God – unlimited by time (Revelation 1:8), eternal (Deuteronomy 33:27).
Yet living outside of time, inhabiting eternity (Isaiah 57:15), He chose to make time a part of creation. Right there in Genesis 1:1, we see it, the stamp of time. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Time set into motion as the universe was spoken into existence.
God, unrestricted by time (2 Peter 3:8), puts great emphasis on it. Created as a tool, His design of time has purpose. It is meant to teach us important lessons, provide us the opportunity for us to come to know Him, and help us develop His character within us.
Time is a precious gift.
He created us for eternity. Time is His gift to us.
- Each person’s gift of time on earth is determined by God (Isaiah 40:6-8; Psalm 90:5-6).
- We will be held accountable by God for how we use our gift of time (1 Peter 1:16b-21; Galatians 6:7-10).
- As good stewards, we need to use our gift of time wisely (Psalm 90:10, 12; Ephesians 5:15-16).
Although a precious gift from our Creator and part of His masterful plan for mankind, time, for most of us is one of our greatest challenges. We see it as a demanding, unforgiving, rigid aspect of our life.
We get caught up in trying to get through our weeks and days and hours, and lose sight of the wonder of the gift. Rather than awe, we feel frustration.
Time – the minutes, the days, the seasons, all of it – created for our benefit. God designed time for us, and His wisdom is behind it. It is only as we learn to live within God’s design for time that we will be able to come to peace with it.
Time is a paradox.
In our human, earthbound way of thinking, time goes.
It passes, and it passes quickly. We’re born, we start school, we learn to drive, we leave for college… on and on… then we die. Whirr. In the blink of an eye. Life here on this earth is brief.
In Psalm 90, Moses gives us a look at this very concept. Evidently an aged man when he wrote the Psalm, he had come to realize the brevity of his time on earth. Moses begins his Psalm extolling the eternality of God. He then moves to the fleeting nature of man. In verse 12, Moses shares one of THE key lessons on time.
So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12
Here, Moses states that unless we come to an understanding of the brevity of life and learn to value the time we have properly, we will never gain a wise heart.
“Lord God, teach us. Help us to grasp the wisdom of numbering our days.”
In biblical thinking, time comes.
Notice the wording of these verses:
Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. — Luke 1:57
And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. Luke 2:6
Additionally, note these verses that tell us ultimately what time is coming:
For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. –1 Thessalonians 5:2
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. –1 Peter 1:3-9
We are not running out of time. We are gaining time as we run toward that day.
The day of the Lord, is coming. We would do well to remember that although we are currently bound by time, we have been created for eternity. (Ecclesiastes 3:11). If we are to get a heart of wisdom, we will learn to live our lives in light of that day.
“Lord God, teach us. Help us to grasp the wisdom of living each day in light of that day.”
Time is NOT the Enemy
From the moment of the Fall, we have inverted God’s order and perverted His design.
Things meant for our good, have been distorted to the point of chaos – prayer (Matthew 6:7), the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:17-34), and temple sacrifices (Matthew 21:12), just to name a few.
And these inversions and perversions continue right into our day and culture.
Is often viewed by us (yes, Christians) as a controlling task-master, as something negative – our enemy.
Frustrated, stressed, exhausted – we live frantic, jam-packed days. One after the other. Robbed of our freedom, joy, and peace – by no one other than ourselves.
Only when we see time as the GIFT God intended and learn to live within its design will we be able to turn the table on it.
Time is precious, but we do not know yet how precious it really is. We will only know when we are no longer able to take advantage of it…. Liberal and generous in every way, God in the wise economy of his providence teaches us how we should be product about the proper use of time. He never gives us two moments at the same time. He never gives us a second moment without taking away the first. And he never grants us that second moment without holding the third on in his hand, leaving us completely uncertain as to whether we will have it. Francois Fenelon, 17th century cleric