Psalm 90:12, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom”
Ephesians 5:16, “… redeeming the time, because the days are evil”
If you have accepted Christ as Savior of your life, God has entrusted you not only with time, but also with His Word, finances, possessions including children to name only a few. However, for this devotional I have selected the area of being a good steward of our time. One of the definitions in the dictionary for the word steward is a person who is entrusted with the management of property, finances, or other affairs not their own. I would venture to say that we all, at one time or another, didn’t have enough time in the day to accomplish what we wanted to. How often have you heard yourself, or someone else say:
(1) If only I had the time?
(2) There is never enough time, is there?
(3) I don’t know where the time goes?
(4) But how do you find the time?
(5) I will try to find the time?
(6) Is that the time already?
(7) My, how time flies!
Another symbolic description of the brief span of a person’s life has been described as the short dash between the date of birth and death on a gravestone. I don’t know about you, but when I was young, time seemed to go by so slowly; however, as I grew older, it was startling to be confronted with the speed at which my years had flown by. So, what is time … we are so familiar with the concept of time that we seldom give much thought to what time really is. Dictionaries seem to struggle with this task, giving lengthy descriptions, then conclude that time is a measured duration. For instance, Webster defines time as many things, such as:
(1) The point or period when something occurs;
(2) An historical period;
(3) A moment, hour, day, or year as indicated by a clock or calendar; or
(4) An appointed, fixed, or customary moment or hour for something to happen, begin, or end.
(1) I submit to you that “It’s time for opportunities to witness” – This true story should give us a clear and concise urgency to witness to those who don’t know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Time will eventually run out for each of us and we don’t know when. It could be this very hour, day or week, that you will breathe your last breath, as it did for those individuals who took the maiden voyage on the unsinkable ship Titanic. If you were in the midst of a disaster, would you think to witness to people around you? John Harper did. Harper was a Scottish minister who was traveling by ship to preach for 3 months at Moody Church in Chicago. As the ship crossed the Atlantic, it struck an iceberg and began to sink. Some passengers were able to reach lifeboats, but many, Harper included, were flung into the cold Atlantic. As the people frantically tried to stay afloat, Harper swam around asking individuals if they knew Jesus. At one point, Harper approached a passenger floating on a piece of debris and pleaded with him to trust Christ. Just before Harper slipped under the icy waters for the last time, he said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Four years later, at a meeting of survivors of the Titanic, a man testified that he had been saved twice that night. First, he had trusted Christ because of Harpers witness, and second, he had been plucked from the frigid sea. Harpers dying wish was that he could bring hope to hopeless people. Is that our living wish? In crisis or at ease, do we let people know about the One who can save for eternity? Harpers final witness reminds us to tell the good news to people who are drowning in their sin. We need to tell everyone about God’s Son, Jesus Christ, the only One who can save them from sin.
(2) I further submit to you that “We must make the most of our time” – In Ephesians 5:16 the apostle Paul is urging us to make the most of our time because the days are evil. Satan our adversary desires that we use our time for the wrong things or waste it rather than to do good things. We need to give God control of our time as well as all the other areas of our life. An important perspective is seeing our time as a gift from God. He gives us a length of time to live, and He controls the seasons of our lives. We are not our own, our bodies are not our own, and our time is not our own. If we viewed our time as a gift from God, then we must respect the wishes of its Giver. The Lord has tasks for each of us to accomplish, and He has allotted us a certain amount of time to accomplish those tasks.
(3) Lastly, I submit to you it’s a “Time to Review” – No matter how young or old we are, it is always good to review or evaluate our life. Where have we been on our earthly journey, especially in our service for the Lord? Have we been using our time wisely or have we used it foolishly? Are we becoming the person God wants us to be? Are we making the most of the opportunities before us … opportunities to be a witness for our Lord, to serve others, and to glorify God both in word and action? Luke 9:25 says, What profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost. We can make the most of our time; yet ignore eternity, which is forever. We can let the passing dominate the permanent, and we can do it all on a very tight schedule without a right view of eternity or know the real value of time.
Time should be very precious to each of us (saved or unsaved). It’s something, which we cannot buy back. No matter how much money we were willing to pay, we couldn’t buy back yesterday, or even a second of today. Once used, it’s gone forever. So, how we use time is very important. There is only 24 hours in a day, and no matter how frantically we try, it is impossible to stretch those 24 into 25. Therefore, our problem isn’t how to increase our time but how wisely to use our daily allotment of those 1,440 minutes as they steadily tick away. One of the most frustrating problems we face daily is the pressure of time. It seems there is never enough time to do what needs to be done. We must work, care for our family, service the car, clean the house, and give some time to eating and sleeping. We should relax and exercise for good physical health. There is also the area of socializing with others? Even families living together spend only a handful of minutes each day communicating with one another, often because everyone is too busy or involved in their own activities. To these regular demands the believer in Christ adds the time needed to read Gods Word, time for prayer, time to prepare for and carry out ministries, time to fellowship and time to attend services regularly each week. It is very sad and disheartening that many believers in Christ don’t attend Sunday morning or even evening services because it conflicts with other areas of their life, such as going to a football, baseball or basketball game, a birthday party, golfing, bowling, a wedding, or movie. They will make time to go to these events, which will do nothing concerning their spiritual condition, and neglect the one area which would be beneficial not only in this life, but in the life to come. So, if you’re reading this my questions to you would be:
(1) Are you a good steward of the time God has given you?
(2) Or are you wasting your time on the foolishness of this world?
(3) You can’t change the way you have spent your time in the past, but you can definitely control how you spend your time starting this very minute because you don’t know how much time you have left, only God knows that.