January 30, 2013 at 5:54 p.m.

Act now to affect change as time is short

We end with a lesson from the Bible that, if applied, will prove life changing

By Meredith Ebbin- | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

As we conclude this series with step 7 towards a deeper relationship with God, we end with a lesson from the Bible that, if applied, will prove life changing.

We have, in reality, little time to make an impact on our family, society and country for the LORD. As violence and tragedy continue to unravel in a country aptly described in Hubert Smith's song, 'Bermuda Is Another World', we realize that we are rapidly losing the Bermuda that so many knew.

No matter how much we try to reduce drug abuse, curb violence, and seek to prevent the gang culture of 'town and country', we are forced to continually accept the fact that we are gradually declining in the quality of life. It has been my personal belief that the state of a country is more reflective of the state of the church, rather than the government, its social programmes, or adequate law enforcement.

Throughout history when the Church has taken its role seriously and reached out to the community in genuine love and compassion the outreach has had a lasting impact on families, neighbourhoods and the general population. The church should function as an agent of change and influence people with God's love shown by action.

Inner change

As the church we must move away from man-made traditions, competitive Sunday fashion shows, judgmental behaviours, and the segregated morning worship stereotype; instead we should be an example of inner change, unity, character - and love that knows no boundaries. Our nation desperately needs to experience the power of unconditional love and the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, love and truth that irrefutably changes lives of children, teens, and adults. We must be more active in our purpose and priority and use our energy and time to focus on people, the greatest resource of any nation. The agent for change is not solely the responsibility of a government; the church has a vital role to play, especially when it comes to a character change.

When we, as the church, realize what little time we have to affect change, we must use it to its greatest potential. We must shun our practised and perfected complacency, justified sin, and the comfort of idleness; instead, we must act. God has given us a purpose and a mission and we need to fulfil His desires for our lives. We have enough time to do what God predetermined for us to do before He said, "Let there be light." Ephesians 2:8-10 reminds us that although we cannot be saved by works, a life that is saved... will work! Paul says...

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10

This means that God has a special purpose for each one of those that have accepted Jesus Christ as personal Saviour. What final step then will cause us to deepen our relationship with God? It is the step to maintain the proper perspective on time. We find this direct lesson from the book of James.

Life changing

Let's look at what I deem a life-changing lesson for us in these five power-packed verses in the very practical book of James....

Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins. James 4:13-17

James addresses a sinful condition of the heart of Christians that is, by the way, so subtle and, sadly, so common. We should not say with confidence that today or tomorrow we are travelling here and there where we'll spend a year before moving on - we don't know what will happen tomorrow, let alone next year! Rather, we should say is "...If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." (verse 15).

Time is short! The Word of God teaches that if we live life without a sensitive heart to God's will for our lives, we commit boasting and bragging that is deemed 'evil', a strong word. If we know the good that we should do, but don't do it, we actually sin.

Most times we think of sin as acts of immorality, pain we cause others, or words that we carelessly. However, we also sin when we fail to seek God when it comes to our plans, and, therefore, fail to do what God has called us to do with the limited time we have left.

It is time for us to realize that time is short and it is time to fulfil our purpose. It is time to be agents of change in one life at a time in our families, neighbourhoods, and our nation. Our life is a mist, here today and gone tomorrow; we should maximize our time to maximize our impact.

The church is the agent of change from the inside out. Jesus stated we are to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. It is time for us, as the church, to come to action. Seek God's direction for who He wants you to impact and into what darkness He wants you to shine His light.

Pastor Gary Simons serves as the Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Bible Fellowship, 82 Church Street, Hamilton, Bermuda[[In-content Ad]]


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