On my birthday last Sunday, I turned 49 years old. By then I had spent a total of 429,240 hours on this earth. That’s 25,754,400 minutes! Now I probably slept through about 8 million of those minutes, but I wonder how many of those 17 million waking minutes I wasted. A level of Candy Crush on my phone takes about 5 minutes and you have 5 lives to lose there’s 25 minutes (if you lose all your lives without advancing).
A YouTube video lasts about 10 minutes (although I speed them up to 1.5 x normal speed). As you can see, it’s pretty easy to waste an hour or two on a game or falling down the YouTube rabbit hole.
I expect to live another 21 million or so minutes (40 yrs. = 21,024,000). I will likely sleep through about 7 million of those minutes. That leaves me about 14 million minutes left. How much can I do in 14 million minutes?
- It only takes 3 seconds to say “I love you”
- It only takes a couple more to say, “I love you and Jesus loves you”
- Maybe only a few seconds more to ask, “Would you like to know more about Jesus?”
- It only takes 2.5 hours to read the book of Matthew.
Time is a biblically valuable commodity that each of us has as long as we continue to draw breath. Each of us has 24 hours in a day. We do not all have the same number of days remaining in our lives.
I said I would likely live another 21 million minutes, but it could be only 21 minutes. It’s extremely important that we use life’s available moments in the most expedient way possible.
- Ephesians 5:15-17
Investing Our Time in the Church
What is the Oak Grove Church of Christ that I should invest my time in it? How much of our time should we invest in the church here in Oak Grove?
When we fully recognize the significance of what we are as the Oak Grove church of Christ – a local congregation of the Lord’s church – we will know how much of our time ought to be invested in it.
When we fully appreciate what it means to be a Christian, we will know how much of our time ought to be invested. When we fully embrace the concept of conversion and consecration to the Lord, we will know how much of our time ought to be invested.
We are a component part of the churches of Christ.
- Romans 16:16
Jesus Christ personally built his church.
- Matthew 16:18
Our Lord purchased his church with his blood.
- Acts 20:28
Jesus saves people with his blood and then adds these saved to his church.
- Revelation 1:5
- Acts 2:47
The church of Christ, then, is blood-bought and blood-washed. That means that each local congregation of the Lord’s church likewise is blood-bought and blood-washed! How much time should the child of God be willing to invest in the Son of God’s blood-bought and blood-washed local church?
The Lord’s church is referred to as the bride of Christ.
- Revelation 22:17
Likewise, individual congregations of the Lord’s church share this figurative relationship with Jesus Christ.
- 2 Corinthians 11:2
That means that each local congregation of the Lord’s church needs to be as devoted to the Lord as a bride is to her husband. Every local congregation is composed of its members ⎯ Christians.
- Romans 12:5
Therefore, individual Christians who comprise the local church need to be as devoted to the Lord through the local church as a bride is devoted to her husband. How much time should the Christian be willing to invest in the local church, here at Oak Grove, since it is the bride of Christ?
What is a Christian that I Should Invest My Time in the Local Church?
First, a Christian is Christ-like. Jesus is our perfect example which we must imitate to the best of our ability.
- 1 Peter 2:21
Jesus blazed the spiritual trail, and Christians are obligated to walk in his footsteps.
- 1 John 2:6
Jesus devoted himself to the redemption of humanity and sacrificed himself on the cross of Calvary for us. How much time, then, should the child of God be willing to invest in the church for which he died?
Second, a Christian is a disciple of Christ. The word “disciple” means to be a learner and a follower. The disciple considers it his duty to accept the doctrine of his leader and proclaim it everywhere he can.
- Acts 8:1, 4
How much time should the disciple of Christ be willing to invest in the local church by which Christ’s message is spread to the local community? A Christian is also a steward of those things entrusted to his care for the kingdom’s sake.
The Parable of the Talents illustrates individual responsibility to be a good steward for our Master.
- Matt. 25:14-30
The qualifications of elders teach that they are stewards of the congregation over which they have been appointed.
- Titus 1:7
Everything we have in our possession rightfully belongs to God, and we are only stewards.
- Psalms 50:10-12.
Even our time belongs to our Lord, and Christians are called upon to “redeem” that time.
- Ephesians 5:16
- Colossians 4:5
Christians are forbidden to invest their time in sinful ways.
- 1 Peter 4:1-4
How much time, then, should a Christian be willing to invest in godly endeavors, such as the local church?
What About My Conversion & Consecration to the Lord Should Lead Me to Invest my Time in the Local Church?
Conversion means that the child of God no longer conforms to the wicked world, but now molds himself with the word of God. The world is no longer the standard by which we order our lives.
- Romans 12:1-2
- James 4:4
Christians have been converted by a “form of doctrine” and continue to heartily embrace it.
- Romans 6:17
Nothing is more important to the converted soul than Jesus and his church.
- 2 Corinthians 8:1-5
How much time, then, should the convert to Christianity be willing to invest in the Lord’s church? Consecration of our lives to our Lord means that he is first in our lives ⎯ nothing withstanding! Our devotion must be to God first, above even our natural love for parents, spouses and children.
- Matthew 10:37-38
Jesus demands that his followers seek spiritual matters first above all else in life.
- Matthew 6:33
Along those lines, New Testament writers exhort Christians to prefer brethren rather than non-Christians.
- Romans 12:10
- 1 Peter 2:17
How much time, then, should the child of God be willing to invest in the church of God, including the local church that is comprised of Christians.
- 1 Corinthians 1:2
Even club memberships require time and money from their members; should the Lord’s church expect less of its members? Isn’t it about time that the children of God commit to investing their time in the success of the local congregation of which they are members? How much time should the child of God be willing to invest in the local church?
There is no better way to invest one’s time than to invest it in spiritual pursuits. For erring Christians or unbaptized believers, it is time to be saved,
- Romans 13:11
- 2 Corinthians 6:2
By: Jack McNiel, Evangelist Sources Consulted: Louis Rushmore outline