Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode 070 Refining Time
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast
Episode #070 – Refining Time
Thank you for entrusting and investing your precious time with me to grow in Jesus together. I am blessed to be back with you to discuss more ways to live with eternal perspective.
This week I purchased a gift for a baby shower. Out of all the various gifts listed on the registry, I chose something very simple. A bottle warmer. Why did I choose that item? A bottle warmer certainly isn’t glamorous or exciting. Yet, the simplicity spoke to my heart because of the purpose behind it. The warmer made me recall the days I had babies in the house. My precious memories of that time brought back cherished moments that now seem so far in the past, yet also feel like yesterday at the same time.
Have you ever heard older mothers pass on advice about being in the moment? Appreciate the times with your children while they are young. People always say in hindsight that the days are long, but the years are short. How true the words are. As an older mom who has had the unique gift of raising one family and starting again with a baby, the words stir me very deeply.
Although it saddens me, I realize the slight differences between the early years with my first two and my last two. I admit that my love for each of my children is the same and very deep and strong, yet I have a deeper appreciation for my time with the younger set because of the wisdom gained during the years I aged in between. That insight allowed me to understand what a gift our children are and how purposely unique each one is. I always knew they were more precious than gold, but when I was young, my attention was split between chasing dreams and gaining the worldly treasures I thought we needed, instead of realizing my blessed role of raising my children for Jesus.
Now I have learned that resting in the arms of our Heavenly Father, appreciating what He has given me, whether it be a long session with a crying child or a quiet time of reflection as I gaze at my infant who never knew attention before, rejoicing as she maintained eye contact for the first time, I am blessed. I bought that bottle warmer for a shower gift because I hope the mother will quietly sit with her baby, appreciating every single moment and will desire to be the one holding and feeding her beloved gift from God.
Just as it takes intentional time to bond and attach with our child, we must purpose to mature our relationship with God.
Have you ever noticed that some people seem to cultivate a deep relationship with the Lord effortlessly? Yet, the truth is that appearances truly are deceiving. Deep relationships, whether experienced with our Heavenly Father or our loved ones on earth, are strengthened through a wise use of time and attention.
Wise believers will implement each moment given with a heart focused on eternity.
God has no favorites; He gives each of us the same amount of time and love. We are the ones who vary our attention to and devotion for Him.
Unless we realize that the time allotted to us is a valuable resource, we never prioritize what we want our life and our future to hold. If we desire our eternity to hold more treasures than what we could accumulate in this temporary life, we will make a faith-fueled decision that heavenly wealth is more precious and meaningful than worldly possessions. Next, our actions must match what we believe, because in reality, most people, with time and focused effort, can obtain all or much of what their heart yearns for. A life spent merely acquiring belongings can never be returned to us, even after we realize that we wasted those moments chasing temporary, worthless trappings.
Purpose now to view eternity with Jesus as wealth. Value the time you have on this earth with a heart and mindset that places relationship with Jesus at the top of goals to achieve. People must stop saying we hope to mature our walk with Christ when we find more time. Get on your knees now, pray for guidance and wisdom, then open your Bible and your heart to what He desires to reveal to you.
Relationship with Jesus is “free,” yet priceless, but costs in ways we cannot imagine when we decide to follow Him.
1 Corinthians 2:6-10 promises, “Among the mature, however, we speak a message of wisdom—but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we speak of the mysterious and hidden wisdom of God, which He destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it. For if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. Rather, as it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But God has revealed it to us by the Spirit.”
Just as we hope, plan, and dream about our future daily here on earth, we must make more time to contemplate our eternal future. Our beliefs and the focus of our actions and moments in this world form our eternity.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says, “To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to count as lost, a time to keep and a time to discard, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”
What season are you in?
Where is God calling you to change the time you spend for and with Him?
Let’s focus on some truths about time to see where we should pivot how we use it.
Remember, you don’t need to keep notes. You can easily read and print these suggestions at terrihitt.com in the podcast transcripts area.
1. How we spend time directly affects all areas of our life, most directly, our eternity.
2. Who we spend time with affects and shapes our values and actions.
3. Time can either soothe and heal or cause pain, bitterness, and jealousies to multiply.
4. Time is more valuable than currency; we cannot retrieve more once it has been spent.
5. We do not know how much time we have been gifted.
Are you utilizing the time you have been allotted in ways that God would find pleasing?
Let’s examine ways we can deliberately use our time for God.
