We waste a lot of time wallowing in our selfish thinking that someone “owes” us.  We hold back and even “shelve” the love of God in us when we grip tightly to the offenses of slander, mocking, and maybe even physical abuse of pushing and shoving that bullies inflict on us.  We waste time on grudge matches waiting on our offenders to apologize when most times they don’t realize they have offended us.

We waste an enormous amount of time overthinking what others think of us, plotting what we will say or what we will do to please them when, in reality, they are doing the same for someone else in their life to please so therefore no notice is taken for your efforts.  I’ve wasted time just writing this statement of fact—but we all do it!  Selfishness chasing selfishness!

We waste time seeking to get all the details right in our lives of work, church, family, friends while plotting what to do about or to our enemies without giving much thought to seeking the One who is above all and knows our hearts, the number of hairs on our heads, knows our first thoughts when we rise but loves us unconditionally anyway.  He sings over us (Zephaniah) and wants the very best for us but we turn our gaze to what is right in front of us that we feel we need to manage first.  Jesus invites us to His Table to commune and fellowship with Him, but our time is precious and our appetites hunger for more of self and the control of self-made agendas.

Yes, we look back and think, what a waste of time—that time we could have had to be filled with the love of God.  We are starving for peace, joy, real love that does not let us down, mercy for mistakes, and grace for growing in our spirit in ways that complete us.  We are starving for God.  We hunger to be saved from the mess we have made for ourselves because of our own selfishness.

A recent George Barna survey indicates that what the world is seeking most is peace—But we are looking for it in all the wrong places.

Hosea 9, The Message

Starved for God

1-6 Don’t waste your life in wild orgies, Israel.
    Don’t party away your life with the heathen.
You walk away from your God at the drop of a hat
    and like a whore sell yourself promiscuously
    at every sex-and-religion party on the street.
All that party food won’t fill you up.
    You’ll end up hungrier than ever.
At this rate you’ll not last long in God’s land:
    Some of you are going to end up bankrupt in Egypt.
    Some of you will be disillusioned in Assyria.
As refugees in Egypt and Assyria,
    you won’t have much chance to worship God—

Sentenced to rations of bread and water,
    and your souls polluted by the spirit-dirty air.
You’ll be starved for God,
    exiled from God’s own country.
Will you be homesick for the old Holy Days?
    Will you miss festival worship of God?
Be warned! When you escape from the frying pan of disaster,
    you’ll fall into the fire of Egypt.
    Egypt will give you a fine funeral!
What use will all your god-inspired silver be then
    as you eke out a living in a field of weeds?

* * *

7-9 Time’s up. Doom’s at the doorstep.
    It’s payday!
Did Israel bluster, “The prophet is crazy!
    The ‘man of the Spirit’ is nuts!”?
Think again. Because of your great guilt,
    you’re in big trouble.
The prophet is looking out for Ephraim,
    working under God’s orders.
But everyone is trying to trip him up.
    He’s hated right in God’s house, of all places.
The people are going from bad to worse,
    rivaling that ancient and unspeakable crime at Gibeah.
God’s keeping track of their guilt.
    He’ll make them pay for their sins.

They Took to Sin Like a Pig to Filth

10-13 Long ago when I came upon Israel,

    it was like finding grapes out in the desert.
When I found your ancestors, it was like finding
    a fig tree bearing fruit for the first time.
But when they arrived at Baal-peor, that pagan shrine,
    they took to sin like a pig to filth,
    wallowing in the mud with their newfound friends.

Ephraim is fickle and scattered, like a flock of blackbirds,
    their beauty dissipated in confusion and clamor,
Frenetic and noisy, frigid and barren,
    and nothing to show for it—neither conception nor childbirth.
Even if they did give birth, I’d declare them
    unfit parents and take away their children!
Yes indeed—a black day for them
    when I turn my back and walk off!

I see Ephraim letting his children run wild.
    He might just as well take them and kill them outright!”

14 Give it to them, God! But what?
    Give them a dried-up womb and shriveled breasts.

15-16 “All their evil came out into the open
    at the pagan shrine at Gilgal. Oh, how I hated them there!
Because of their evil practices,
    I’ll kick them off my land.
I’m wasting no more love on them.
    Their leaders are a bunch of rebellious adolescents.
Ephraim is hit hard—
    roots withered, no more fruit.
Even if by some miracle they had children,
    the dear babies wouldn’t live—I’d make sure of that!”

17 My God has washed his hands of them.
    They wouldn’t listen.
They’re doomed to be wanderers,
    vagabonds among the godless nations.


Time wasted—God’s chosen are starving for Him.

