Life’s most precious commodity is time. Time is our way of measuring existence and life. We measure life in terms of years. Someone has figured that in an average person’s life span of 70 years, we spend twenty years sleeping, 20 years working, six years eating, seven years playing, 5 years dressing, one year on the phone, two and a half years in bed, three year waiting for somebody, one half year tying our shoes, and two and a half years for other things, including one-half year in church. We all own watches and clocks. Life consists of fitting our daily routine into various segments of time each day, week, month, and year. The Bible mentions years, months, days, and hours. I want to share three biblical principles about time, the stuff we never seem to have enough of.
- Time Cannot be Understood But it Can be Useful. The dictionary lists more than thirty-one meanings for time. God is more interested in what we do with our time than how to define it. Solomon, in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, says there is a season for everything and a time for every purpose under heaven. World events are not simply a haphazard jumbled chain of meaningless happenings. Something rules and orders everything. In these verses Solomon calls it time. It occurs twenty-eight times in this chapter. The list begins with birth and death, two events over which we have no control (Job 14:5). There was a time when Christ would appear (Gal. 4:4). There is also a time when people should invite the Savior into their hearts …now…today (II Cor. 6:2). The Psalmist wrote: “My times are in your [God’s] hand.” (Psalm 31:15). Time is running out if you have not trusted Christ (Gen. 6:3).
- Time Cannot be Reversed, But it Can be Rewarding. Someone remarked that: “The wheels of time’s chariot have ratchets on them, and they only move forward.” I remember years ago when I heard the resonate voice of Westbrook Van Boros in the theater as he introduced the Movietone News on the screen with: TIME MARCHES ON! There is a touch of sadness in those words. Most of my kinfolk are gone. I am older and do not have the strength I once had as a teenager. It is obvious that our stay in this old world is not exceptionally long. Soon it will be over. What are we to do? Both Eph 5:16 and Col. 4:5 NKJV say: “Redeeming the time,”Why?” “because the days are evil.” Buy up every opportunity to be used by the Lord. I found these helpful words: “Begin the moment you open your eyes in the morning. Let no idle, foolish, hurtful thoughts to be harbored for an instant, but begin at once to pray, praise God, and meditate on His goodness, faithfulness, and truth, and your heart will soon burn within you and bubble up with joy.” The Psalmist said: “I made haste and did not delay to keep Your commandment” (Psalm 119:60).
- Time Cannot Continue, But it Will be Concluded. Sometimes there are not enough hours in a day, and we wish we had Joshua’s long day to get our work done. Time never stands still for the Christian, but one day it will stop, either when Christ returns for us, or ushers us into our Heavenly Home at death. I Peter 1:17 advises us to “conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear;” A poet has written:
The clock of life is wound but once and no man has the power
To say just when the hands will stop, at late or early hour.
Now is the only time we own to do His precious will,
Do not wait until tomorrow; for the clock may then be still.
Only one life, it will soon be past, only what is done for Christ will last. It seems as if the Lord suspends time because II Peter 3:9 NKJV says He is “longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” Verses 14 and 15 add that this time of longsuffering ought to be spent in serving God. If you have wasted too much time, God can restore the years the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25 NKJV). Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, serve Him today while there is yet time. In keeping with the theme of this article, I close with one of my favorite songs from the Gaithers:
Tender words, gentle touch, and a good cup of coffee,
And someone who loves me and wants me to stay
Hold them near while they are here,
Oh, and do not wait for tomorrow
To look back and wish for this day.
We have this moment to hold in our hands
And to touch as it slips through our fingers like sand;
Yesterday’s gone and tomorrow may never come
But we have this moment today, we have this moment today
We all have this moment today.