Some Perspectives on Time
Some Perspectives on Time
There is just something about the start of a new year that gives us the feeling of a fresh start and a new beginning. The new year does give us the opportunity to think about the passing of time and how we are living our lives with the time we have. Scripture offers us some perspectives about time.
Redeem the time. We find this exhortation in Ephesians 5:15: “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of your time, because the days are evil.” As Moses prayed to God, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12). Wisdom says we should think about how we use the opportunities that we have.
If the Lord wills. Consider what James said about the plans we make. “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that’” (Jas. 4:13-15). It is easy to feel self-sufficient and a bit arrogant about ourselves, our accomplishments, and the things we set as our goals in life. A wise man once said, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring” (Prov. 27:1). James says, “all such boasting is evil” (v. 16). Be humble, and keep life in perspective.
Press on. The apostle Paul reflected on his own life in terms of his past, present, and future. He said, “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14). Let’s be sure we have a clear vision of what is important in life and then pursue it.
Now is the acceptable time. Paul made an impassioned appeal about the most important of all decisions we can make in this life. “Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says, ‘In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:1-2). There is no better time than the present to serve God.
Focus on being ready for the Lord. The apostle Peter wrote some sobering words about time, and offers us some worthy goals for our lives. He wrote about the patience of the Lord, and how we ought to be patient as well. The Lord patiently waits for us to turn to him in repentance (2 Pet. 3:8-12). So, we need to be ready. “Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace” (2 Pet. 3:14). The Lord has promised to come again. He calls all people to himself, so he patiently waits. But eventually—in his time—this earth will end. And he will come. Something new and wonderful awaits us there.
We need to remain steadfast in our faith. “You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability” (2 Pet. 3:17). Don’t allow all the distractions around us to shake us from our principles.
Keep growing. “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18). As long as we are given time in this life, we should keep striving to grow, to reach new heights, to become better as we try to serve him.