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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Time-consuming (02/24/11)

TITLE: Spending Time
By Edmond Ng
02/27/11


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    "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive. (1 Corinthians 10:23 NIV)
Many of us who are active participants of online social networking would probably be familiar with the game by Zynga, FarmVille. FarmVille is a farming game that allows its players to manage a virtual farm by plowing, planting, growing and harvesting. The primary way for a player to earn farm coins is to harvest crops. The player does this by paying coins for plowing a unit of land, planting crops on it, and eventually harvesting the crops after a certain amount of time has elapsed. If the player forgets to harvest the crops when ready, the crops wither and become useless after some time. How long it takes for the crops to mature and yield money after harvest depends on the crops planted and the market price at the time of harvest. All these activities performed by the player span through a period of time ranging from hours to days, and although it can be really fun, it is also very time-consuming. Unless the player has all the time in the world, therefore, this game can keep a person very busy and may even lead to the neglect of other more important things in life.

Playing online games is perfectly fine and can at times help us take our minds away from the stress of life to provide us the necessary leisure we need. It can also help us relax and rest, depending on the games we play. Excessive indulgence in gaming—or anything else—to the point of neglecting the more important things, however, can put us at risk of getting too caught up or drowned in our own virtual world. It is better for us to spend a day quietly with God or studying the word of God than to spend many days on less important things (Psalm 84:10).

The Bible states very clearly that while everything is permissible, not everything is beneficial or constructive (1 Corinthians 10:23). Everything, in this case, means the things that are not stated in the Bible as wrong or against our Spirit-filled conscience. The author of Ecclesiastes conveys the message of what it means by ‘a time for everything’ very well when he said, “I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 10-11a NIV).

Since the beginning of time, God has known, planned and led His created people in a direction to draw them back to Himself. Never for once did He give up on us or deem it too time-consuming to wait for us to return to Him. Our God is not willing that we should die in our sins before His good news reach the ends of the earth (Matthew 24:14; Mark 13:10). He will never desert us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Even before the foundation of the world, He has already chosen us to be holy and blameless before Him, and predestined us for adoption as His children through Jesus Christ our Lord (Ephesians 1:4-5).

Let us therefore learn from God never to think it is too time-consuming to reach others for Christ, nor waste our time on the not so important things. Like the game, FarmVille, where crops wither and become useless after a time has elapsed, the people who are yet unsaved in our world can also ‘wither’ and die if we neglect to spend time to plow, plant, grow and harvest souls. If we hope to yield something that is of worth in the kingdom of God, we must play our part in spending useful time for the right and more important things.

Remind us dear Lord that while everything may be permissible, certain things may not be beneficial. Help us to be wise Lord to know what we should spend more time in and what we should not. Thank You Father for adopting us as Your children and for never considering it too time-consuming to lead us back to You. Stir our hearts Lord that we may not stop reaching those who are yet unsaved, lest because of us they wither and die without receiving You as Lord and Savior of their lives.


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Member Comments
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Verna Cole Mitchell 03/05/11
This is a really excellent devotional--one of your best. It's exactly on-topic, as well as being right--according to the Word. Great job!
Rachel Phelps03/05/11
Your choice of analogy is spot-on topic and excellently expounded. Well done.
Cathryn Hasek03/06/11
This is a great lesson in God's faithfulness and patience with us! Thanks for writing it and giving us "time" for reflection!
Noel Mitaxa 03/06/11
Solid devotional material that is well-based and well-researched, with a clear invitation at the close.