|Photo by GFreihalter 2010|
Saturday, March 18, 2017
How Can We Redeem the Time?
During the first week of Daylight Savings Time, it has been pleasant to enjoy the later sunset, and with it, the illusion that we have more productive hours in the day. (On the flip side, though, we wake up earlier than we should, according to the clock, and because it is still dark out, we often end up lingering in bed longer than we should in the morning).
The bottom line is that any notion of our having more time is, sadly, just an illusion, for God created and controls time just as He created and controls everything else. Only He knows the number of our days, and when they will suddenly run out without warning. One day to Him can be as a thousand years (2 Peter 3:8), and His power is so unlimited that He created the universe in six literal days (Exodus 20:11; 31:17).
To measure time, God created day and night (Genesis 1:5) and set aside one day of seven as a day of rest to divide time into weeks (Genesis 1:31; 2:3). His creation and alignment of the sun, moon and planets gave rise to time divisions of months, seasons and years (Genesis 1:14). Those seasons reflect different times and purposes within our earthly life (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
God designed our bodies (Psalm 139:14) to have internal rhythms harmonizing with daily, monthly, and yearly cycles. Because He even designed atoms to have their own internal frequencies, extremely accurate atomic clocks can measure time using the microwave signal that electrons in atoms emit when they change energy levels.
In addition to our biological clock governing aging, our cellular clocks are preprogrammed to undergo a set number of divisions before the cell stops renewing itself and dies altogether. The clock keeps ticking, and grains of sand relentlessly pass through the hourglass, but nothing is impossible with God (Matthew 19:26).
He can even stop the sun and moon to accomplish His plan (Joshua 10:12-14). He can add 15 years to a life that should have ended, although when He did so for King Hezekiah in answer to his prayer (2 Kings 20:1-11), there were negative consequences that Hezekiah could not have anticipated (2 Kings 20:12-18; 21:1-6).
What if you knew that any given hour would be your last? How would you spend it? My prayer is that those who keep putting off trusting Christ would realize that now is the accepted time of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). May they even now be saved by His grace through their faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only Way to Heaven (John 14:6).
And as believers, may we get our hearts right with God by dying to our sin nature (1 Corinthians 15:31), yielding to the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18), asking others for forgiveness and forgiving them (Matthew 18:21-35), expressing love to family and friends (1 Peter 1:22), and telling everyone who would listen that Jesus saves!
But we are not promised tomorrow (James 4:13), or even another hour, so why not do all that now? We can get so busy with work, school, hobbies and even church that we forget to redeem the time and make every moment count (Luke 10:40-41). This earth is not our home, for we are just strangers passing through this weary land (Hebrews 11:13; 1 Peter 2:11). May we spend our “time of sojourning” here considering how God will evaluate what we have done with our time (1 Peter 1:17).
Before we rush off to put out the fires and jump the hurdles we will encounter every day, we should make time to hear God through His Word (Psalm 119:97,105,133),and to pray that He would open the right doors, show us the right paths (Proverbs 3:5-6), and guide us through the day’s journey (Psalm 5:3; 143:8; Mark 1:35). Time spent in prayer allows us to use our time more productively and wisely. A wise preacher once said that he was too busy not to pray!
The peace and wisdom found in prayer will order our thoughts and steps (Psalms 37:23; Isaiah 26:3), calm our fears (1 John 4:18), and make us more focused and productive in all we do. Whatever we do, we can do it to glorify God in an attitude of service and excellence (Colossians 3:23). While showering and dressing, we can renew our minds (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23) with Christian radio or CDs. If we’re stuck in traffic, we can use the time to listen for God’s directions and to pray for our loved ones.
While we wait in a checkout line at the supermarket, we can pray that all those in the store who are not saved will come to know Christ as their Savior, and that all the believers there will grow in faith, wisdom, and fruitfulness. Or, we can strike up a friendly conversation with the person behind us in line and pray that God will open the door for us to witness.
In the waiting room at the doctor’s office, why not bring our Bible to increase our wisdom, joy and peace, instead of thumbing through old magazines? Someone might ask us about what we’re reading, and it could be a divine appointment to share the meaning of God’s Word in our life (2 Timothy 4:2). A young man in our church began silently reading his Bible every day during his lunch break, which led to questions from classmates and became an informal Bible study!
In a sense, every hour that we’re on earth is that “one extra hour,” because it allows us a new beginning, a time to start over in doing what pleases God. May we use it wisely to glorify Him!
© 2013 Laurie Collett
Edited, expanded and reposted from the archives