EVERYDAY GENEROSITY: TIME
Over the past few weeks we have been unpacking the gospel implications of generosity. The cross of Christ is the most compelling motivation for us to give away our lives in a sacrificial way. The practical question is “how do I give my life away in a sacrificial way?”
A BIBLICAL VISION FOR GENEROSITY
Every day we have 1440 minutes given to us. Time is just simply the measurement of our lives. What we decide to do with our time is shaped by what we value. Our values reveal our hearts. Jesus says in Matthew 6:21, For where you treasure is, there you heart will be also. Our values reflect what our hearts worship. Whatever you worship (your Creator or something created - idols) you will give your life to sacrificially. The gospel begins to radically reorient our values, which shape the decisions we make. Our life’s direction is simply the sum of the decisions we make throughout our lives. So let me ask you this question, “What are you giving your life too?”
Author Ruth Valerio writes, “do we know how we have ended up living how we are living and why? Too often we find ourselves on the treadmill of life paying the consequences for choices we hardly knew we were making.” Do you find that true of your life? Busyness consumes us — literally it consumes our energy, our time, our health and we find ourselves exhausted. Your life is being sacrificed. But for what? Do you know?
The gospel give us everyday rest. Jesus gives us this invitation in Matthew 11:28, Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
I find within my soul that I am weary and heavy laden by the endless pursuit of idols. Idolatry is a heavy yoke to bear. Every idols promises you life and life to fullest, but in the end causes you to sacrifice everything in pursuit of it. The cost is often seen in everyday weariness. What we really need to do is rest in a savior who has sacrificed everything for us up front and can give us life and life to it’s fullest not only for eternal life but for everyday life.
The gospel gives us that rest. The pursuit of idols is a relentless and endless pursuit of acceptance whereas the gospel gives us a position of acceptance in Christ Jesus.
We already have in Christ Jesus all the acceptance, security and hope that every idol promises, but can never deliver. This is what Gospel Identity is. Our validation comes not from what we do or don’t do but in what Christ has done. The gospel frees us to work from a position of acceptance versus in pursuit of acceptance. The first leads to rest, the latter to restlessness. Working in pursuit of acceptance is a result of the impulses of sin in our lives to find validation, acceptance and satisfaction outside of Christ.
Sabbath rest consists in ceasing from works done under the impulses of sin (pursuit of acceptance), so that God may accomplish within you his work of sanctification.
Sabbath rest is laying aside your work in order to allow God to work in you. The hardest work of Christian life is to rest in the finished work of Christ.
Christ has freed us from the work beneath the work. The work of trying to validate ourselves. When we don’t have to work for our salvation our work becomes worship. The gospel frees us from working for our own validation but for the exaltation of God. It frees us to worship. Colossians 3:17 becomes a reality in our lives. “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
A BIBLICAL REPSONSE TO GENEROSITY
When we live out our lives from a position of acceptance instead of pursuit of acceptance we allow the King of the universe to be Lord of our calendars. We allow the Lord of the Sabbath to set our schedules versus the tyranny of the urgent. Take an hour to take your life back. Budget your week (see resource below). Prioritize your life. You will give your life for something. Give it away for the glory of God.
A GOSPEL PRAYER FOR GENEROSITY
Heavenly Father, I desire my life to be a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to you (Romans 12:1). Give me the grace to capture each moment of my life for your purposes and your glory. In Jesus name. Amen.
A GOSPEL RESOURCE FOR GENEROSITY
The resource in this link helps you budget how you spend each hour in your week. Be intentional with your life and you will experience not only effectiveness but depth in your life.