Like many, I’ve spent some time processing all that has happened over the last two years. As I did so, God brought to mind the early church. Much like today, these believers were faced with economic uncertainty, political agendas, disease, and famine. In spite of these challenges, they still succeeded in turning the world upside down! How did they do this? I believe it was due to a single-minded focus on one thing – the same thing that will determine whether 2022 is a radically different year for me and for you. I invite you to watch this video and reflect on how this essential area intersects with your priorities.
Seeking God’s Best for our Time, Attention and Resources
Regardless of the challenges of the past, I find it energizing to break open a calendar and begin mapping out a fresh, new year full of possibilities. As a husband, father, grandfather, and ministry leader, I am learning afresh how precious, perishable, and irreplaceable time is.Read More
“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.”
JAMES 4:14 NIV
Dear Ministry Partner,
Happy New Year! I hope that the Christmas season has renewed your hope in the many ways that God is at work in our troubled world. This resonates with me for many reasons, including the tremendous response to our Year-End Match. Because of the generosity of faithful ministry partners like you, we’re able to say YES! to unprecedented new opportunities that will give hope and help more Christians live like Christians than ever before. Thank you for making this possible.
Regardless of the challenges of the past, I find it energizing to break open a calendar and begin mapping out a fresh, new year full of possibilities. As a husband, father, grandfather, and ministry leader, I am learning afresh how precious, perishable, and irreplaceable time is. In fact, I’ve discovered that the quality, joy, and impact of my life are directly related to how wisely I use the time God has given me. As we start 2022, I’d like to share some nuggets of truth God is teaching me about this wonderful, limited commodity we call TIME.
THE BREVITY OF LIFE
In Psalm 90, we read Moses’s thoughts about time. “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. If only we knew the power of your anger! Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due. Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:10-12 (NIV)
The message here is simple—life is brief. It is surprising how quickly we use up our time on this planet. Sooner than we realize, we’re all going to be giving God an account of how we used our time. So like Moses, we need to ask Jesus to show us how to make the most of our time.
I have a friend who interviewed some centenarians for a research project. He shared two regrets that he consistently heard:
- First, they overemphasized the value of their accomplishments. The things that they considered big achievements earlier in life weren’t such a big deal to them decades later.
- And second, they all underestimated the value of their families and relationships.
I wonder how many people reach the end of their lives and wish they had a second chance to get things right. God’s Word says, “teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” God wants to help us get it right the first time.
JESUS AND TIME
When we scope out Jesus’s use of time, we see He was never in a rush, stressed out, overcommitted, or spread too thin. Even though Jesus managed to compress His world-changing ministry into three years, He found time to play with children, attend a wedding reception, nap during a boat ride, and rest at midday beside a well. Jesus was inundated with demands, but He found time to pray—a lot. He knew He had much to accomplish, yet He habitually practiced to “be still and know” (Psalm 46:10).
Jesus also taught and modeled the rejuvenating power of rest and tranquility. The One who said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28) urged His followers to learn the power of one-on-one communion with the Father, not the power of eighteen-hour workdays.
KNOW HIS WILL
We are called to live countercultural lives of stewardship. “Be very careful, then, how you live— not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” Ephesians 5:15-17 (NASB)
So what is God’s will for you in 2022? How will you steward the time, energy, and opportunities that are before you?
DISCOVERING GOD’S WILL DAILY
Although the Lord at time reveals His will through dramatic events, a dream, or a once in a lifetime “aha moment,” I’ve found the practice of starting each day by meeting with God in prayer and Bible reading to be the key to knowing God’s will for my life.
When I was a new Christian, God brought a mentor into my life who taught me how to have a “quiet time.” Despite a rough start, I developed a daily habit of spending the first part of my day with the Lord.
I’m convinced that if you give the first portion of your time to God and really dig into knowing Him better, you’ll experience wisdom, grace, and promptings from the Holy Spirit to direct your decisions and relationships. If you want to take control of your time and learn how to use it God’s way, start by saying, “God, I’m going to give you the first block, the best block, of my time every day.”
Let’s be Christians who live like Christians in 2022 by seeking God’s best for our time, our attention, and our resources. We are His hands and feet. Together we can bring His hope and help to our hurting world.
Keep Pressing Ahead,
CEO and Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
P.S. At Living on the Edge, we’re passionate about helping you spend daily time with God. One exciting way we’re doing this is through online Bible studies called Daily Discipleship with Chip. I invite you to join me here.Hide
Praise and Prayer
Every month, we'll share with you the top three prayer requests and praises from our team at Living on the Edge. This update is one of our favorite, as it's so clear the many ways that God is at work in our ministry. Chip and our entire team encourage you to celebrate and pray alongside us.Read More
We Thank God For…
- His faithfulness in our 2021 Year-End Match. We will share details when numbers are finalized, but our team is encouraged that giving trends suggest that match of $2,314,496.40 may be fully met!
- Opening the doors to new opportunities in India, Ethiopia, Middle East and the Philippines by raising up network leaders interested in equipping pastors and communities with The Art of Survival.
- Perfect timing in bringing the right people and skills to our Living on the Edge team, equipping us to move forward in each of the areas that God has called us to in 2022 and beyond.
We ask God to…
- Be present in our partnership with over 1,000 pastors in Kenya this January and February. Through these leaders we will bring training and 100,000 copies of Art of Survival to the Kenyan Church.
- Prepare the hearts of the believers who have signed up for one-to-one mentoring through Daily Discipleship with Chip. Pray specifically for the finishing touches on the new Art of Survival series.
- Bring to completion the printing and distribution plans with our partners in China. Logistics are essential, and we encourage you to pray with us for the team that will distribute resources to cities and leaders throughout the country.