By Rondi Lauterbach
How much is enough time for Bible study?
I’m talking serious Bible study, with a pen in hand and a notebook beside your open Bible. How much time do you need for that? One hour a day? That’s what many would suggest. Is half an hour enough? That might work if you rush and don’t look up every reference. How about fifteen minutes? No way, you think. That’s not long enough.
But what if that’s all the time you have? Most of us have been through periods in our life when personal time is squeezed almost to nothing. A move sucks your time. A new baby brings exhaustion. Sickness debilitates you. A job change messes with your schedule. Deadlines for students (and teachers) leave little room for anything else. Family emergencies are always around the corner. In those moments, you switch to survival mode. Even after the season has passed, fifteen minutes may be all the time you have to spend in God’s Word.
Making the Time Count
The reality is, there are many times where fifteen minutes are all you get, and if that’s all you have, don’t just spend it, invest it. Don’t let it peter away to nothing. Don’t despise small amounts of time. Grab it and make use of it. Guard it. It’s not just “better than nothing,” it’s an investment that will produce dividends over time.
We’ve all heard that small investments add up to big gains. Well, just 15 minutes a day spent in the Word will add up to these staggering figures:
That’s more than two 40-hour work weeks each year spent in knowing God through the Scriptures.
We often waste the precious time that we have lamenting that we don’t have more. Jesus knew firsthand about limitations, since he took on our limits in the incarnation. He knew we would be tempted to complain about our limits, comparing and making excuses and frittering away the precious resources we’ve been given. So he told the Parable of the Talents to help us know how to live between now and when he returns.
For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property” (Matt. 25:14).
Though each servant was given a different amount to manage, their jobs were the same: they were to use the talent, invest the talent, and cause the talent to grow until the master returned. The master didn’t compare the output of the servants. He wasn’t impressed that the five talent man made five more. He wasn’t disappointed that the two talent man only made two more. He was looking for faithfulness. In fact, he said the exact same words to those two servants, not just commending them but rewarding and celebrating (Matt. 25:21, 23). The servants who were praised were faithful with plenty and faithful with a little.
The Faithful Servant
The point is not perfection in our quest for fifteen minutes a day. You and I won’t be perfectly faithful investing our time and talents as we should. But Jesus was. You see, in the parable Jesus plays two parts. He’s the master who leaves and returns, but he’s also the faithful servant. He faithfully used every limited resource entrusted to him in his earthly life. Then he died and rose again so his servants could enter into his joy.
So if you have an hour a day, use it. But if you only have fifteen minutes, don’t sweat it. Invest it and reap joy.
Rondi entered the Ivy League full of personal ambition and left under a new Master. Her passion is to help women see Jesus in the Word and be nourished by him. She has been a pastor’s wife for over thirty years, a mother of three, and now a very happy grandmother. She and her husband Mark live in San Diego, where she blogs at feastingonchrist.com.
You, too, can help support the ministry of CBMW. We are a non-profit organization that is fully-funded by individual gifts and ministry partnerships. Your contribution will go directly toward the production of more gospel-centered, church-equipping resources.