Making the Most of My Time for God

My brother-in-law has a birthday today.  I’m attending a funeral this morning.  Birthdays and funerals always make me more aware of the passing of time.  The older I get, the more quickly time passes somehow.  I once heard “time” defined as “the period between two eternities.”  Life is brief.  The Bible compares the shortness of life to a shadow (1 Chronicles 29:15), a cloud (Job 7:9), a flower (Job 14:1,2), a vapor (James 4:14), a sigh (Psalm 90:9), grass (1 Peter 1:24), and a breath (Job 7:7).  Standing before Christ, each of us will give an account for our brief time here on earth.  So how can we make the most of our time for God?

Focus on Our Treasures.  What do we treasure?  Certainly we know what the answer to that should be.  But what if strangers were asked to answer that question for us?  How would they go about finding the answer?  They would watch where we spend our time, energy, and money.  These three things are dedicated to what we treasure.  Jesus told us to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven, “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19,20).  In other words, our priorities must be spiritual, heaven-minded.  How can we make sure we’re laying up treasures in heaven?  We must put the kingdom of God first (Matthew 6:33).  We must love the Savior more than our own family (Matthew 10:37).  We must love Him more than we love ourselves (Matthew 10:39).

Focus on Our Influence.  The scope of our influence is broader than we think.  People all around us are watching us walk, talk, and shine the Light.  What is my role in my Christian family?  What can I do?  Paul told some Christians that the way they received the Word with joy became an example to other Christians around them.  He said, “For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth…Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything” (1 Thessalonians 1:6-8).  The influence of these Christians saved Paul, Silas, and Timothy some work.  Are we saving anybody some work?  Perhaps the elders?  Some teachers who need a break?  The minister of personal evangelism?  Our influence can make a difference in the kingdom!

Focus on Our Mission.  “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).  Jeremiah sent these words in a letter to Jews who were in captivity in Babylon.  They weren’t where they wanted to be.  They certainly weren’t where they planned to be.  Jeremiah was reminding them that God had a plan for them, a purpose.  Some of us are happy and content.  Some of us aren’t where we had hoped to be at this point in our life.  Jeremiah gave the Jews a two-part program:  prepare for the plan and pursue perfection.  No matter where we are in life, we must keep ready for action.  We must keep ourselves in spiritual shape for the mission God has for us.  We mustn’t wait for a better time!  Henry David Thorough said, “As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.”  The only way to tell the difference between wasting time and investing time is to know our purpose, our mission.  What if you’re not sure what it is?  Christians can all adopt the two missions of Jesus.  He came “to do the will of the Father” (John 6:38) and “to seek and save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

Focus on Our Eternity.  Now is the time to build our faith, strengthen our foundation, and put on the whole armor of God.  We can make the most of our time by challenging ourselves to obtain the high mark Jesus set before us (Philippians 3:12-14).  Paul challenges all of us with several charges in Philippians.  Develop the mind of Christ (2:5-8).  Serve without complaining (2:14,15).  Find our joy in the Lord (4:4).  Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything (4:6).  Meditate on holy things (4:8).  And be content with God’s help (4:11-13).  These are six different things.  We can take focus on one each week and see if we can tell a big difference at the end of six weeks.  If we practice all of these things, we’ll become Christ-like, humble, content, happy, calm, filled with the glow of purity.  We will be prepared for eternity.

Am I satisfied that I am making the most of my time for God?  Not really.  But I can pray for wisdom so I can discern where God wants me to be and what He wants me to be doing right now.  Finding out if I am making the most of my time is not going to happen by accident.  Am I focusing on my treasures (making God my top priority)?  Am I focusing on my influence (are my actions leading others to Christ)? Am I focusing on my mission (looking for ways to serve now instead of waiting for the right time)? And am I focusing on eternity (weighing everything against the ultimate goal of Heaven)?

Prayer for Today:  Thank you for each new day, Lord.  May I recognize it as a gift and make the most of my time for You.

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