“INVEST Your Time — DON’T *SPEND* It”

 

file3031348651890Years ago the Lord gave me a strong word.  He said, “Cinnie, I want you to begin thinking in terms of investing your time.  Never *spend* your time, but rather INVEST it. Time is the most precious commodity you have in life. It can never be regained once lost.

“Just as money spent is gone forever whereas money  invested well offers dividends — so it is with time.

“Time spent is lost. Time invested pays dividends. INVEST your time, Cinnie. Never, never spend it.”

This is a particularly strong word for me personally because I have had a terrible lifelong habit of being easily distracted, easily diverted, even with good things. Therefore, it becomes critical for me to be heightened in sensitivity to my days, my minutes, my seconds and to always confront myself with the question:  “Am I investing my time here — or spending it?

For God said to me:

“Cinnie…from this day forward you are going to give account for how you spend every single minute. Write down what you do with your time. Keep track. And invest your time wisely.”

Friend, perhaps this doesn’t apply to you. But if you are like me, you might appreciate a reminder that time, precious time, is the most valuable commodity we have in life. Will we invest the minutes, the hours given to us each day? Or will we spend them, throwing them away on worthless pursuits?

Now before I end here, I want to make it plain that by “worthless” pursuits I don’t think for a minute God frowns on recreation. Far from it. Recreation is necessary to be refreshed. So this isn’t about being legalistic. But what it is about is taking at least as much care to budget our valuable time as we would our finances — recognizing that in our daily “allowance” we are each given exactly 24 hours.

And how we use God’s gift of time matters.

Lord help me to submit to Your discipline, Your structure, Your order in my life so that my time, the gift of time You’ve given me is always invested, not spent, and in such a way that results in great dividends. Thank you Father.

“LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered–how fleeting my life is.”     
~ Psalm 39:4  [NLT] New Living Translation

“Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.”    
~ Psalm 119:37  [ESV]

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”    
~ Psalm 90:12  [NIV]

“Make it PLAIN, Lord”

pillar of fire exodusThis morning I was reading about the miraculous deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt. What an amazing story. As I read, I purposely allowed myself not to rush through the reading, but to stop between the verses. Take it all in. IMAGINE the actual scene. Wow, what a picture it presented to my heart!

The Word says that while the Israelites made their exodus out of Egypt, the Lord led them by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. This got me thinking, “How plain can you get?  A pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night? Talk about skywriting. You couldn’t miss it.”

Meditating on this account in the Bible this morning has caused me to appreciate all over again the prayer my mentor taught me to pray so many decades ago. When seeking God’s wisdom and direction, she taught me to always add this to my prayers:

“Make it PLAIN, Lord. Make it PLAIN.”

I love that prayer. And it has stood me in good stead all these years. “Make it PLAIN, Lord.”

If God is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8), and He was gracious enough to make it abundantly plain to the Israelites the precise direction they were to go in the wilderness – with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night – should we expect any less manifest wisdom from God when seeking His direction for our lives?  We don’t need a pillar of cloud or pillar of fire in the SKY to guide us – we have God’s Own Spirit living WITHIN us!  Wow!

So I needed wisdom today. And I prayed and asked the Lord to “Make it PLAIN.”  And guess what? Aww, you guessed it.  He DID!

Exodus 13:21-22 King James Version (KJV)

21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:  22 He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

James 1:5-8 New King James Version (NKJV)

 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. 

Isaiah 30:21 

21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

PEACE IS POSSIBLE

The Lord told me He wanted me to write this headline:  PEACE IS POSSIBLE

Sheep 1And then He said:

When wars and rumors of wars abound in the world, and even Christians panic and fear seizes their hearts, and they excuse themselves, thinking fear is “normal” considering the state of the world, I am here to report that PEACE IS STILL POSSIBLE.

It may not be world peace, but your “world” should be lived on the inside, where I reside.  Your world is NOT this external plain.  Your life is hid with God in Christ. It is hidden, your REAL life.

That is why I say PEACE IS POSSIBLE, children — because your life is hidAnd when you are hidden, you are SAFE.

Now STAY safe, don’t come out of hiding.  Stay hidden in the cleft of the rock. And there, where no evil can touch you – PEACE IS POSSIBLE.

Quit looking for your external world to straighten up before you experience peace. Peace is possible NOW.

Look inside. Look to Me, your Rock. And you will see, with delight, that in Me you are actually on very firm footing. Yes, even while the whole world – NOT built on the Rock — crumbles around you, you will find yourself unshakeable, immoveable, a bulwark of strength not just for your own good, but offering a show of strength that speaks volumes to onlookers in the world who haven’t yet discovered that true strength and true peace are found ONLY in Me.

Tell them. Tell all you see who are struggling, bound in fear, that PEACE IS POSSIBLE.  That peace is possible NOW.  No matter how unstable the world is, when you run to the cleft of the rock, and hide there, when you finally grasp that your real life is truly hidden – hidden in Me – you will rejoice to see that you are actually in a warm bunker, away from the winds of change and tumult. You will sit down with Me and sup. You will rejoice to be in My company, as I always rejoice to be in yours.

Come, children. Come inside, sit down and sup with Me and the Father. We await your company, and the table is set.

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Come feel the warm glow of hope, renewed vision, and restored strength for the storms ahead.

HERE…in the Hidden Place…in the Secret Place…

…Where I AM…
…………….. THERE IS PEACE. 

Enter in.

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He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

~ Psalm 91:1-2  NKJV

 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 

~ John 14:27  NKJV

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.

~ Colossians 3:1-4  New Living Translation