On this my 74th birthday, I’ve had several thoughts occupy my attention today, none more sobering than that of “TIME”.
Where has it gone so quickly? It’s obvious that I have far more time behind me than I do in front of me. With the average life expectancy of men around 78 years, I wonder if I’ll just be “average”?
We are the most time-conscience people in history. We have watches on our wrists, clocks on our cell phones, our computers, in our cars, and in practically every room in the house. The term “time” peppers practically every conversation we engage ourselves in. Hey, it’s about time. Time out, time in, time’s up, time flies, only time will tell. Time is money. Don’t waste your time going there. What time is it?
Time is a mysterious and majestic loan from God that requires the best of stewardship. We are to "remember" our Creator when we're young (Eccl. 12:1); "number our days" (Psa. 90:12); "awake out of sleep," (Rom. 13:11,12); and "redeem the time," (Eph. 5:14-16). Time is a stewardship because, in Ben Franklin's words, it's "the stuff life is made of." And life doesn't belong to us. God just loans it for a while.
Time is the deposit each of us has in the bank of God and only He knows the balance. If we get to live, we all get the same amount of time deposited in our accounts each day, 24hrs., 1440 mins., 86,400 secs., and we must spend it all.
During today’s reflections on time, I decided it was time for a quick review of the subject to keep the alarm of my heart ringing out the truth that as a child of God, the best is always in the future.
Since there are only three tenses of time as we know it - past, present, and future - successful time-management requires only three things:
- I Must Learn from the Past and Not Try to Live in It!
One translation of Philippians 3:13 says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.”
- The Lessons of the Past Require Spiritual Evaluation
Evaluation Principle 1 - God Doesn’t Review Our Past in Order to Determine Our Future! Isaiah 43:25, “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.
Destiny is always ahead and not behind. The truth is yesterday ended last night. Yesterday has passed forever into the tomb of time and is totally beyond our resurrection of it. You and I will never be able to have a better tomorrow if we are thinking about yesterday today!
Evaluation Principle 2 - Bury the past experiences so that they become a foundation to build upon and not a focal point to be longing for!
My past should be a guide into the future and not a jailer that keeps me locked up with a prisoner’s mentality even though I’m out of the prison of sin’s condemnation.
I’m to learn from my past and not try to live in it. The past should be a springboard, not a hammock, a launching pad and not a lawn chair. It is more valuable to look where you are going than to see where you’ve been.
- I Must Plan for the Future and not Worry Over It!
Philippians 3:13b “…and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,”
There was a man who was slowly losing his memory. After an examination, the doctor said that an operation on his brain might reverse his condition and restore his memory. However, the surgery would be so delicate that a nerve might be severed, causing total blindness.
"What would you rather have," asked the surgeon, "your sight or your memory?" The man pondered the question for a few moments and then replied, "My sight, because I would rather see where I am going than remember where I have been."
So, Wade, stop looking at where you’ve been and start looking at where you’re going. Life can be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards. Look backwards with gratitude to God in that although your past may have seemed like “hell on earth”, you weren’t sentenced to “hell under the earth! “Then look forward with confidence that the prospects of your future are as bright as the promises of God!
- I Must Live in the Present by Seizing Every Opportunity to Glorify God by Enjoying and Displaying Him in Every Area of Life!
Ephesians 5:16, “redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” The word for redeeming the time means to buy up what will be lost forever if not purchased and bring it out of the market and remove from further sale. The picture is that we go into the market “to buy up an article that will be lost if we don’t buy it, in order to make the largest possible profit out of it.” This is each Christian’s responsibility regarding Time.
We must use the present wisely by staying focused on the destiny we're going to instead of on the problems we're going through!
We must major upon opportunities and not on obstacles. We must major on possibilities and not on problems. We must use the present to talk about the great grace of God that is available, able, and abundant and not talk about the gross mistreatments or grievous mistakes or great milestones of our past. We must talk about the prospects of the future and not the successes and failures of our past.
We must remember that our time deposit in God’s Bank of Life can be closed at any time, without any notice! Now is the accepted time! Procrastination is the thief of time and the grave of opportunity.
Luke 9:62,“No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the Day!” (The Message)
Rom 13:11, “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.”
So, Wade, practice what you preach - use today to glorify God by enjoying Him in every way, in everyplace, in everyday! Then when your time is up, you’ll be with Him in glory where you’ll never run out of time again!