We can be good stewards of the time that God has given us and use or manage it well or we can mismanage or make unwise use of the limited time that God has given us. However we view it, “time flies,” moves on, and there is just so much of it. God has given each one of us a measure of time to live in these bodies, because unless Jesus returns first we will all die.
So how are we using our time?
God gives to all equally. Others may have more talents, or spiritual gifts but we all have the same amount of time. Every person has sixty minutes to the hour, twenty-four hours to the day, and seven days per week. No matter how rich we are, time cannot be bought. No matter how poor, we cannot receive less. The president of our nation or the CEO of the largest corporation has no more time than you.
What will happen to us when we are called before the judgement seat of Christ to give account of our use of the time we were given?
2 Corinthians 5:6-10 NIV Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
How can we “make the most” of our time and opportunities?
Ephesians 5:15-16 NIV Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
We need to concentrate on the main things, not the noise of life that says “Now hear this!” And we had better listen.
Jesus urged us to concentrate on the main things the primary things:
Matthew 6:33-34 NIV But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
This is both a command and a promise and I can tell you from personal experience that this works. It will work for you too but you have to try it.
The Apostle Paul said this;
Philippians 3:12-14 NIV Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
It was like he was saying that he was not going to waste time worrying about the foolish mistakes and sins of the past but, concerned with the main thing, he was going to press on toward the goal ahead.
Editor's Note: The following are edited excerpts from "How Are Your Thoughts" by Anna Kuta for Crosswalk The Devotional.
To concentrate on the main things we must change our way of thinking so that our thoughts shut out the garbage of the world.
Philippians 4:8 NIV Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
We’ve all heard the phrase “Garbage in, garbage out” – it’s a statement that originated in reference to computer input and output but is now often applied to other areas of life.
Paul is using the same principle here in reference to our minds. In instructing the Philippians about how to live godly lives, he includes this verse about what they should be thinking about and focusing on. Whatever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good, virtuous, praiseworthy – this is what he tells them to meditate on. In this case it's godliness in, and what comes out is;
Philippians 4:9 NIV Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (emphasis mine).
As Christians, our aim is to live a life pleasing and obedient to God. Our Christian lives should show a pattern of growth and sanctification – becoming more like Jesus and less like the sinful people we were before. But before our actions can line up with Jesus, our minds and hearts have to. Do we expect to live lives reflecting Him if our minds are focused elsewhere, on sinful things? No, our minds should focus on godly things – things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good, virtuous and praiseworthy. Godliness in, godliness out.
In the final analysis it is only by deliberately paying our attention to and giving our primary commitment to eternity that we can prevent time from turning our lives into a pointless exercise. If we do this, everything else will fall into place. Stop the garbage in and only goodness and love will come out.