“To live a long time is nothing, to live a long time wisely is something.”
--Louis L'Amour (The Californios)
"Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near."
--Revelation 1:3 (NKJV)
"To everything there is a season, a TIME for every purpose under heaven."
--Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV)
Notice, I have capitalized "time" in the verse above. I have written many times regarding the subject of time, that substance we seem to never have enough of or are always running out of. Time, in a way, is sort of mystical. There was a beginning when God created and thus time started, and we are told that one day time will be no more. So I want to look at a few things, again, regarding time.
Let me ask you a hypothetical question. What is the most valuable thing to you, and possibly on earth? Most will say family, or my spouse, or my children. Some may venture to say their health. I used to ask this question of my students when I taught Apologetics. Of course being in a Christian school they would mostly answer with something real spiritual: God, or Christ, or salvation. I would then counter--I think that it may be choice. Without God giving us choice, how could we be saved? Without choice, how could we choose Jesus Christ?
However, let me say that this is only speculative--something for you to ponder--that it could be time. Time may be the most valuable thing that you possess. I say that even in regard to choice, it is time that dictates or provides the situation for you to make a choice. See there is "time for every purpose."
I was reading last week and this thought struck me. There was a conversation similar to what we are speaking of now--time. A man said that the most important thing that he had was friendship. The man was countered with the question, "what is it that you do with friends?" To which he replied, "spend time." Hmmm. The same could be said of family.
Perhaps you are one who thinks that wealth or money is the most important thing. What do you do with it? You spend time thinking of how to spend it, on what to spend it on, or some more conscientious may think of ways of how to save it and make more money. All of this takes time
When you go to a funeral you remember the time you spent with the deceased. You remember the times you had with them. You remember what you did together at this or that time. Walter Kaiser says that it is important to take "each day as it comes, as a gift from God." There may be no tomorrow--that is time only hoped for. You have today, a certain amount of time.
I really like what the old minister, Joseph Alleine wrote, "Let us live this one day well!" He goes on to say that we have been given a new day to the start of a new week, "let us spend this week for God." In other words, let us be going about the Lord's business--using our time for Him. That takes us to the second part of that verse, "There is a time for EVERY PURPOSE, under heaven." You are here to wisely use the time that God has given you. You are here to spend time working for the Kingdom, not to wantonly spend it on worldly pleasure and foolishness. This is one reason why we need to start the day with the Lord, to see what He has for us this day. To make a list, written or mental, of what we should try to accomplish throughout the day for we have a purpose, and we only have so much time to fulfill it. Remember that God has a plan that embraces every man and woman and all their actions at all times.
The words of Paul in Ephesians is really a solemn, almost haunting word, "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the TIME, because the days are evil." (Ephesians 5:15-16, NKJV) In other words, look at what you are doing with your time. We are to be good stewards of our time, it is even more important to us that money. It is time that we spend with family and friends. It is time that we must be about the Lord's work; time to be fulfilling our purpose.
Jesus recognized the value of time when He walked this earth. He was bound by it, just as we are, and therefore, He must work within time. He made the statement, "I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day [while there is time]; the night is coming when no one can work." (John 9:4, NKJV, words in brackets are my explanation.)
What are the words of that song, "Yesterday's gone, and tomorrow may never be mine..." Therefore, today is ours--this particular time in history. There is no instant replay, you can't live over what time is lost. Time gone can never be repeated, that is why we are told to be conscious of what we are doing with our time. I would then ask, what are you doing with your time? What are you trading for your time?