|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Great thoughts from great Christians”
Our Bible verse for today: “Pay careful attention, then, to how you live – not as unwise people but as wise – making the most of the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Be intentional about how you live”
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) was a brilliant man. He entered Yale University at only thirteen, already having a firm grasp on Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. At the age of twenty-one he was appointed pastor of a church in Northampton, Massachusetts, where God used him to ignite the Great Awakening of 1734-35. That was a spiritual revival that spread across the Colonies and resulted in tens of thousands of salvations.
Throughout his life Edwards was a big proponent of making resolutions and living by them. He had long-term life goals, which were intended to establish basic principles to live by; and he also kept a list of short-term goals he was working on. One of his most important and helpful life principles was, “Resolved, never to lose one moment of time, but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.”
Edwards was serious about using his time well. He understood that time is a precious commodity that is not renewable. We only get so much of it in life and the Lord expects us to use it well. That’s why he kept lists of resolutions and goals. Benjamin Franklin expressed the same thought in slightly different words, “Do you value your life? Then value your time; because time is the stuff life is made of.” This is what the Apostle Paul was trying to teach us in Ephesians 5:15, we must be intentional about using our time well – we must be intentional about how we live.
Jonathan Edward’s personal practice of writing out his lists of resolutions is similar to the common practice in our day of a personal mission statement. It’s simply a written declaration of principles and practices that become a sort of north star. It is big-picture guidance designed to keep us on track in life. Beyond that, the practice of having short-term goals is essential as well. Short-term goals ensure that we’re always in the process of learning, growing, and moving forward in life, never becoming ambivalent, lazy, or unproductive.
A big part of the reason Jonathan Edwards made such a powerful impact with his life is because he was so intentional about how he lived and how he used his time. His written resolutions and goals were helpful tools that kept him focused and motivated. That can be true in our lives as well.
“Resolved, never to lose one moment of time, but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.”
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