1. Make God a priority. It’s easier to sit on the couch and watch television or scroll through our phone than it is to pick up our Bible. Why? What we discover about God and the life-changing power His word and obedience to Him bring are much more impactful than a movie or sitcom will ever be.
2. Learn the word. Memorization can be hard. If you feel it is an impossible task, allow yourself to read God’s word. Reading His truths bring knowledge, faith, love, joy, peace, and so much more into your life. Write His words. Speak His words. Pray His words. Absorb His words. Read them over and over so they become the wind lifting you confidently through life.
3. Obey the word. As we begin to know the Father’s heart, His desires become ours. We long to obey and please Him as His truths penetrate our heart and mind.
4. Communicate with God. Prayer is the lifeline God blessed us with. How often do you think of prayer as a gift? How often are you distracted when praying? We fail often at such a simple task, yet God is faithful and allows us to continue to step into His glorious and holy presence time after time. Experience the reminder of His righteousness and holiness as you pray His words of truth to Him.
5. Listen to God. Once we continue to communicate with the Lord through prayer, we begin to develop ears to hear. As our walk matures, we hear His still, small voice and His booming commands. Both are important.
6. Repent to God. When we open our heart and confess our sins, He is faithful to listen and forgive. He is able to carry our loads and change our habits.
7. Express gratitude. Just as the Lord longs to hear us repent, He desires to hear sincere thankfulness. When we are grateful during the hard and easy times, the joys or disappointments, we grow our trust and dependence on Him and show Him through contented faith that He is enough and we are thankful for His gift of eternal life and His presence in our life.
8. Plan fun activities with God. God delights in knowing that we look forward to spending time with Him! Whether we long to talk to Him throughout our day, sharing secret thoughts or thankfulness, or whether we pray to Him at a special time every morning or night because we long to share that quality time together, or we look forward to reading His word, drawing for Him, singing for Him, or sharing His truths with others, God sees and knows our heart. Think of new ways to authentically bring delightful obedience to the heart of our Father.
9. Give God good gifts. We know we can never outgive God. With a heart full of love for Him, we can give pleasingly when we use what He has given us to further His kingdom on earth. Money, time, and talents all make beautiful gifts to Him that last for eternity.
10. Value and share God’s wisdom. Making time for Him in all the ways I mentioned prove that we are intentionally bowing in humble submission to God. As we practice deepening our walk and desire for Him, we come to value every aspect of God. Our Heavenly Father, I AM WHO I AM, the God who sanctifies, provides, is all powerful, holy and righteous, the God of peace, the Redeemer, and Truth. Allow Him to penetrate all of you and shine through you for all to see His majesty and glory.
Just as a secure and healthy attachment is the foundation that allows your child to freely explore the world, trusting that they have a safe anchor to hold them steady, the time we invest in attaching to our Heavenly Father will allow us to organize and adjust our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, actions, and goals through godly methods because we trust the One who created and knows us best. He knows the plans He has for you, to prosper you, and not to harm you, to give you a future, and a hope. Look to the Lord for care, guidance, and comfort as an infant seeks His primary caregiver. Just as with a baby, attachment is essential to long-term emotional, financial, spiritual, mental, and physical health.
Matthew 6:19-21 says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Luke 10:38-42 says, “As they traveled along, Jesus entered a village where a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to His message. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations to be made. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord replied, “you are worried and upset about many things. But only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Precious Heavenly Father, we thank you for Your gracious gift of an eternal future with You. Thank you for making the way to You so clear through Jesus and for the ultimate sacrifice You offered to bring us into eternity with You. Cause us to see each moment through Your eternal mind and heart-set. May we please You with our willingness and desire to know You more deeply. Allow us to rest in Your presence without a distracted heart or mind. What we have here is nothing in light of what You offer us in our eternal home with You. Help us to fully realize that truth and grant us inexhaustible treasure in heaven, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys because we have sought You with a heart of devotion through sacrifice and priority, just as You do for us. In Your holy name we pray, Amen.
Thank you for listening to this podcast. Please visit terrihitt.com to access podcast episodes housed in one convenient location, read blog posts, transcripts, and access additional resources designed to mature your walk with Jesus through an eternal perspective and encourage you to raise or influence children to choose Christ over culture.
I pray this podcast draws you nearer to God and helps you cling to Him, despite any circumstances in your life. Until next week, keep looking Up while focusing on ways to Live With Eternal Perspective.