In this life, you only have a certain amount of time allotted to you. You can’t make time, you can’t borrow time, you can’t save time, and you can’t extend time. You can only use it. 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. If you don’t learn to manage your time well, you cannot manage anything else in your life—because your time is your life.
Sometimes we fail to make wise use of the time that God has given us.
We can sometimes just wish or waste our time away.
Time dragged by when we were children. It seemed that Christmas would never come, and we were wishing the days away until it did. The same was true for our birthdays, or until some party, or until school was out. We always want to grow up. We were wishing the time away.
Young children aren’t the only ones that wish time away. When we were teenagers, we fell in love or thought so. A few years must pass before we could marry, so we wished the time away instead of having the patience to say, “Let’s enjoy what we have now. We didn't realize how much responsibility came along with it.
We can be careless with time.
Thoreau said, “You cannot kill time without injuring eternity.” Victor Hugo said, “As short as life is, we can make it shorter still by the careless waste of time.”
There are three things that may take the enthusiasm from the life of the Christian: first, carelessness with prayer; second, carelessness with money and third, carelessness with time. Often these three things make for a dismal life.
We can be ruled by time.
We Americans have more time-saving devices and less time than any other people in the world. We need a better perspective on time. We have an abnormal desire for hectic activity. We admire the person who is always rushing off to keep an appointment. We assume that person must be highly successful. We are time-conscious people. When we use time in the wrong way, time passes and with it our expectations and hopes, unfulfilled, just as buds fall from the trees without having become fruit.
Colossians 4:6 NKJV Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
One of Satan’s strategies is to get you so busy doing unimportant things that you don’t have time for life’s important things, like preparing for eternity. Satan knows that he doesn’t have to get you to sin; if he can’t get you to be bad, he’ll just get you to be busy.
How you use your time is one of the ways God tests you on Earth as you prepare for eternity. He’s watching to see how you manage your time now to determine what he’s going to have you do in eternity.
Acts 20:24 NIV However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
How can we “make the most” of our time and opportunities?
We must determine our priorities.
We must decide what to do first. We cannot do everything, so we must decide what we will give time to, and then do it. An old proverb says, “One has to spend money to make money.” It's the same with the time you must spend time to save time. The efficient person who gets the most done in a twenty-four-hour period is the person who has learned to make time work for him or her through careful scheduling, budgeting, and planning. We make time for those things that we consider most important.
We must change our pace.
This is necessary if we are going to avoid high blood pressure, heart disease, and a host of other ills. At least, that we know of, under intense pressure Jesus told his disciples, to chill and rest.
Mark 6:30-31 NIV The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
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 must 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.
We must dedicate our time to God. We need to offer God everything, not only our abilities, our money, our energies, but also our time.
God wants to use you—but he can only do that when you’re investing your time in the most important things. Use your time in view of eternity so God can see that you are focused on the main thing—his purposes.
Romans 8:28-30 NIV And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. (Emphasis mine)
You’ve got to use your time in view of eternity. You’ve got to ask yourself, “How much of what I’m spending my time on is going to count five or 10 years from now? How much is going to count in eternity?” Then you’ve got to refocus.