How Do You Choose to Spend Your Time?

“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).

Before my precious father became a Christian in the last week of his 88 years of life, he often commented on the fact that the rest of us in the family spent too much time reading the Bible. “Haven’t you got that thing memorized by now?” he’d asked. “You must have read it a hundred times!”

I can’t say how many times each of us has read the Bible through, but almost ten years after my dad went to home to be with the Lord, we’re still reading it—every day. Why? Because we’re serious about being disciples. Jesus said more than once that if we want to be His disciples, we must “abide” in His Word. Since He is no longer walking the earth in bodily form and speaking to us verbally today, that means His disciples must be reading/studying/meditating on His Word, as found in the Scriptures, regularly. To do anything less disqualifies us as serious disciples.

Sound harsh? Judgmental? Exclusive? If so, I didn’t say it. Jesus did. And He has a right to set the requirements for following Him. We have a lot of people, both inside and outside of the Church, who like to quote the latter part of John 8:31-32 (many of whom have no idea where the quote comes from), while ignoring the first part. “The truth shall make you free,” they proclaim. But what is truth? Pontius Pilate asked that very question, even as Truth stood right in front of him. And we all know how that turned out.

Jesus declared quite clearly that He alone is “the way, THE TRUTH, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6, emphasis mine). Just as there is no other way to reach God the Father except through Jesus, there is no other way to be truly free or to be dedicated disciples than to abide in the Word of God. When schedules and circumstances, trials and commitments overwhelm us and we find ourselves too busy to spend regular quality time in the Scriptures, then it is all the more important that we listen and obey the words of our Savior if we truly want to be free. The world will tell us that freedom is found in pursuing our own desires and plans, but God says otherwise. Who will we believe?

How we choose to spend our time gives us the answer to that question. Choose wisely, beloved. You won’t regret it.

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