So to begin... a quote from my notes:
In this day and age we are a busy people. Time is money, and there is much we need to buy. We get so wrapped up on the things we see that we miss out on one of the greatest experiences in life, spending time with our Creator. We either do not have time for church, or on the other end of the spectrum, spend too much time at church; but in both cases where is the time set aside to spend time with God?
Going to church, helping in the ministries, and singing songs of praise do not equal time with God. Spending time with God is like spending time with a friend; you set aside time for it, you talk with Him, you love Him.
Yet, we work until we are exhausted, we grow apathetic about church, we don't spend time with God, and try to do everything our way, the way we planned, leaving not time with rest, to time to savor the happiness that we experience, and we wonder why we are miserable?
The sabbath was given to us for our own health: spiritually, emotionally, and physically. It was given to keep our relationship with God healthy. God, Himself, rested on the seventh day of creation. Are we really arrogant enough to think that we are above Him in even this?
So, in case you haven't figured it out. My lesson this week is about Time, and how spending time with God can affect our relationship with Him. The past two weeks I have spoken on things that get in the way of listening to God: Idolatry, Pride, and this week our use of Time. So I guess to finish up these thoughts and connect them with listening... When we are too busy to spend time with God, we begin to forget what His voice sounds like in our lives. We forget the first time we encountered Him. We stop listening because we don't stop ourselves long enough to even try. It's not because there is noise around us (although, that can play a part in it at times), but it is because we are not even trying to hear Him. We are too busy to care.
So what's the "cure"? To all of these things, it is to be willing to stop for a time and examine ourselves. Look at our relationship with God, with others, and to allow God to reveal His truths to us. If we are too busy to listen, we'll never be convicted of the things that separate us from Him, and we won't turn from them, which might be the worst decision we could ever make. Maybe the biggest aspect of evangelism is not the presentation, but rather the ability to get people to stop for a few minutes and see the Truth.
Just a few thoughts. Going back to preparation now.