Time is not only a luxury that no one should squander but it is a gift from God. It is an irretrievable commodity more precious than gold or silver, which no man can save for the future, but must be redeemed immediately upon receipt thereof.
Time: Part of the Trinitarian Model of the Universe
The Universe is structured according to a Trinitarian model; space, matter and time. Each of these can also be divided in a Trinitarian fashion. Space is divided into height, breath and length. Matter, which is actually energy is divided likewise, in what is known as velocity, motion, and phenomena. Time as well is structured in a Triune fashion; past, present and future. Our entire existence is formulated in a three dimensional fashion each of which works together according to a Trinitarian model.
Of each of these it seems as if time is the most curious. The Trinitarian structure of Time is deliberately patterned after the Triune nature of God, Who is the creator of time. Genesis 1 declares that the first thing God created was time. Before He created the heavens and the earth, He created the foundation upon which heaven and earth would be created; time. “In the Beginning” is a time reference. More than being a time reference this statement is also a reference to the God Who identifies Himself as the Beginning One – the Alpha and the Omega. Both of these identifying terms are related to time, and the God of time.
Why Must We Take Careful Notice of Time?
While time is given to all men, it is especially given to the Christian as a test to see whether or not it is stewarded properly for the glory of God. To be sure, God will not accept excuses for the squandering of time since time is the most precious thing on earth for men who are mortal and who are bound by time.
Author John Ortberg in his book, “God Is Closer Than You Think” says,
“The greatest moment of your life is now. Not because it’s pleasant or happy, but because it is the only moment you’ve got. Every past moment is irretrievably gone. It’s never coming back….This moment is God’s irreplaceable gift to you.”
We are always living in the present. However this “now moment”, which lasts only for a nano second, quickly transitions into the past. In the blink of an eye our present becomes the past and enters into the future almost as fast as it becomes the past. Past, present and future is an ever flowing river rapidly moving toward eternity, and we must understand its character in order to use it profitably.
Time Invested or Time Squandered
The reason why most Christians today are struggling is due to a disconnect between knowing God and living according to His Word. Too many Christians are not spending time with God in His Word, in prayer and in meditation. This is the main reason why there is discontentment, frustration, depression, irritability and fear. The great puritan Richard Baxter said,
“Nothing can be known, if God be not known; nor is any other study well managed, nor to any great purpose, if God is not studied… If God be not enough for you, you will never have enough. Turn to Him more, and know Him better, if you would have a satisfied mind.”
The message here is clear: Study God’s Word and you study God. Pray to God and He will answer. Meditate upon Him and He will reveal His ways. Link your mind to your faith by spending time in the Word of God. If the present is not invested in the study of God, then all other time will be wasted in frivolous pursuits. However, if God is studied through His Word, in prayer and meditation, all other pursuits will be rightly determined and ultimately realized.
Time and the Biblical Management of Feelings
If we do not control our feelings, we will forever be a slave to them when it concerns the discipline of the mind. How often have you said to yourself “I don’t feel like reading today?” Or, “I don’t feel like praying, or studying, or going to church?” Feelings are not supposed to dictate our actions. Actions are to be dictated by the Word of God. His commandments must override all feelings, otherwise we will be destroyed by our self centered carnal whims.
What We Do Defines Us
Thinking about doing something is NOT the same as actually doing it. Far too many Christians “think” about being more Godly, or studying more, or reading more, or spending more time with their wives, husbands, or children, or serving at their church more, or whatever, but they do not do it. Thinking is NOT doing. Nor is talking about doing something. Talk is simply that; talk. This is not stewarding the present time we have been given rightly.
What is the problem?
In his book, “Minding Your Faith”, author Gregg Hodge gives a list of obstacles that keeps so many professors of Christianity from stewarding the Divine Grace of time to the glory of God and the benefit of our lives. He suggests some of the following;
- In addition to elevating feelings over thinking, our culture prefers watching to reading. Reading is essential since God has not revealed Himself through YouTube videos but rather through the written Word.
- Our culture encourages the reading of pop books rather than books of substance. We cannot be seduced by meaningless fiction novels which take the place of God’s Word and other theological writings. Remember: You are what you read.
- Another obstacle: We do not design our own reading list but look to what the world has suggested. Make a list of what books you’d like to read over the next year and plot a path for their completion. You can begin with 2 books if you are not an adequate reader.
Be sure they are books of substance but also books that you are interested in.
Stick to a schedule which will have the books completed within a specific time allotted.
Note: I suggest my downloadable e-book as a learning aid so that you retain the information you have read. Find it here:
- For the most part we let situations dictate what we do rather than plotting a clear direction for our lives. Make a list of what is important and then when you will accomplish those things that really matter. Once things are written down they usually get done.
- Motivation. If you are not motivated to a regimented reading schedule either join a reading group or begin one. Accountability to others often helps in accomplishing a task that is otherwise difficult.
- Pray. Pray for God to motivate you for He is the ultimate motivator.
Time and Kingdom Building
Since each of us is given a set amount of time in which to function, we are responsible as to how we use it. God deposits 86,400 seconds into each 24 hour period of our lives. Of that time there are certain things that we must do like sleep (⅓ of our life), eat, go to work, etc. As we become adults we are more sensitive to time and its limitations. The question that we must ask ourselves is “What Kingdom work am I involved in with the time I have?” To put it another way, “What am I building that will continue past my earthly existence, which will assist in the advancement of the Kingdom of God?” To be sure, not everyone can build a successful ministry. But that is no excuse for not getting involved in one.
Build A Powerful Family Unit
Of course the first ministry that needs our attention is the family. Time must be spent with the family. Children do not turn out as Christian warriors all by themselves. Rearing children takes time, effort, and sacrifice. A strong Godly family must be built.
Build A Powerful Church Presence
Families need to be active in their local community church. Each family should aid in establishing a strong footprint of influence in their local community. This too takes time, effort, and sacrifice. Children need to be taught the importance of church life.
Build A Strong Community
The only way to build a strong community is to have a strong family and church presence. By that I mean involvement in the affairs of the community as a witness to the truth of God’s Word and how it must be used to establish a Christ-o-centric culture.
Time is a Gift to Be Invested in the Kingdom
What you do with your time defines you. If you would be defined by a life of squander (i.e. Facebook binging, TV binging, gaming, entertainment binging, etc.) then you will die with great regret that you have wasted the most precious gift (apart from Salvation) that God has given you. Moreover, if you are content to waste your life with the frivolous pursuits of the world then the question must be asked; “Are you truly of God’s elect?” Those who are redeeming the time which God has given them for the advancement of the Kingdom have made their calling and election sure. Have you? There is always TIME to change.
The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.