James 4:13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
Key Scripture: We live in time but belong to eternity.
Time is a space in eternity. In fact, the way we spend our time will determine how we will live in eternity. Our present space in time is our preparation for eternity.
How often have we sighed, “I just don’t have time.” We live in a “hurry-up” world. We have deadlines to meet, appointments to keep, and even every sport is played against the clock. Our days are divided into segments of time: Time to work, time to play, time to rest. And then there is the matter of timing our decisions. The right time makes the difference between success and failure-sometimes life and death.
Why do we come up short on time? God has given to each of us enough time to do the things we should do. Our crowded, ulcer- producing schedules are the result of pressure we place upon ourselves or allow others to place on us. Instead of really living, we settle for an unhappy existence. We are not fulfilled because we feel we never quite have the time to do our best. Our family is discontented because seemingly we do not want to spend time with them.
Accountable for Our use of Time
The way we invest our time determines our happiness and success in life. Our time in this world is our life. We can either spend it foolishly and fruitlessly, or we can invest it wisely. The Scriptures warn us that we will give an account to God, the giver of life, for the way we use our time “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12).
A wise investment of time is a wise investment in life. Such an investment requires careful management of our time. Without planning and priorities our lives can slip away quickly. If we do not govern our time, other people and circumstances will. Manage your time and you will manage your life.
People view time in different ways. There are those who spend all their time planning and making lists of things to do. They are so busy improving their lists and updating their plans that they never seem to achieve their goals. Then there are those who are so busy doing they never have time to assess the value of how they are spending their time. We are all familiar with people who are so conscious of not wasting time that they make everyone else around them nervous as they hurry about to save another ten seconds.
Neither extreme is healthy or necessary. God intends that we enjoy life. That includes our work, our families, our friends, our play. Is that possible in this rushing, time-conscious world? Yes! An God has given us the key to wisely investing our time in every aspect of life.
Invest Time with God
God made us for Himself and He has provided the necessary time for us to achieve in life what He has planned for us. The key to the wise investment of our lives is the time we invest with Him. I discovered long ago that the most effective way to save time is to spend time in prayer and meditation before the Lord.
Time is also defined as a dimension in which things change. In quiet meditation there is change. We are quieted on the inside. There is no longer the compulsion to rush. That hurried feeling is replaced by a restful confidence that the work will be completed on time. Stress fades from the emotional scene in the presence of faith. Read Joshua 1:8-9 and meditate upon God’s promise to His servant regarding the awesome task facing him.
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God [is] with thee whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:8-9).
Our text says that life is like a vapor: it appears for a little while and then vanishes away. That is not to imply that it no longer exists, but rather that time leaps into eternity. Eternity is time without end. Where will you spend eternity?
II Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
II Peter 3:15 And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;