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October 25, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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“So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”—Psalm 90:12 (NKJV)
Time is a very precious gift from God—a gift we ought to manage well. Jonathan Edwards, an American pastor in the 1700’s, wrote many “resolutions” to personally live by.
Here are just a few of his resolutions:
1. “Resolve to never lose one moment of time, but use it in the most profitable way.”
2. “Resolve to think much on the brevity and how short one’s life is.”
3. “Resolve to live each and every day at all times with the things of eternity always on your mind and heart. Live for eternal purposes—may we not joy in temporary things but in heavenly things.”
In addition to these resolutions, here are some wise principles to consider on time:
1. Count your days: Think of your time as an investment; it will yield a return one way or another. God numbers our days even before we were born (Psalm 139:16). He may give you 70, 80, or 90 years—perhaps less. My beloved niece Jessica lived only to 18. Gratefully, she walked with Jesus and lived her life well not knowing her time on earth would be short. Live each day as if it were your last!
2. Manage your time well: Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV) says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” The Tyranny of the Urgent by Charles Hummel reveals Jesus as the Master of time. In John 11, we read how Lazarus was sick. Jesus was urged by his sisters to come immediately to heal their brother. However, Jesus in His wisdom delayed getting there by two days. Lazarus died and his sisters were upset. Martha said, “Lord, . . . if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21 NIV). Jesus was not indifferent to Lazarus’ need, yet it was more important for Him to raise Lazarus from the dead. Everything Jesus accomplished was what the Father instructed. He did what was important, not the urgent.
3. Be careful how you live: Ephesians 5:15-17 (NIV) says, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” We live in a sin-filled world. Paul warns us that in the last days, difficult times will come (1 Timothy
Colossians 4:5 (NIV) reminds us to “make the most of every opportunity.” As we enter into this new year, I encourage you to commit your heart and time growing in your faith and experiencing a daily deeper walk with Him. Make the most of your opportunities, work out your salvation, be open to what the Holy Spirit wants to do in, through, and around you.
DIG: Find one area you need to change on how you spend your time. Reread Edwards resolutions.
DISCOVER: Read James 4:13-15. Ponder this quote by Tozer: “You have such a short time to prepare for a long time.” We are to focus with eternity in mind. Similarly, Mother Theresa said, “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
DO: Make your time count today. It is the only day you have.