If I asked you what time it is, how would you answer? Time is a great equalizer in our lives. We all have time to spend, and, at any given moment, we all have the exact same amount of time. As stated in the song by the Byrds, there is a time for all things, and the song is based in part on Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. There are fourteen points of contrast in these verses, and the word time is used twenty-eight times to remind us of our personal accountability.
What we do not have time for is procrastination. What if Noah had done things in his own time rather than God’s? We must be redeeming our time rather than spending it. In II Kings 20, Hezekiah is terminally ill, but his prayers to God result in fifteen years added to his life. How might we behave if we knew exactly how long we have left?
Effectively Redeeming Our Time
Proverbs 25:28 talks about having walls of self-control. Do we use our time to build these walls, or do we let time wear this self-control down? Before we can make a difference in others, we first have to make a difference in ourselves. If we don’t discover the weaknesses in our own walls, the devil will find them for us. He will put things in front of us that will waste and squander our time when our encouragement of ourselves and other Christians should be a constant goal of our time.
Hebrews 3:13 encourages us to edify each other daily – as long as today is today. The author encourages us to hold our confidence in Him until the end. In this, we have to protect our environment when it comes to what we allow influence our spirituality. I Corinthians 14:26 reminds us that all things should be for the point of edification, and Acts 4:26 tells us about the man Barnabas – named so based on the encouragement he was to others.
Ecclesiastes 3:11-12 reminds us that all is done in God’s time and that eternity is placed in our hearts, resulting in us dedicating our time and energy into doing good. The uncertainties of life teach us to rely on and trust in God. Birth and death, peace and war, joy and mourning: we have little control over when these times come. John 13:1 shares some insight into Jesus’ time to die, and we see that He loved those He came for to the end.
This life will be insignificant, in terms of time, when compared to our afterlife. The things that bring us joy or anger in this life will pass away forever. As our futures unfold, doors will open and close. Joys and sorrows will come and fade (Romans 12:15). We cannot try to hold time in a bottle, leaving our greatest deeds undone. Through simple procrastination, we let days, weeks, months, and years pass. We can either live now with some pain of self-discipline, or we can live in immortal regret.
I Thessalonians 5:21 encourages to examine things carefully and hold unto what is good. Identify and abstain from those things that affect you negatively. Finally, II Corinthians 13:5-6 tells us to examine ourselves to see if we are allowing Christ to dwell in us. In our days to come, we will be presented with opportunities that we will use how we choose. Will we spend these opportunities making difference for our own agendas and worldly concerns, or will we redeem our time, investing in spiritual priorities?
lesson by Mike Mahoney
Ed. Note: The links are my doing, not Mike’s! I was just sad I really couldn’t find an excuse to embed this one as well. – Robert.