For the follower of Jesus, one way to give thanks back to our Creator, the Father of time, is to “redeem the time, for the days are evil.” Make an effort each day to keep a “significant” portion of your schedule set apart, devoted to the ministry of God’s Word and to prayer. This should not be just a priority for pastors, but for every believer. May God direct each one to know what that “significant” portion of time should be, and then to go out and do the right thing with what we know. Make it your goal “to attain the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13). This is best realized as we spend time with Christ, and as we come together with hearts united in worship and minds seeking further transformation.
Now, on to punctuality. Could it be that the desire for God, the hunger for holiness, the recognition of our own neediness, and the hope to encourage other believers should all serve as motivating factors to arrive early for our times of gathered assembly? Could it be that peacefully entering the meeting-place 15 minutes before the opening helps to set our minds on things above? Could it be that perpetual tardiness in our attendance of Christ-centered events indicates a lack of interest in joining into the ministry of the church, the Body of Christ? It is a blessing to join into a service even before it starts—but don’t take my word for it; realize it for yourself. This is not simply a call for punctual attendance, because if you try to be punctual just to please Rich, it probably won’t be too effective. So I hear “But Sunday is the only day of the week that I get to sleep in.” Or someone may say “But I don’t really like to arrive on time anyway—I just come for the parts of the service that I like.” I believe I know the best response to those self-centered excuses, but ask the Father for counsel. Trust His guidance, and consider punctuality for the Lord’s sake.