Each new year brings a certain awareness of the passing of time and the brevity of life. We may not measure our days with handbreadths like the Psalmist, but we know that our lives will be all too soon over. Thus our time is a precious commodity with which to make our mark in service for the glory of God. In Ephesians 5:15, 16 Paul counsels the church in Ephesus not to live in dissipation and drunkenness like their unbelieving neighbors who attended the Church of Dionysus, but to live wisely and carefully, “redeeming the time because the days are evil” (NASB). Jonathan Edwards preached a sermon on “The Preciousness of Time” which was based upon that passage in Ephesians. He makes some salient points:
- Time is precious – a happy or miserable eternity depends on whether we have used it (time) in order to obtain everlasting blessedness or misery.
- Time is very short – it is but a moment to eternity.
- Time can never be recovered when it is passed – one can lose all his substance in bankruptcy and make it up, but when the time of life is gone it is impossible to gain it back. “O a thousand worlds for an inch of time.”
- Time is a stewardship – we are accountable to God for how we spend our time. “Would you not behave otherwise than you do if you considered with yourselves every morning that you must give an account to God, how you should have spent that day?”
- Time can be used by the devil to deceive us – the young are deceived into thinking they have plenty of time to seek salvation. The old are deceived into thinking that it is too late for them.
Edwards closes by sounding like a time management consultant and challenges his hearers to establish the goal to change without delay, to set priorities (there are things we do that are more precious than other things), and to remember that we are answerable to God for our use of time. Just a thought…