaps it is due to weeds we have allowed to grow in our lives that blocks our communication with the Lord. It could be something as simple as a weed of allowing ourselves to get too busy, or maybe getting puffed up in pride, or maybe allowing the enemy to get us all worked up over issues. We need to stop and ask ourselves whether we are taking time to be with the Lord, quiet at His feet…Are we sitting with Him each day allowing Him to weed the garden of our heart? Sometimes He may pull a weed Himself and it is over quickly, other times He may use someone else in our life or experiences in our life (circumstances) to pull the weed and it is not so easy and may be quite painful to our flesh. I believe the weeds with shallow roots are the quick and easy ones, and the ones we allow to grow and create deep roots are the ones that are painful and take a long time to get out of our lives. This is why surrendering to Him and allowing Him to “weed” us daily is so important, it prevents the deep roots from forming, keeping our hearts clean and ready for daily communion with Him.

Matthew 13:22 describes what happens when God’s Word is sewn among the thorns (weeds), “Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” (NKJV) If we allow Him to “weed” us daily, he can pull out the small issues before they grow into big issues. He will point out areas of unforgiveness, resentment, pride and any other sin in our lives, before it becomes a wall between Him and us. By having a weeded garden, we can grow well developed, good and healthy fruit of the Spirit that we can use to minister to those around us. In Matthew 7:17-20 it says that an unhealthy tree cannot bear good fruit and that a healthy tree bears good fruit…and we will be known by our fruit (whether good or bad). We want the world to see our good fruit of Christ, so they will want what we have and be saved…right? If so, then we must make sure the garden of our heart is weeded daily, so we are able to bear good fruit.

“17 Even so, every healthy (sound) tree bears good fruit [worthy of admiration], but the sickly (decaying, worthless) tree bears bad (worthless) fruit. 18 A good (healthy) tree cannot bear bad (worthless) fruit, nor can a bad (diseased) tree bear excellent fruit [worthy of admiration]. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire. 20 Therefore, you will fully know them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:17-20 (AMP)


And in Matthew 15:18-20 Jesus says that it is what comes from the heart that makes us “unclean”[i.e. – the unpulled weeds left to grow in our hearts.]

 “18 But whatever comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this is what makes a man unclean and defiles [him]. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts (reasonings and disputings and designs) such as murder, adultery, sexual vice, theft, false witnessing, slander, and irreverent speech. 20 These are what make a man unclean and defile [him]; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him unclean or defile [him].” Matthew 15:18-20 (AMP)


Have you ever tried to pull dandelions from your yard? I can remember as a child working with the special tool that was supposed to “pop” the root of the dandelion out of the ground. My grandfather taught me how to get under the leaves and right up against the largest part of the root, otherwise it would not work. It was a lot of hard work and a slow process, but if done correctly it would get the entire root and THAT dandelion would not return. I learned two lessons about dandelion pulling that summer which can also be applied to the weeds of our heart: 1) no matter how many you pull, there will always be more trying to grow in the yard (and our hearts), and 2) it was much easier to pull the weeds when they were little and keep on top of it, than it was to ignore the weeds and have to pull them when they were bigger, had deeper roots, and there were more of them.

Surrender and prayer are the special tools for pulling the weeds in our heart. We must take time daily to surrender our will to our Lord Jesus Christ and allow Him to pull the weeds in our hearts. He will reveal the weeds in our lives that are choking out His Word and power in our lives, we must be willing to surrender those areas to Him and allow Him to pull (remove) them. Remember it is easier to weed your garden daily, than to let it get overrun by weeds; and surrender is the only “weed-b-gone” the Lord will use in our hearts.

May you surrender to Him daily and keep your heart weed-free!


Desiring to Know Christ

“To know you is to want to know you more” – This line from the Casting Crowns’ song “To Know You” really hit my heart the other day while worshipping. How many Christians truly know Christ to the point to where they only want to know Him more? Not many would be my guess. I felt in my Spirit that we do not really know Him until we get to this point in our walk, our relationship, our surrender to Him. This song talks about how much we should WANT to know Christ more and that it should be all we want in life.

What is your greatest desire in life? Most of the time we do not slow down long enough to really think this question through, we just answer it with the canned answer we have been taught to give, depending upon who is asking. But why should we answer differently, depending upon who is asking? Have you been taught that a surrendered walk with Christ should be your number one goal, your only true desire…and that everything else is just filler with no power in your life? I know that my real joy comes when I am basking in His presence, worshipping Him without any strings attached. I love the joy and love I feel from Him when I just sit in His presence. When life gets rough or I am just having a bad day, my heart longs for moments when I can just sit still in His presence and get filled back up with His strength and peace.

I know we all get busy “living life” and do not believe we have time to get to know Him more. But this is an untrue statement the enemy plants in our minds to keep us from drawing closer to the Lord. Paul said that he counts everything that has been a ‘gain’ in his life as loss (a detriment) when compared to knowing Christ (Philippians 3:7-8). I love the Amplified bible version of this verse, it really gets into the heart of the meaning of his statement:

Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One)” Philippians 3:8 (AMP)


How many Christians consider knowing Christ a “priceless privilege”, something that should be treasured and protected? Unfortunately, I know the answer is not all and probably not even most. We have such a wonderful opportunity given to us by Christ, to know Him intimately while we are still here on earth. We do not have to wait until we get to heaven to know our Savior as our friend; He has opened the door for us to step through daily. He has opened this door, because He desires to have a relationship with you, not to give you a religion full of rules and regulations. He died to fulfill the law, to complete it, in order that we might live in grace and have relationship with Him. The law separated us from God, but when Christ died on the cross, God tore the veil in the temple, no longer separating man from Him (Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38). Christ died for your sins and mine, so that we could have fellowship with Him once again, as it was in the Garden before the fall of man. Through Christ, our relationship with God was restored, made complete once again. This is the priceless privilege we have through Christ, something that cannot be bought, something that is given freely for those who ask and are willing to surrender to Him. Nothing in this world can cover your sins, the wrongs you have done, only the sacrifice of Christ on the cross of Calvary, Him taking your punishment. Christ our King, our Lord, willingly died on the cross for you and for me, so that we may have fellowship with Him here on earth and in heaven. WOW, how awesome and unexplainable is that!!! This is the “gain” Paul speaks about, the gain of knowing the God who took our place, took our punishment upon Himself, and the ability to have Him as our best friend.

The door is only opened by Christ, we must still make the choice and effort to step through it. We step through this door by surrendering to Him, allowing Him to be the Master of our life. We must live our life to please Him and not ourselves, no matter what the cost. What price could we possibly pay, compared to the price He paid or compared the price of knowing Him more? It is about more than just knowing Him, it is about getting to know Him more and more and more, more deeply and more intimately every day.

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