God had planted His people in a special land, but they had polluted the land with their idols. The more prosperous they had become, the more they had turned away from God. So, they had to suffer a bitter harvest for their sins, they and their children. The nation was blighted, having no roots and bearing no fruits. What a persistent human tendency—to take for granted what God has graciously supplied!

We discover the farther we walk away from God, they more our hunger for Him grows.  But when we turn our gaze back to God and pull up a seat to His Table, we find we have everything we need to quench our thirst and halt our hunger.  See Jesus as He sits at the head of The Table.  It is Jesus who changes everything by showing us the Way back to God, telling us the Truth about God, then giving His life for ours so that we may have Life with God for eternity.

Jesus, God’s Son, came to seek and to save the lost without God and fill their hunger for God.  “I AM the Bread of Life; I AM the Living water!”  Jesus does exactly what the Father tells him to do and say while he walks the earth.  The starved are fed, the hurting are healed, the lost are found and brought back to God.  Those without hope have Hope for Life!  The Source of Life has put a halt to the hunger and starvation for God!

However, so that the whole world could be saved once and for all, Jesus’ mission included crucifixion, the cruelest form of death for any human.  Matthew relates how Jesus prepared his disciples; “When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, ‘As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.’”  (Matthew 26)  Jesus knew what was next.  His time had come to save us.  Every minute was precious, all the details came from God, His Father.  There was no time to waste.

What happens next still astounds and marvels us who are reading God’s story of salvation where each one of us can be a willing participant—if we believe.

In the background of Jesus ministry are His accusers, “church people”, who wanted peace in the community, at all costs.  This is not the peace Jesus offered, however.  They also want to retain their self-produced power over God’s people.  Again, not the power Jesus is talking about of God’s power.  God was all but forgotten by the priets in their years of living and leading on earth. 

Let’s get back to The Table.  Before He was crucified, Jesus celebrates Passover with His friends.  Seated at The Table is Judas, starved for God but is being fed by the enemy.  He tells them the significance of the Passover story once more but with a twist of profound meaning for each one of us.  The blood of Sacrificial Lamb would be shed once and for all for all sins present and sins to come for those who believe. 

“Take the cup, drink all of it; Take the Bread, eat, for this is my body given for you.”

John, his “beloved disciple”, relates that Jesus then got up from The Table to further show the full extent of His love for them by washing the feet of every disciple—even Judas, who would betray Him that very night. “The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.”  (Read all of John 13 to understand the significance of this act of service.) 

Jesus ended with a powerful question, “Do you understand what I have done for you?” 

Hours later, the Son of Man’s body was brutally beaten and tortured and He felt every blow and snap of the metal infused whip.  His dignity was stripped away as well as His clothes as they mocked Him.  They smashed a crown of thorns with spikes on his head until it was embedded enough to tear his skin—all this before being nailed to the cross.

This is Good Friday.  That’s why my thoughts are filled with what Jesus did for me.  I cannot waste any more time thinking of my hurts and offenses while starving for more of God.  All that concerns, worries me or robs my peace grows shallow and dim in light of what Jesus did to redeemed me.  Nothing else matters when we fill our thoughts with the One who loved us enough to die for us. 

Jesus is all we need for all of life here as we prepare for life forever with Him.  “Do you understand what I have done for you?” Jesus still asks of us today.

Are you starving for peace?  Are you wasting time looking for it in all the wrong places?  Then go, run to the One and Only who gives a peace that goes beyond our understanding.  Remove all the debris and clutter from your heart.  Fill your starved soul with Jesus.  Seeking what God wants for us lessens our selfish desires that waste our time in acquiring.  “Peace, not as the world gives…”, says Jesus, is what He gives us as a gift!  It is a peace that lasts, a peace that is eternal.

Are you hurting and broken within?
Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin?
Jesus is calling
Have you come to the end of yourself
Do you thirst for a drink from the well?
Jesus is calling

O come to the altar
The Father’s arms are open wide
Forgiveness was bought with
The precious blood of Jesus Christ…

(Come to the Altar, by Elevation Worship)

Come to The Table.  Jesus will meet us there as we become still and focused on Him.  He seeks to commune with us.  We are obviously precious to Him.  He took our punishment, stood in our place!  We are not a waste of His time!  It pleases Him to meet with us.  He controls time so He has all the time in the world for us!

Stillness of soul is increasingly rare in this world addicted to noise and speed.  Jesus’ desire to meet with us matches our desire to be filled with peace. Seeking the One who loves us most and loves us best each day is not a waste of time—believe me.


Thank you for saving my soul and making me whole.  Thank you for forgiving me of all the time I wasted on foolish thoughts and actions.  I’m yours.

In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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