There’s No Substitute

by | May 29, 2000 | God's Love, Relationship

“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.” – Philippians 3:7,8

At the end of the day there is one fact that remains.

There’s no substitute for time spent with the Father.

I found this out afresh and anew after putting the finishing touches on Jacob’s birthday bash.

Yep, our little boy turned 3 years old Monday. And let me tell you, the kid got toys, toys, toys!

There were toys from mommy and daddy. Toys from both sets of grandmas and grandpas. Toys from aunts and uncles, cousins and friends. Toys, toys, toys.

And Jacob loved them all. He went from one toy to the next, amazed that they were all “his”. He played with the play doh, drilled with the battery-powered plastic drill and watched his new Veggie Tales DVD.

He had a blast.

And when you asked him which of the toys were his favorite, he’d likely reply with whatever toy he happened to have in his hand at the moment.

He loved them all.

And he loved playing with them all.

But, when family and friends departed and he was left with toys and cake and ice cream sitting there in front of him, guess what he wanted to do.

He wanted to go play on “daddy’s bed.”

Each day Jacob and I spend time “wrestling” and “tickling” on my bed. It’s just daddy and Jacob. No mommy’s allowed.

And that’s what he wanted to play with on his birthday. He had toys everywhere. There was cake. There was ice cream. There were videos to watch.

But, at the end of the day there is one fact that remains.

There’s no substitute for time spent with daddy.

Gifts are good. But the real treat is spending time with the ones who love you.

You know, it made me think again about my own blessings. It’s not my birthday, but God has given me many gifts. He has given me my wife and little boy, a beautiful home and reliable transportation. God has poured out health and happiness, peace and joy, ministry and business, friends and family who love me.

I’ve got a lot of toys.

And I love playing with them all.

But, I can tell you this, at the end of the day, those blessings are nothing compared to spending time with my Father.

Add them all together and they don’t come anywhere near measuring up to my relationship with God, through His Son Jesus Christ.

Sometimes I – like all of us – get caught up in the blessings. I get to enjoying the relationships I have and the possessions I have and the ministry and business successes I have, and I forget the most important thing I have . A relationship with my Heavenly Father.

And so I have to step back and look at all that is and see again the One who is so gracious in giving, so bountiful in blessing, so rich in His love towards me.

And I remember that NOTHING compares to Him. Nothing.

Christian, today is a great day to look around you. And count your toys (blessings). See what all God has given you.

And remember this: those toys may be great, and you may enjoy playing with them, but at the end of the day, there is no substitute for spending time with your Father.

God loves you today. And He longs for you to put aside all that he has given you, just for a little bit, so you can spend intimate time fellowshipping with Him.

Now is a good time to do just that.

Jimmy D. Brown


There’s No Substitute