23 Nov 2010 What is consuming your time … and life?
 |  Category: ministry, youth

“Then some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowds to their side. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of town, thinking he was dead. But as the believers gathered around him, he got up and went back into the town. The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.” — Acts 14:19-20

Last week at our Monday night Sr. High small group the girls challenged each other to read our Bibles as much as we do whatever takes up our most time in our days. For all but one of us it was Facebook. When we got back from Haiti I started studying scripture in depth, but since Zeke has been born and it’s hard for me to spend some quality time with my study Bible I have neglected to read scripture as much as I would like. I confessed to the girls that I had been spending more time of Facebook than anything else. With having the Facebook app on my iPod touch it is really easy to spend hours a day on it because for hours a day I am sitting and feeding Zeke, and Facebook is right there in my hand.

Then one girl asked, “Don’t you have a Bible app on your iPod?” Ouch! Yes, I do.

So for the last week I have been reading through the book of Acts. And verses 19 and 20 in chapter 14 really stood out to me. I had been reading about all the persecution the disciples were going through for standing up for Christ and not letting anyone hold them back from preaching the Good News. And then these two verses struck me. Paul was stoned to the point of the people thinking that he was dead. I can’t imagine the pain he went through and how much pain he was in after they stopped. How bad did he look for them to quit stoning him and drag him out of town still thinking he was dead. How exhausted did he feel? And I wouldn’t be surprised if the thought of giving up and giving in came across his mind for even a split second. And that didn’t stop him!

“…he got up and went back into the town.” First of all, he got up. Being left so beat up, he got up! He mustered the strength and didn’t give himself a pity party, he got up. And second, he went back into the town! Seriously? These people just stoned you and dragged you out thinking you were dead, and you go back? Who does that? The person who does that is sold out for Christ and follows the Spirit and does not let anything stand in their way of doing God’s will. Not to say we are all to go back into a bad situation, but we go where God is leading us, no matter what.

Paul didn’t do this in his own strength. He had God and other believers to lean on. “But as the believers gathered around him, he got up and went back into the town.” “But as the believers gathered around him…” It is so important to surround yourself with other believers. People who are sold out for Christ and support you in living a life that does not waiver because of what others say or do.

I made a mistake of this in college, cutting off my ties to my strong Christian friends who were trying to look after me, but I selfishly and ignorantly thought I was strong enough to stand on my own. I have learned from this mistake and know how important it is to keep a crowd of believers around me. Not only for support, but for accountability. It is so easy to let things of this world come in the way of our faith…even small things like Facebook that don’t seem evil, but can be if that is what we are giving all of our time to.

*The picture used today is of the ground in the compound where we stayed in Haiti. While praying in Haiti I kept my eyes open, wanting to take in as much as I could while God was moving in incredible ways. I spent a lot of time looking at these rocks, never wanting to forget.

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One Response

  1. 1
    Chelsea 

    I think Facebook takes up a lot of everyone’s time. I know it certainly does for me. Two weeks ago, I decided to take a break from Facebook knowing that I needed to get in some God time. I got off of Facebook, but somehow I managed to spend that time being motivated to do homework and other stuff. Then last week, I gave it up and wasn’t going to get on it until Tuesday of this week because I wanted to see how long I could go. I could have probably gone longer because even getting on it now, I feel like I shouldn’t be on it.
    I know the problem with Facebook is that it’s so convenient and addicting. If only we treated the Bible that way. One thing I’ve been trying to get into the habit of is studying the Psalms, and I’m getting into it by writing it down and blogging my thoughts on it. It’s been really interesting. I think one thing God is trying to teach me right now is that I need to fully rely on Him and grow closer to Him.