This summer, we are reading Don Whitney’s book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life together. With certain goals for us as individuals, we all desire to grow in grace and personal holiness. The purpose of this study is to help us make necessary adjustments in our spiritual lives that will enable us to achieve such goals by incorporating the use of spiritual disciplines.
In the previous chapters, Don Whitney has outlined the specifics of Bible reading, meditation, prayer, worship, evangelism, and service to the Lord. What exactly is taking place when we read the Bible, meditate on Scripture, and pray? Essentially, these disciplines should lead us to godliness and a life that reflects the glory of God. In this chapter today, we look at the subject of stewardship. As Don Whitney makes clear, both time and money are to be spent for God’s glory.
The Disciplined Use Of Time
In this section, Don Whitney outlines ten biblical reasons to use time wisely.
- Use Time Wisely “Because the Days Are Evil”
- Wise Use of Time Is the Preparation for Eternity
- Time Is Short
- Time Is Passing
- Time Remaining Is Uncertain
- Time Lost Cannot Be Regained
- You Are Accountable to God for Your Time
- Time IS So Easily Lost
- We Value Time at Death
- Time’s Value in Eternity
Don Whitney writes, “Godliness is the result of a biblically disciplined spiritual life. But at the heart of a disciplined spiritual life is the disciplined use of time” (159). How often do we waste our time and how soon will we all regret it? Consider the fact that Jesus prayed in John 17:4 confidently that He had kept the Father’s will and accomplished the work given to Him. Can we pray with such confidence? What hinders us from doing the Father’s will and glorifying Him in all of life and worship?
As Don Whitney makes clear, if time were like pebbles beside the road, it wouldn’t be very valuable, but since it’s scarce, it becomes like diamonds or gold and the value greatly increases. We must remember this as we seek to make better use of our time, for it will soon be gone. Whitney quotes the famous infidel Voltaire who once said to his doctor, “I will give you half of what I am worth if you will give me six-months life.” What lessons can we learn from men like Voltaire who was trying so passionately to cling to life?
The Disciplined Use Of Money
Don Whitney writes, “The Bible relates not only the use of time to our spiritual condition, but also our use of money” (169). In a similar manner, he then outlines ten reasons for the biblical use of money.
- God Owns Everything You Own
- Giving Is an Act of Worship
- Giving Reflects Faith in God’s Provision
- Giving Should Be Sacrificial and Generous
- Giving Reflects Spiritual Trustworthiness
- Giving—Love, Not Legalism
- Give Willingly, Thankfully, and Cheerfully
- Giving—an Appropriate Response to Real Needs
- Giving Should Be Planned and Systematic
- Generous Giving Results in Bountiful Blessings
According to Whitney, “A surprisingly large amount of Scripture speaks to the use of wealth and possessions” (169). He makes it clear that if we are going to grow in godliness, we must learn the biblical principles of giving. If we are mere managers (stewards) of all that we possess, that should change our perspective on our use of wealth. We can’t take our wealth, possessions, and land with us when we leave this world. Someone else will one day own everything we possess in this life.
Therefore, it’s essential for us to look at our possessions through a proper and balanced lens. Don Whitney writes, “Regardless of your interpretation of these passages, regardless of how much God rewards you here for your giving and how much in heaven, the bottom lie is clear: God will bless you bountifully if you give generously” (186).
Catch up in this series:
Questions to Consider:
- Are you prepared for the end of time?
- Are you using your time as God would have you use it?
- Are you willing to accept God’s principles for giving?
- Are you giving like you mean it?
Next Week: Next week, we will turn to chapter 9 and look at the subject of fasting. Read ahead and think through the content of that chapter, and we will gather here next week to discuss what we’re learning.
Discussion: Post your comments, thoughts, and questions in the comments section. I will engage with you at times, but the purpose is to allow everyone to have a conversation regarding what we are learning and considering through this book. I do hope you will be encouraged.