Time Management and Following Jesus

When Jesus began His public ministry, He asked the men He had chosen to become His inner circle to follow Him (John 1:43). Now, after the resurrection and just before His return to His Father, Jesus repeats the same instruction. The scene is Peter’s reinstatement to service after his denial of the Lord.

Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, ‘Follow me!’” (John 21:19). Moments later, when Peter asked about someone else, Jesus repeated His instructions: “Jesus answered, ‘If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me’” (21:22).

There is a challenge to these words. If they followed Him when they could see Him, touch Him, travel with Him, would they still follow Him when they couldn’t see Him, couldn’t touch Him, and traveled apparently alone to face the pressures and stresses of ministry? He had promised them the presence of the Holy Spirit, but humankind are prone to like their leaders to be a bit more visible.

That same instruction, and that same challenge, are ours today as believers. We never had the privilege of a visible Jesus, but we have the same Spirit. Will we follow? Will we get up and dust ourselves off after we have failed Him, and keep following? Will we look beyond the difficulties of life and still follow Him in spite of them?

Jesus was asking for commitment; a commitment built on a faith that is often nothing more than blind obedience.

What does following Him look like? Like the old TV show, following Christ is “different strokes for different folks” but here is my general principle of what it looks like. We begin with how we divide up our time. We know that the Scriptures talk about tithing our money or giving a tenth of what we gain back to the Lord. I believe time tithing is also good practice.

Every week has 168 hours and every one of those hours belongs to the Lord. Every aspect of our lives needs to be lived with a “follow me” attitude. But let’s break it down into specifics. If we tithe our week, 16.8 hours belongs directly to the Lord for taking in from Him and giving out for Him. Supposing that most people work a 40 hour work week, we add that into our calculations. We need to get 8 hours of sleep every night so that adds an extra 56 hours to the week, leaving us with 55.2 hours for everything else. That’s 168 hours.

Life isn’t perfect and the numbers will need some slight adjustments, but you get the point. Following Jesus begins with a commitment to use all our time for His glory, while making sure that we don’t cheat Him of those 16.8 hours, that 10 percent that belongs exclusively to Him.

We can’t see Him, but do we have the faith to follow even when we can’t see?


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