Over the past few months, a number of things have happened which have given me pause to consider the direction and goals of my life. I have had the joy of beholding the birth of my friends’ new baby boy; children I have known have recently graduated high school, thus beginning a new phase of life. But, I have also experienced the pain of a personal tragedy in my family that lingers even today that will necessitate life-style changes for all involved.
Through it all, I have been poignantly reminded of James 4:14 which says that our lives are like a “mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (NIV). Psalm 90, written by Moses, also emphasizes this truth. At one point in this Psalm, Moses writes, “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (vs. 12). These two passages remind me of the importance of using my time and resources wisely. Why? Because I want my life to count in God’s eyes and I want to use my time and resources to glorify Him, with a passion to advance His kingdom. But, how much time do I have left? Only He knows.
As I thought about all of this, I wondered if there were any areas of my life personally that needed some fine-tuning. We could probably all ask ourselves this question and come up with any number of different answers. Here are a few that the Bible exhorts us to consider.
Though our money is not so much a commodity of time as it is a monetary commodity, I think the principle of wise management still applies here. What we do with our money directly reflects who (or what) sits on the throne of our heart. The Bible teaches us to honor the Lord with our wealth, however little or much we may have. Prov. 3:9-10 says, “Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” Honoring God with our wealth is one important area to be wise in.
Our Time Relationally
What relationships do we invest in? Do we spend more time with people who are seeking the Lord or with people who have little or no love for the Lord? Paul said that “bad company corrupts good character” (1 Cor. 15:33). Investing in family is also a wise use of our time, especially if we are exhibiting the love of Christ to our family members. Studying God’s Word, praying for others, and seeking His will. It has been well said that the Bible is God’s “instruction book for life” to us. By studying the Bible, we learn about God’s nature, character and will (see 2 Tim. 3:16) … and prayer is the means by which we come into conformity with God’s will.
Each of us must discern how, when and where God would use us. Serving others becomes not only a conduit of God’s grace to others but teaches us about the Lord personally (see Col. 1:24:2:3, Phlm. 1:6).
Rest and Focus on the Lord
This is critical if we are to avoid burning out. Getting alone with an open Bible and an open heart towards the Lord is one of the very best uses of time that I can think of, since by doing so, we continually discern where and how God is leading us personally. Carving out some time to spend with the Lord demonstrates to Him just how serious you are about hearing from Him. Be assured that He will speak to you!
What will happen when we use our time wisely for God’s purposes? First, we will experience a profound sense of peace and joy because we know deep down that God is pleased with us since we are doing what He has asked of us. Second, we will gain a clear and renewed sense of God’s will and purpose for us. Great thinkers of the world have asked why we are here. The answer is found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ! The apostle Paul said in Acts 17:28 that “In [God] we live and move and have our being.”
As you consider how you use your time, read through James 4 and Psalm 90 carefully. Consider what you read in these passages and then ask the Lord to identify any areas wherein you can better honor Him. You will find it is well worth your time to do so!
Allen can be reached at [email protected].
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