The Bible abounds with admonitions concerning time. Ephesians 5:15-16 says: “Look therefore carefully how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise; redeeming the time, because the days are evil. ” Paul says we must open our “spiritual eyes” and walk in the light of truth and use what time we have left to rescue ourselves and others from sin. This present evil world (Gal. 1:4) demands a sober realization that “time” is the stuff life is made of. We better use whatever time we have left as a gift from God for service unto Him. In Colossians 4:5-6 Paul said, “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how you ought to answer each one.” We must buy up every opportunity to grow spiritually and to influence others for truth.
It was in “the fullness of time” (Gal. 4:4 f; Mk. 1:15) that God sent his Son into the world to die for our sins. When the time was right, God sent forth his Son to the earth, bringing the possibility of salvation to all. While on earth, Jesus felt the necessity to use every opportunity to do the Father’s will, as time for doing so would soon be gone. Jesus said, “I must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work” (Jn. 9:4). Job said, “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble” (Job 14:1). Job measured his life in days. Life must be lived one day at a time. Anxiety about a tomorrow that may never come robs us of the will to live and serve the Lord today. Remember that anything that is done for the Lord must be done today because today is the only time we have.
The Psalmist said: “The days of our years are threescore years and ten, Or even by reason of strength fourscore. . . For it is soon gone, and we fly away” (Psa. 90:10-12). Life is short at best (Jam 4:14). Just ask someone who is sixty years old or more. “Where did all the time go?” they ask. It is not how many years a person lives that is important, but what they accomplish in the years they live. As the Psalmist says, let us realize that life is soon gone and we need wisdom from the Lord for living upon this earth. “Jehovah, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; Let me know how frail I am” (Ps. 39:4). Man can get so caught up in pursuing the things of this life that the Lord is shut out altogether. Life is held together by a brittle thread at best. Man will ultimately come to the end of his life and often suddenly when he least expects it. Then what? As we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we need to know who our Lord is. Now is time the accepted time for salvation (2 Cor 6:2).
James says that we make plans for tomorrow without consulting the Lord (4:13-17). We make elaborate plans about what we are going to do. We speak of job promotions and transfers. We covet that new house and begin making plans to get it. We continue on as though we will always have enough time to chase and fulfill our dreams. We are going to do what we want, when we want, where we want, to get what we want. What many fail to realize is that when we die we cannot take our accomplishments, our properties, or our money with us. James says that our plans must be made in consideration of what the Lord demands and expects of us. Time spent with no thought of the Lord and his will is wasted time. Job said, “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle” (7:6). Life is soon over and then we must account for how we used the time the Lord gave us. Are we faithful stewards of that precious commodity (1 Cor. 4:2)?
The problem of time can be solved by being totally devoted to the Lord. Jesus spoke of a single-minded adherence to His kingdom and righteousness. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The lamp of the body is the eye: if therefore your eye be single, your whole body shall be full of light” (Matt. 6:21-22). If our faith is in the Lord, then whatever time we have left will be used in faithful service.
We must use today as it comes, for service to the Lord. Why do we talk about the past and look to the future? When we do that, today is soon gone. We must not disdain the present. Now is all we have. “Boast not yourself of tomorrow; For you know not what a day may bring forth” (Prov. 27:1). We do not even know if tomorrow will even come. How sad (and sinful) it is to waste today, worrying about tomorrow which was never promised to anyone. “Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matt. 6:34).
Finally, the problem with using the time God gives us in the right way is in reality a value problem. What is truly most important to us? Is studying the bible a high priority in your life? Do you spend much time in prayer? Can you “find the time” to worship, assist the sick and needy, and teach the gospel to the lost? Whatever is important to us, we will find the time. Spending time to get our heart right with God is time well spent. Time teaching others of the gospel is time well spent. Time helping the helpless is time well spent. Time being faithful the Lord is time well spent. The Lord made time for us. Let us make time for Him.