Ecclesiastes 3:1 says “to everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.” This verse has impacted me quite powerfully over the last six months. In July of this past year my mom went home to be with the Lord at the age of 91.Then last month my father-in-law, who was truly a second dad to me, also stepped out of time into a glorious eternity with the Lord Jesus Christ at the age of 99 and a half!
God in his sovereign wisdom has set into motion a purpose and duration for everything He has created. Time is no exception. God created time. Ecclesiastes 3:2 says for each of us God has appointed “a time to be born and a time to die.” So, between those two milestone dates are the days appointed to us on this earth. Each of us lives in the dimension of linear time. One day after another. One year after another. The word “time “ appears 771 times in Scripture. It is used 30 times in the first 8 verses of Ecclesiastes 3 where time is presented as a sequence of life events unfolding before us through various “season” or “times” in our lives. For my mom God sovereignly allowed her 33,215 days of earthly life and for my father in law 36,318 days. As I look back over their lives I see God’s sovereign hand at work and what they did and did not do with the life He gave them.
Like my mom and father in-law, we do not know how many days He has appointed for me and you. (They were shocked to have lived that long!).The truth is, for however many days we’ve been given, each one is a part of God’s purpose for us. And each one is precious. Each presents us with opportunities, challenges, unexpected twists and turns. Time is a curious thing. It has three dimensions: past, present and future. We experience it in two: past and present. What we’ve done (and not done) and what we are doing and not doing today will impact what happens in the future. On one hand, time can seem long and unending, especially when we’re young and yet it seems just a fleeting moment as we get older and look back over our lives. As those transformed by God’s grace and made “new creations in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17) we have been enabled by God to understand His purposes for us as revealed in His Word. While his sovereign or “secretive will” is not disclosed, everything revealed in His Word for us to” believe, be and do” has been!
Clearly, how we use the time God has given us has profound earthly and eternal implications.
Scripture repeatedly commands us to use the time God has given us wisely. Ephesians 5:15 says “Therefore, be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time for the days are evil.”
As I reflect over my life I see lots of times, and even seasons, where I squandered the precious time God had graciously provided for me. Like many of us, I often foolishly fail to recognize that one day my (and your) earthly life will be over. Truly time matters now and for eternity (2 Corinthians 5:10)
So, I’ve compiled two brief lists. 1) A “do more” list from Scripture where I’ve re-committed, by God’s grace, to invest my time more intentionally than ever before and 2) A list based on my daily lifestyle that I will reduce or stop investing time in:
I will invest more time in:
- Seeking each day, moment by moment, to abide in Christ’s love (John 15:1-11)
- Daily pursuing new ways to sacrificially love my wife like Christ loves His bride, the church (Ephesians 5: 25-33)
- Shepherding my family like Christ shepherds me (Psalm 23)
- Investing more of my time, gifting and resources into my FBC family and the church universal (Romans 12:3-13)
- Seeking to share the gospel of Christ with my life, lips and love for the lost each day (Romans 1:16)
- Praying more! (Ephesians 6:18)
I will reduce or stop investing time in:
- FOX News
- ESPN/Sports Television
- Worrying about stuff (Matthew 6:26-34)
- Spending time on the 91 Freeway
- Reading ungodly Christian blog posts
“Tis but one life soon is past, only what’s done for Christ will last”