Today at worship services, our preacher (Dee Bowman) preached a great sermon on not being a part-time Christian. It was really something we all needed to hear, and I thought it was something worthy enough to share with y’all. :0) He started out in Hebrews 5:11-6:3…
“Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again from someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. And this we will do, if God permits.”
So from there, he mentioned three characteristics of “part-time Christians”…
1. Part-time Christians don’t do what they “ought” to do. PT Christians don’t manage their time well and prioritize God in their lives, it isn’t a priority in their lives, which results in them not growing past the elementary principles mentioned in the verses above.They don’t arrange their schedules around God, but try to fit God into their schedules.They procrastinate and give God only part of their hearts and attention.
2. Part-time Christians have a poor appetite. They don’t long for God’s word and don’t desire to read it or hear it. If you aren’t spending time in God’s word, then you aren’t going to be growing in Him and moving on to the “meat” rather than “milk.”
3. Part-time Christians give part time agreement to the cause of Christ. They are ashamed when someone asks them where they go to church or what they believe in. They make excuses, which are a little more than a lie.
Hopefully we don’t fall into these categories of descriptions, but it was certainly a wake-up call to hear about it this morning. Satan is so deceptive and sneaky, and squeezes his way into our lives in any way possible that can draw us away from God. He wants us to be part-time, he wants us to serve to masters, but we know from God’s word that we can only serve one.
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to noe and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” – Matt. 6:24
It is so important that we give our whole hearts to Him. But why would we not want to? Our whole purpose in being here is to serve our Creator. One of my favorite things to think about is how God predestined us to serve Him, which I might have mentioned before…
“…just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will…” – Eph. 1:4-5
Being part-time, with one foot on either side of the fence, or only serving God when it is convenient, is a dangerous place to be. Dee finished up with the following verse…
“… but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but it to glorify God in this name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And if it with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man the sinner? Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.” – 1 Pet. 4:16-19
(He referenced verses 11-19, but I have only quoted vs. 16-19 here.) These verses really opened my eyes to what Dee was talking about this morning… think about it… we consider ourselves safe maybe because we do a few things for God, but if we aren’t completely devoted to Him, where does that place us in the verse above? God says that if judgement begins with the household of God (i.e. they are scarcely saved)e, then what will become of those who do not obey God or the sinner? We cannot become too comfortable and complacent, but striving every day to give God our best time and energy first.
In light of what was spoken on above, I try to think of things I can do throughout the day to put my focus on God. Once school starts I feel like I barely have a chance to breath between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., but one thing I try to do in the morning is just read through one chapter of the Bible and write down a few points the chapter makes. It is a quick way to focus my mind on Him and put His words into my heart. I feel like a lot of times we get caught up in the “amount” of reading we do, when really it should be the quality of reading. Who cares if you read 10 chapters if you can’t remember what they are about when you get done? I found a little notebook and just keep it inside my Bible so it’s easy to find.
Another thing that helps is that I keep a spiral bound notecard book by my sink in the kitchen. I have written verses that I love or that are encouraging inside of it, so when I am washing dishes or just passing through I can read it over and over. Once a few days or weeks pass then I will rotate to the next one. It has helped a lot with putting verses to memory.
I am not by any means implying that I’m am expert at this, hehe, PLEASE don’t think that!!! :0) But, I always appreciate easy suggestions like these, that I can easily incorporate into my life something that will draw me closer to God, so I’m hoping that you do too. If anyone has any other ideas I would love for you to share them!!
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” – Prov. 3:5-6