Friday, March 30, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Gift

Time is a gift.

It isn’t something I often think of as a gift, but every time I draw a breath, it is because of His grace and mercy.

Each day
Each moment
…a gift.

I am convicted when I think about how I use and spend His gift to me.  He graciously gives, and it is truly my desire to be a good steward with it…to invest it back into the kingdom, in hopes that it will somehow bless Him and others.  Sometimes I invest it wisely…in my personal devotions, children, family, service within the body of Christ.  Other times, I cringe when I consider how much time I fritter away…on TV, puzzles, i-devices.  I wrongly assume that I will have tomorrow, next week, next year.

Scripture says that no one knows the day or hour of his return, and that He is coming at an unexpected time.  As I see world events unfold and consider them within the scope of what Scripture says about the future, I feel more and more urgency to live an intentional life.

There is not a moment to lose.



  1. Julie, this is a very thoughtful post, and I share your concerns about the value of time and our responsibility for the stewardship of it. The things you said reminded me of a Bible study I did recently on Ephesians 5:15-16, NKJV: "15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil."

    Notice that little phrase in the middle of the passage, "redeeming the time". Well, for the first time in my life, I understood this phrase as it is really meant here. I used to look at this verse and think of "time" in terms of getting as much done as I could in an hour, or in a 24-hour day or a perhaps a week--in other words, "redeeming the time" to me meant the day to day living of my life wisely and not wasting my time.

    Well, that is true of course, too; but after studying a long sermon by Dr. John MacArthur on this passage, my eyes were opened up to see that the intent of the original language here is much deeper and broader; and "the time" refers to our brief sojourns here on this earth~~the sovereignly allotted time spans that God has given to each of us. Yes, time is a gift, a gift with purpose.

    I may not have said that very well, but here are a few excerpts of the way that John MacArthur explained it: [The rest of this comment are his various quotes.]

    "You'll notice that it says in verse 16, 'Redeeming the time.' It is interesting to me how many times the Holy Spirit, when He talks about this concept of time uses a definite article. THE time, as if it is not some indefinite a time, or some time, or any time, or times, THE time. God has almost prescribed times in very accurate and sovereignly determined doses. So God has given us definite time.

    "In I Peter 1:17 there is a very important statement. 'If you call on the Father who without respect of persons judges according to every man's work,' listen to the next line, 'Pass the time of your sojourning in fear,' the time of your sojourning. In other words Peter is saying you have a definite set time bounded by God's sovereign choice.

    "In Job 14:14 it says, 'All the days of my appointed time will I wait until my change comes.' Job had a sense of an appointed time for living. In Acts 20:24 Paul says, 'Neither count I my life dear unto myself.' In other words I'm not out for self-preservation. I have one thing in mind and that is to finish my course.

    "It's most interesting in the Greek, the original language. It says, 'I am to finish tan dramon emu, the course of me. In other words, it is the course that God has prescribed and so we find that God has given us a time boundary and within that time he has defined a course. And Paul says, 'I want to finish the course and the ministry given to me.' a specific time, a specific course, with a specific ministry.

    "In Hebrews 12:1 it says, 'Let us lay aside every weight and run the race that is set before us.' And the Greek says, 'the set before us race.' In other words it's a race set before us. It is a beginning and an ending that we can see. There is a boundary to it.

    "At the end of his life the apostle Paul said in II Timothy 4:7 that he desired to fulfill God's will and he could say he had. He said, 'I have kept the faith. I have finished my course.' Only the word there is THE course, THE course. It's a bounded course. It's a bounded time. People, I really believe God has given us the time of our lives in sovereignty. He knows the beginning and He knows the end. More, He has determined both."

    Thanks, Julie. ~~Love, Mom (I really had to cut this off at some point because that sermon just goes on and on with many more passages and examples supporting this truth. But hopefully I've shared enough for you to see why my own understanding of "Redeeming the time" has been so stretched and greatly enriched!)

    1. Thank you for sharing these words of wisdom and encouragement for me to read. I'm sure others will benefit from them as well! :)

  2. So true, Julie. I hadn't really thought about time as a gift before. Thanks!

  3. "I wrongly assume that I will have tomorrow, next week, next year."
    I really needed to read this today. Thank you for sharing this.