focus

Where Does The Time Go?

time_flies_by_janussyndicate
time_flies_by_janussyndicate

Where does the time go? Do you ever race through a day and then wonder “where did the time go?” I think that about much of my life, especially as I prepare my three kids to begin school again next week. Where has summer gone? Next, I’ll be commenting that I can’t believe it’s already Christmas, and so it goes! Although I believe most of us have uttered something similar at some point in our lives, I stop today to question as one who is determined to know exactly where the time does go.

So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.~ Acts 3:5

We give our attention to things that we expect to receive something from. Think about it, we are often told to give attention to, or pay attention to. The words give and pay remind us that there is a cost to putting our focus or attention in one place.

As the days and nights “fly” by I want to challenge you to the challenge I’m also giving myself. For the next 3 days, set a timer on your phone (or elsewhere) to go off every 30-minutes. Ask yourself “what did I just spend 30 minutes doing?” Then, write it down. Then ask, what did I receive from giving my attention to this?

The most common complaint I hear regarding quiet time with God, studying His Word, praying etc. is “it’s hard to find the time.” I believe it’s hard to find the time because we aren’t focused on our time, how we currently use it and how it can be better spent.

Below are several scriptures that share God’s thoughts on the subject of our attention.

Proverbs 4:20 My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings.

Proverbs 5:1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom; Lend your ear to my understanding,

Proverbs 7:24 Now therefore, listen to me, my children; Pay attention to the words of my mouth:

1 Timothy 4:13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

Where is your time going? What can you cut out to give more attention to the things which will last for eternity? I know we’ve all heard many times that we can’t take anything with us when we die. I disagree. We can take His Word with us! His Word never dies! I pray for all of us that we find even more time to pay attention to His Word, when we do we can surely expect to receive something beneficial from it.

Luke 21:33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

Written by Jamie Shaver

 

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Your Focus Determines Everything

I remember as a child the first time that I went to the eye doctor.After getting my eyes examined and putting on my first pair of glasses, I vividly recall that what previously appeared to be merely a blanket of green was transformed into individual blades of grass.It was breathtaking to see a new world emerge in front of me as I gained a clear and true focus of reality.

Similarly, once I learned to see life through the lens of God’s Sovereignty it changed everything about how I perceived life.  

For example, for those of us who live in the Eastern part of the U.S., it has been raining “cats and dogs” almost non-stop the past several weeks. I’ve heard grumbling about the amount of rain and cloudy days that have impacted family vacations, gatherings, and 4th of July celebrations.  There’s a time when I would’ve been complaining too…but God opened my eyes to see that nothing happens without the Lord orchestrating it.  And if He has orchestrated it, I can trust that it is always for my good and for His glory! (Romans 8:28) So now I look for a reason to praise God in all circumstances—even in the storms of life. 

I praise God for the reality that He alone can make a rainstorm. 

I praise God that we are not experiencing drought or famine.

I praise Him for the lush greenery that covers the land.

I rejoice that the torrential rains bring to mind The Great Flood and Noah’s Ark, a reminder of God’s merciful heart in choosing not to destroy the earth, and salvation of Noah and his family because of Noah’s righteousness, from whom we have all descended.  

I praise God that He has revealed to us what it will be like when Jesus comes again to Earth. Jesus stated, as recorded in Matthew 24:37-39, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”

What a blessing it is to know that in these days of turmoil that the God Who created the world and knows and controls its beginning and end has revealed to us in the bible what is to come.  Seeing life through the lens of His Word gives me hope, peace, and joy knowing that I can trust that the One Who created this world and gave me life in Him is at work even now to bring about the end that He has planned since the beginning of time.

Like a magnifying glass, what you focus on will expand. If your focus is only on your circumstances, you will easily succumb to grumbling and even fear. If however your focus is on God and on His Sovereignty and goodness, your focus will lead you to trust in Him and to experiencing peace and joy regardless of the storms of life.

Are you full of fear or faith? On what are you focusing? On your circumstances, or on the One Who controls every circumstance and Who is at work bringing all things together for your good and the glory of His Name?

Written by Julie Van Gorp

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