Does Your Schedule Show a Commitment to God’s People?
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Ps 90:12).
How do you use your time each week? If Christ examined your schedule today, would your claimed commitment to Him and His church be reflected in how you spend your time with His people each week?
As Christians, we are to be “making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Eph 5:16). We do so not by living according to our former sins but rather by the Spirit in every avenue of life (cf. Eph 5:15–18). We do not seek our own interests, but the interests of Christ as the Spirit leads us to do so. The interests of Christ are typically serving His people or being with His people in some way (cf. Phil 2:20–21).
For those who claim to be committed to their local church, one would hope their claim would be more than words and thus matched by at least being a part of their church’s weekly schedule as much as they are able, as well as the occasional events that the church uses to advance its mission. All things considered, this really is not as much time as one might think.
Everyone on earth has 168 hours a week to use or not for the glory of God. If you sleep 8 hours a night, use 9 hours a day to commute and work, and use 3 hours a day for meals, a shower, et cetera, you still have over 40 hours a week to yourself. Perhaps a couple hours a day to tend to children, groceries, and the tasks of life could put your time left over to 20–30 hours a week. Committing yourself to a service, a couple of Bible studies, and a Wednesday prayer meeting hardly seems too much to ask, especially when the example of the early church was that they devoted their schedules to these kinds of activities (Acts 2:42).
Sometimes we run to excuses that we might never use if really saw how meager they were. Skipping church on Sundays or Wednesdays because we are merely tired, ducking out early or coming late on a Sunday and missing its education hour so we can get to lunch earlier, foregoing the Sunday night Bible study so we can watch our favorite sports team—do we really expect that Christ’s eyes of fire upon His churches will look the other way (cf. Rev 1:14)? Or maybe the problem is a lack of self-control. How much time do you spend watching TV, checking social media, or giving your life to frivolous pursuits? Sometimes we find little time for God and His people because we love lesser matters more.
A church is only as strong as the commitment of its people to the gospel and one another, and the commitment of one may practically look very different from that of another. As much as you are able, devote yourself and your time to the people of God when they have covenanted to meet with each other.
About David Huffstutler
David pastors First Baptist Church in Rockford, IL, serves as a chaplain for his local police department, and teaches as adjunct faculty at Bob Jones University. David holds a Ph. D. in Applied Theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. His concentration in Christian Leadership focuses his contributions to pastoral and practical theology.