Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I Never Knew You

We all know someone who works too much. We all know the story of the wife who sits at home while her husband works long hours to give her everything she wants only to discover (after their divorce) that what she really wanted was time with him. There is a story about a child who asks his dad “How much money do you make an hour?” When the dad told him the $$ amount, the child went to his room, emptied his piggy bank, and then asked his dad if he had enough to pay for an hour of his time.

We all run the risk of forgetting that the best thing we can give the people we love is ourselves. Our time. Our attention. Our affection. The people we love need to know that we will put aside our agenda, our to-do lists, calendars and schedules to be with them. Without putting effort into developing a meaningful relationship, the stuff we do for the people we love is just more stuff. We can work 60 hours a week, bring home a 6 figure income, have the biggest house on the block and the newest car in the drive way, be PTA president, Scout Parent, Dance mom, Team dad, and many other things that keep our calendar full, and still not give the people we love what they want most.

We know this.

So, why then do we cram our lives full of “church stuff” and leave little or no room for time with God? I have been guilty of this myself on more than one occasion. Writing for God, leading VBS for God, Teaching Sunday School for God, teaching Ladies Bible Study for God, serving on the outreach committee for God, singing in the choir and on the praise team for God, leading Children’s choir and Children’s worship for God. Lots of stuff. Just like the husband that works 60 hours a week, I had little TIME for God and my relationship with Him suffered.

This isn’t new, or surprising. Scripture puts it like this:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Matthew 7:21-23 NIV

Of course God wants our service. If we are going to carry out the Great Commission, we must work. Even so, our works should not take priority over our relationship with Christ. Our time in service should not outweigh our time in prayer and our time in God’s Word.

Our service, our works, all the things we do “for God” are meaningless if He doesn’t have our hearts. I’ve learned from experience that when He has my heart and my relationship with Him is strong, the joy and fulfillment I experience from serving is exponentially greater than when I spend ALL my time and energy serving and neglect my time with my Savior.

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