“What a waste” sang Ian Dury in 1978 concerning what others might think about his choice of career. Sadly the same conclusion could be drawn regarding the chosen pathway of so many Christians. Either by wilful desire or casual indifference they have fallen into the devil’s trap and departed from God’s pathway. “What a waste.”
Our focus then is to look at the lives of Christians and ponder upon their usefulness or otherwise for God. However, we must make the obvious point initially that the life of the non-Christian is a totally wasted life. To live the life which God has given without ever finding the way of faith which is in Christ Jesus is the essence of waste. How do we respond to this? We should be stirred. Remember the LORD Jesus When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (Matt. 9:36). Similarly as we see the mass of people indifferent to the things of God we should be stirred. We should mourn over the situation of the unbelieving and do what we can to relieve their plight.
Notwithstanding this, the situation of many Christians is something to mourn over as well. If we consider the privileged position of the Christian. We have been taken from the broad road that leads to destruction and placed on the narrow road that leads to life (see Matt. 7:13-14). We are now owned by another, who is God over all, and not ourselves. Paul challenges the Corinthians like this Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price.(1 Cor 6:19-20a). Quite simply our responsibility in this life is to glorify God. If we do such we will have NOT wasted lives.
However this begs the question how do we prevent the waste and ensure the glorification of God in our lives. Well, we must be focused. There is a general principle that the people who achieve anything in any sphere are focused people and if Christians are to achieve things for God they must be Christ focused. Remember that the focus of all of God’s purposes is Christ Jesus. The immense privilege of the Christian is expressed in the term “in Christ Jesus.” We have been placed in and at the heart of God’s purposes. And so now we must go on looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith (see Heb. 12:1). So easily with all the pressures and complications of life we lose our focus on Christ and that is always sad and dangerous. One key means God has given us to keep our focus is through the remembrance of the LORD Jesus in the Lord’s Supper in communion together. We are now able to have this re-focusing once a week at Feltham Evangelical Church and so why not come to the celebration and get your life re-focused on Christ.
However, the re-focusing should take place every day as we spend time alone with the LORD. As we read the Word of God, the Bible and as we pray to our Father in heaven we are led to get the right perspective on life. Use the Lords’ pattern prayer as a base for your praying and you will soon find yourself being fixed on the glory of God.
And then we can journey on for God. Start the day with God and you are most likely to have a day for God. “But I have no time” you say. But is it not true that everyone makes time for what they want to make time for? So remember that time is passing away and we must not waste it. Rather we should heed the exhortation of Paul to the Ephesians when he says that we should be making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil (Eph. 5:16). The idea here is that time is passing by and we need to take action to buy it back for God.
As we focus on Christ and retrieve our time for God there will be two particular areas where there will be an impact:
Family Families need to be built for the glory of God. Give time to your family and you are by doing so investing well for God’s kingdom. This applies whether you are a husband, wife, parent or child. Remember the family is a critical building block in God’s programme for mankind. When we are “family-building” we are NOT wasting our lives.
Church The church is the vehicle for displaying the glory of God in this age. All Christians should be committed to one local manifestation of God’s church. In fact 1 Cor. 3:11-17 indicates that we will all have to stand before God and be judged concerning what we have put into a local church. Every Christian should be a committed member of a local church. So many are wasting their lives living on the periphery of the church; attending one or two services a month, never becoming members, never serving or praying together with other believers. Brothers and sisters in Christ; such should never be the case. Let each of us find a local church we can commit to as members (remember no church is perfect) and then COMMIT. Go to the prayer meeting and bible studies; support the activities as much as you can. Don’t waste your life.
At this point it is sobering to consider the observation of Paul that he had no-one like Timothy because everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ (Phil.2:21). And that was said of Christians; how sad! Could it be said of you?
So God’s will for us is that we should be moving forward in His ways. But remember that Satan has a strategy to nullify your usefulness. He wants you to waste your life. His transport policy revolves around derailment and cul-de-sacs. He wants Christians taken off God’s perfect paths: but we counter his strategy by prayer and Bible study. And finally remember as someone has said “Only one life will soon be passed only what’s done for Christ will last”. Don’t waste your life!
(Taken from Feltham Evangelical Church Newsletter of April 2007)