“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” – Ephesians 5:16
During this time where everything has slowed down and we are confined to our homes, it seems more important than ever for us to consider how we are spending our time.
What People Are Doing
Besides sharing hilarious memes and checking the news frequently, I think most people are doing what they usually do when they are home but just to a greater extend.
I recently read a news article from a Danish news outlet. The article stated that the EU Commissioner had asked Netflix to reduce streaming quality to avoid breaking the internet. The number of people streaming movies might not have changed, but the number of videos people are consuming seems to have increased dramatically. I don’t think this is true of movies alone. It includes gaming and time spent on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Youtube.
“But I’m Too Busy”
Hear me out. I’m not on a rally against these social media platforms, and I’m not saying that we shouldn’t use them at all. But I often hear Christians excuse their lack of devotion to God in Bible study, prayer and dedication to other believers by saying, “Oh, I’m just too busy.” Life can certainly be busy (not that’s an excuse), but let’s be completely honest. Most confined to their home these days have more time on their hands than usual. The question is, “How do you make the best use of it for the glory of God?”
I’ve 10 suggestions on how you can make the best use of your time.
1. Study a Book in The Bible.
Too many Christians have never disciplined themselves to spend the time necessary to study a whole book in the Bible. So why not pick a book in the Bible that you want to study. You could start with a short book like Colossians or Philippians. Then work your way through the book daily.
You can get an ESV Scripture Journal to write down your observations. Then use a good study Bible like John Macarthur’s Study Bible to consider what it means. And finally, when you understand “What it said” to its original audience, you will much better be able to apply “what it says” to your life today.
2. Read a Christian Book
I know some Christians who like to read fiction, but somehow, they don’t have an appetite for Christian books. I think it often comes from a wrong perspective about the purpose and content of these books. If that’s you, please read my article “Why and How I Love Reading Books.” It will motivate you to start reading Christian books.
A good book to start with would be Spiritual Disciplines for The Christian Life by Donald Whitney. It had a profound impact on my life, and I have seen how God has used it to change others as well.
3. Spend Expended Time in Prayer
Prayer is such a privilege. Prayer is communication with our heavenly Father. Just like a child loves to talk to his earthly Father, so we should have much joy and desire in speaking to our Father in heaven. When was the last time you spent an extended time in prayer?
If you aren’t sure what to pray for, how about “Praying The Bible.” It directs your thoughts, helps you pray biblically and keep you from praying the “same old” over and over. If you want to learn how you can pray the Bible, check out “Praying the Bible” by Donald Whitney
4. Live Out New Testaments’s “One Another” Commandments
Christianity equals community. God has saved us and adopted us into His family. The New Testament is full of “One Another” commandments describing what Christian community and fellowship should look like on a daily basis. We are told to love one another (John 13:34), encourage one another (1 Thess 5:11), pray for one another (James 5:16), instruct one another (Rom 15:14) and so forth.
Do a quick Google search to find all the One Another’s in the New Testament and then consider how you can live it out even when you be with others physically.
For example, you could pick up your phone, message three people from your church family and ask them how they are doing and how you can be praying for them. It means a lot more than you can imagine—especially if they are singles or older folks.
5. Evangelize Online
The COVID-19 outbreak has brought some challenges to evangelism as we want to be faithful, sharing the gospel while at the same time, not putting other people’s lives at risk. Social media is an effective way to share the gospel with unbelievers while keeping a safe distance. You most likely have hundreds of unbelieving friends on Facebook, so it’s a great place for you to share articles and videos dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak from a Christian perspective that includes the gospel.
There is a big chance your friends might click on your article or video and hear the gospel and find salvation in Christ. The Cripplegate blog posted such a video. I recommend for you to check out.
6. Write a Journal
For some, journaling seems like the worst possible thing you can do. But I find it helpful to reflect on my life. On what the Lord is teaching me through His Word. And on where I’m going with my life.
Recently, I looked back on some journals from 2012 to 2017. I had written down the current state in my Christian life. What I was doing. And my thoughts and dreams for the future. It was instructive and reminded me of God’s eternal goodness. I also find it helpful to journal to write my thinking clear. Give it a try. You will be surprised.
7. Serve Your Family
God has blessed you with a family, so do your best to apply Phillippians 2:3-4 and serve them. Ask how you best can help. Serve with a Christlike attitude (John 13). Be willing to do undesirable tasks that will bless your family. Think outside the box.
8. Take an Online Christian Course
I think many are afraid of the word “course” because it reminds them of school. But don’t be afraid of online courses. The Christian life is one long school (learning process). As Howard Hendricks said, “You never graduate from the school of discipleship.” We will never exhaust the Bible’s teaching.
Ligonier Ministries has recently made all their courses available for free. So that’s a great place to start. You can, for example, take Steve Lawson’s course on the Attributes of God. It will change your perspective of God and how you relate to Him. You can also check out courses on Institute for Church Leaders and Tim Challies’s article with other suggested free or discounted resources and courses.
In Tim 4:8, Paul reminded young Timothy that training is of some value. Exercise keeps us healthy and fit to do the Lord’s work. It helps us concentrate much better. It boosts our immune system. And the list goes on and on.
“But,” you object, “My gym is closed.”
Really? My friend, let’s just stop here before it gets ugly. Put on your fancy Nike shoes and “Just Do It!”
10. Keep Your Daily Routines
Having successfully worked from home for many years, I can’t stress enough the importance of having a daily routine to stay productive. Throw your “To Do” out of the window and see what happens.
Reagan Rose, who runs the Redeeming Productivity podcast and blog, recently did a podcast entitled “Carpe Quarantine”” on how to stay productive during this COVID-19 outbreak. He commented on the importance of daily routines in the show. If you work from home, you got to give it a listen. It will help you stay productive for the glory of God.
No Condition For Spending Your Time Wisely
Going back to Ephesians 5:16, notice that there is not a condition to the command. It doesn’t say, “Look carefully then how you walk [unless you are in a pandemic], not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time [unless you are confined to your home], because the days are evil.”
The Lord always wants us to make the best use of our time. So make every second count for eternity (1 Cor 10:31).