I wish to encourage you to live as if time were not your own.
We live in a world where the preciousness of time is mostly taken for granted, living as if life has no end, as if pleasures are all that matters, as if personal fulfilment is the supreme goal of our existence. Contrary to worldly thinking, God is not a kill-joy! He agrees, it’s good to have fun, to explore the adventures of life, and to appreciate the exciting times. However, wonderful experiences should be lived for the purpose of God’s glory, not for sin.
Job, having lost all this world treasures (possessions, money, children, friends, employees, popularity, health), presents us with a sobering reality check; “Man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble” (Job 14:1). We are delicately paused within mortality, housed within fragile bodies, and near sighted concerning the certainty of eternity. James, Jesus younger brother, sums up our vulnerability; “you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14). The Lord informed Belshazzar; “God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end” (Daniel 5:26). Jesus told a parable emphasising this reality; a rich farmer said to himself, “I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry. But God said to him, Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” (Luke 12:18-20).
Time is a precious gift, not to be taken for granted. As we all know, there are no second chances at how we use time. There is no ‘Restart or Replay’ buttons, no reincarnation. There is no negotiation or bargaining at the end of our time. We cannot deny the inevitability of that day which awaits us all. I recall my 85 year old Dad, telling me how he still felt like a 21 year old. Yet, his body was spent, time had run its course. Dad’s legacy was that he had lived his time for the Lord Jesus Christ. Dad was ready and happy to be taken home to His Heavenly Father.
The apostle Peter reminds us that we should live our “time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God” (1 Peter 4:2). As Christians “we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s” (Romans 14:8). Our time was never ours in the first place. God always intended it to be used for loving Him through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ, by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.
I pray that all who read this, will not love “the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God” (John 12:43). I encourage you, “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Allow Christ to take control, to determine your daily decisions, to speak the gospel through you, to live out His character through you. Submit to the Saviour’s will, live your time as if it were not your own. Live His time which is entrusted to you for His purpose and His glory.
Together for Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.bbf.net.nz