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“After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He was spending time with them and baptizing.” – John 3:22

“When I grow up, I want to be a daddy longleg doctor.”

My then six-year-old son articulated this desire about eight years ago. As we walked along in the great outdoors enjoying a lazy summer afternoon, he shared this precious thought. We were in the midst of a family camping trip and thus able to spend lots of time together. Really together–not just physically in each others’ presence, but heart-to-heart together.

The older my children get, the more I realize the importance of spending time with them. Since I have many responsibilities to fulfill, down time with my family is challenging to come by. I’m often busy until late into the night due to ministry, homeschooling, and household duties like cooking, cleaning, dishes, laundry, etc. But I have a growing sense that there’s much more to life than this.

God is working on me. Just as the Lord Jesus spent time with His disciples–talking to them, sharing His heart and mission with them … loving them–I also need to spend time with those the Lord has placed in my life. I’m beginning to understand that in those moments of true togetherness, the Lord does some pretty amazing work. In other words, developing deep relationships paves the way for life impact.

God is reshaping my thoughts and priorities. Jesus’ example of spending time with His disciples inspires me to invest more time in the people He’s placed in my direct sphere of influence. Sometimes this means sacrifice and unselfishness. Yet the rewards are tremendous: joy, true satisfaction, and spiritual fruit.

Sometimes we’re guilty of filling our schedules with so many things that we don’t have time for people. Life becomes crazy and we feel like we’re juggling. Instead of trying to keep up this pace, let’s slow down and spend time with those God has entrusted to us. This includes our spouse and children, but also extended family, friends, and others. As we allow God to bless and speak to them through us in this way, we’ll find the craziness of life is replaced with the delight of impacting people one by one.

Let’s slow down … spend time with others … and make a difference for Christ.

” … let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” – I John 3:18

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