…redeeming the time, because the days are evil. [Eph 5:16]
How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man. [Prov 6:9-11]
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. [1 Cor 6:19-20]
Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. [James 4:14]
“But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning—lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.” [Mark 13:32-37]
Okay, from the clear teaching of the Bible verses above, you probably have an idea where this is going.
[And in the way of a disclaimer, I am writing this first and foremost to myself, who despite good intentions is sometimes guilty of taking off his armor and leaving his heart completely undefended.]
I am imploring you and me to stop the nonsense! Stop playing in a pool infested with piranha and shark. Stop inviting the enemy into your house, your television, your computer, your heart, your mind, your ears, your soul. Stop.
Our hearts are coated with the music, images, and talk that we allow our minds to absorb. Sometimes that coating is healthy and pure, building up and protecting our heart from demonic influence and the pollution that emanates from within us as a result of our fallen nature. Other times, our hearts are bombarded by wickedness and depravity, and that coating disintegrates to become a caustic decaying shell.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? [Jer 17:9]
Giving in to those influences – which are perpetrated by an enemy that never tires of plotting our eternal destruction – not only affects our heart and thought life. It seeps and oozes out into our families, our work, our church life, and especially in weakening our desire for God. We must stop this nonsense because those things we lust and chase after supplant God in Kingship and Lordship over our life and soul. They are idols of the worst order, and we must be swift and severe in smashing them into a thousand pieces.
But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames. Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. [1 Cor 3:10-17]
I have often meditated on this verse, with the thought that – well, at least the believer escaped – “as one escaping through the flames” – i.e. he did not go to Hell. But God through Paul is not commending this man in any way! Instead, he will be judged – his faith, his works, his use of time and resources given to him. Who knows how many rewards are forfeited in this life and in the life to come – because we believers squandered time, opportunities, and blessings appointed for us by the Most Holy King of the universe.
A believer/writer that I interact with on Twitter and WordPress recently posted a thoughtful discussion about our desire for satisfaction in worldly things entitled “Satisfaction Guaranteed.” We can sum up her post in two words – “Only Christ.” I have reblogged her excellent post on this site. I was inspired by it to write this.
These must be our watchwords.
He must be our focus.
Our hearts depend on it.
A joyous and blessed Christmas season to you and your family. Thank you for reading.