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Tithing My Time

For the next 30 days, my wife, myself, and a few friends have committed to tithe two hours and thirty minutes of our time to the Lord while we go through the book Live Dead.  As a father and a resident, I do not know how sustainable this is.  I do know that the concept is important.  Before residency, I was a lot better at abiding in Christ.  There were fewer obstacles.  I had more time.  Christ did not put me in residency to become jaded or to become a victim.  However, in some ways, I have become both.  Lord forgive me.

Yet, I know that God is sovereign.  And if God is sovereign, then residency is precisely the kind of suffering I need. How do I learn to grow closer to God with more responsibilities and less time?  The answer is that I must die to myself.

Romans 6:1-14 reads:

"What shall we say then?  Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means!  We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?  Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.  If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.  For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin- because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.  Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.  For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.  The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.  In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.  Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.  For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace."

2 Corinthians 5:17-21

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them.  And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.  We implore you on Christ's behalf:  Be reconciled to God.  God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 


2,000 years ago I died.  The Jewish Messiah came.  He lived a perfect life of love.  He gave up His life for the sins of the world.  And as He died, all those who follow Him died too.  For in that moment, Jesus Christ redeemed the sins of the world.  Christianity is not a religion about being good.  Instead, it is a religion about believing the One who was perfect.  Christianity says that we are not the hero.  Jesus alone is the hero.  And our job is to love Him with all our heart.

"For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want," Galatians 5:17.

"You are not to do whatever you want."
 

To live as a new creation, we must fight against our self and our vain preferences. We must be open enough to question whether there are idols in our lives (there are).  We must be earnest and confront them.  And more than anything, we must make much of God.  For God alone is worthy of our praise and adoration. 

For me, the problem is not as simple as "I am too busy."  Instead, the problem is that I often chose activities that are not of God.  Instead of praying, I waste time on the internet.  Instead of reading the Bible, I read about soccer...or football...or basketball...or baseball.  Instead of worshiping God, I seek to glorify myself. 

Paul wrote, "
I die every day--I mean that, brothers--just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord."  1st Corinthians 15:31.

The things I value apart from God are of no value.  The love of God is of great value.  Joy is not situational, but instead, it comes only from abiding in a God who loves us more than we could ever love Him.  To die daily is to give up our preferences, to surrender to God, and to find that true joy comes only from abiding with Him. 

I pray that by tithing my time, I will come to understand this joy in a new profound way, and in so doing, that Jesus Christ might become my preference in all things and at all times.

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