Author: Ron Graham
Everyone receives the same amount of time: twentyfour hours per day. Of course, not everyone receives the same number of days. Nor does everyone receive the same number of spare hours in a day. So really, in any fair and practical sense, everyone does NOT receive the same amount of time. Most people, however, have (or could make) some spare time for special interests and voluntary activities. What we do with that time, is a comment upon our dedication to the Lord.
Paul writes, "Therefore watch carefully how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore don’t be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is" (Ephesians 5:15-17).
Those who wisely understand the will of the Lord, are looking around them, and being aware of the state of the world. They have a sense of urgency and responsibility to the world. They don't miss any God-given opportunity to shed the light of the gospel in some dark corner (2Corinthians 4:6). They don't miss any God-given opportunity to "will and to work for his good pleasure" which is the salvation of the world (Philippians 2:13, 1Timothy 2:3-4).
We are wise when we dedicate our time to these things.
Notice especially the phrase "redeeming the time..." (Ephesians 5:15-17). It is a sad thing that Some Christians' sense of urgency about the state of the world is surpassed by those who worship nature or man, rather than God. Many of these folk are heavily dedicated to saving this world from what they see as impending ruin. Some Christians, who have more insight, who worship the Creator rather than the creature, and who understand the world's peril more accurately, do not, I am ashamed to say, show very much devotion to saving the world. Their time is taken up with other pursuits.
Reedeeming the time, means buying back time from wastage, it means dedicating time to the Lord, and to doing the good that he wills us to do.
Earthly life consists of many good things including work, school, hobbies and recreation, friends, pets, food, exercise, rest, family life, travel, community service, and so forth. All these things are good and it is right for us to participate in them. We are not meant to stop living. However any one of such elements of our lives can usurp first place which rightly belongs to the "kingdom of God and his righteousness" (Matthew 6:33).
The thing we have to do is to balance, integrate, and direct all the elements of our lives so that we are not driven by any one of them away from the main and pervading element, which is our walk with God.
The Macquarie dictionary defines time (inter alia) as "duration regarded as belonging to the present life as distinct from the life to come or from eternity". Time is a figment really —well not time itself, but the way we are inclined to regard time. The true reality does not stand in time but in eternity. "We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen, for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal" (1Corinthians 4:16-18).
We should consider each moment and each day as absorbed in eternity. Today is called "today" only while it is passing away. It is soon gone, enfolded into eternity like a rolling wave that disappears into the ocean. All we can do is "take care... encourage one another day by day, as long as it is called 'Today'" (Hebrews 3:12-14).
We all need to examine ourselves as to how we spend our time, for how we spend each day has a lot to do with how we will spend eternity.