The Value of Time
The Value of Time
Time is a Gift from God
Unlike treasure and talents, which God determines we receive according to our abilities, time is distributed differently. He apportions to each of us the gift of 24 hours every day. Therefore, God expects that we use time wisely. The Bible Writer James grasped this fact and cautioned: " Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that’" (James 4:13-15, NKJV).
In defining this 24 hour period, Eugene Peterson, in his book, Working the Angles, pointed out that in the Bible “a day does not begin with sunrise; it begins when we go to sleep” or rather what the Bible refers to as sunset—“The evening and the morning were the first day.” Now the book of Genesis explains that God gives seven (7) days each week. Six (6) are for work as enjoined by Him: “Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work,” and of course the seventh is the Lord’s Day that is set aside for worship. So if we are to make the most of our stewardship of time, we need to learn the art of prioritizing.
The Need to Prioritize
Jesus declared in the book of John: "I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work" (John 9:4, NKJV). Given the need to prioritize, Jere Patzer, former president of The North Pacific Union of Seventh-day Adventists, said, “leaders (and members) must have an ‘intentional’ ministry.” Time management expert, Edgar Mills, defines the concept of “intentionality” as: “Purposely directing one’s life as much as possible rather than allowing it to be determined by external pressures.” Accordingly, I share areas that require our focus, though not necessarily in order of importance.
• Time with God. We find in Mark 1:35 "Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed" (NKJV).
• Time for Family --Regarding family, the Apostle Paul observed: "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever" (1 Timothy 5:8, NKJV).
• Time for Church --In Hebrews we are admonished: "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25, NKJV).
• Time for Self (rest) Noted Christian Author, Ellen White wrote: “If every moment were valued and rightly employed, we should have time for everything that we need to do for ourselves or for the world” (The Ministry of Healing, page 208).
• Time for Job (vocation) -- ensuring that put in the time we are paid for by faithfully reporting on time and not departing before the time.
Redeeming the Time
Given the aforementioned, it is necessary that we redeem the time. According to Ephesians 5:15, 16, Paul says, "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise," "redeeming the time, because the days are evil" (NKJV). To walk circumspectly is to walk “strictly,” “accurately,” “diligently,” “carefully.” Let’s seek to do so!