This past week (last week of February, 2017) I stumbled onto something I have discussed multiple other times on Sundays and throughout the week.
There are 168 hours in the week.
For many Christians, they go to church on Sunday, they might go to a Bible Study during the week, and maybe they go to Sunday School. So far we are up to three hours, roughly. This same person probably prays before eating chow, prays in the morning and prays before bed. Right now we have about 3 hours and 10 minutes of time dedicated to God.
You saw that right.
This person who we would likely consider squared away in their walk with the Lord, spends about 3 hours and 10 minutes per week dedicated to God. Well, lets adjust that. They also probably read from their Bible 3-5 times per week for 15-20 minutes each time. So lets bump that time up another 45 minutes, now this hard-core dedicated Christian is giving 3 hours and 55 minutes of their 168 to God. By all accounts, in almost every church in America, the person I just described is one of your best and most devout members.
- They likely give 40-50 hours to their employer.
- They likely give another 35-40 hours to their television (on average Americans spend 5 hours per day watching TV.)
- They likely spend about two hours a day prepping and/or eating chow for 14 per week
- And I am not going to bother going any further into the nitnoid details. But as you can see, we could add phone staring, animals, you name it.
No matter what, we only get 168 hours a week.
We fill that 168 with just about everything imaginable, other than God and the spread of the Kingdom of God. If we look at Luke 14: 25-35, is it any wonder that salt without taste is useless?
Jesus warns this crowd around him about where their loyalties are. Jesus gives them a warning to consider what He is saying, before they decided on trying to become a disciple of His. In Jesus’ world, a true disciple is focused on giving God the full 168 hours per week, and each of those tasks and things above still get done, but become a dedication to God or the behavior changes (like TV viewing) to glorify God with something better.
If we look at the first disciples and the early church, 3 hours and 55 minutes a week was not discipleship. It was sticking a toe in the water to see how warm it was. It is considring whether the tower can be built or not. Less than four hours per week for the Kingdom of God is not discipleship, let him who has ears, let him hear.
With this in mind, I am restarting a club, started two thousand years ago. This club is the Club of 168. People that want to be disciples, part of the Kingdom, and used by God. This is not a challenge towards God, but for the vast majority of people, they do not see God working in their lives. As an outsider looking in, I cannot help but wonder just how much skin in the game do they have when I hear them speak?
Jesus gave all of his. He died on the cross. He was beaten, scourged, and crowned with thorns. Jesus walked 168 sharing the Kingdom. He expects nothing less from you and I. The early church got it, they did it. Others throughout time have gotten it and done it and they have changed the world.
People today think we can walk less than four hours per week for the Kingdom and the world is going to change? To that I say hogwash. When a believer truly gives God 168, living for the Kingdom in all they do, the world around them will change through the power of the Holy Spirit and their belief.
It has to.
This is not a challenge to God, it is a challenge to you, and you, and you, and me. When our faith mirrors Truth, the world around us will change. With this is mind, I am starting Club 168.
Club 168 is for the people of Catalyst Baptist Church and believers everywhere. Take the idea to your church. Take the idea to your small group. Inform those believers around you with faith so shallow you could step in a puddle of it and stay dry, God demands more.
God expects 168 and there is a path to get there.
STEP ONE: Keep A Journal
I used to not like the idea, let alone the practice of journaling. Here I am proscribing it first, before even reading the Bible and prayer. Some of you are probably ready to string me up by my achilles. Here is why I am recommending the first thing every one of us change is the addition of journaling.
You know why? Many probably think they give 168 already. Some of you might. very few of you likely are. So I am asking you to journal your life for the next two weeks. I would say one week, but anyone can do anything for one week.
I am asking you to catalogue your life for the next two weeks. Keep track daily of what you are doing and how much time is for the world and how much is for God.
If you think keeping a journal of your time for two weeks is a lot to ask, then I suspect the concept of truly giving God 168 is beyond your scope and desire. God does not ask for 168, he demands it. A lot of us think we are giving God more than we are. We need to keep a journal to prove to ourselves, just how little we actually dedicate of that 168 to God.
There is your assignment to discipleship believer. Keep an accurate and honest journal of your time the next two weeks. Right down what you are doing, prayer, Bible reading, work, cooking, eating, TV, sleeping, etc. Tally up your figures and post it on the website. I will add an additional step soon, but first, start your journal.
Do not skip step one, or you will not believe me when I say we give God less than four hours per week.