What Time Is It?


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What time is it?

OK – how did you determine your answer to my question?

If I were asked about the time, I would look at my watch. My first reaction is to measure time in hours and minutes. Although my finite response is a valid way, God perceives time from an infinite perspective. God interprets time eternally. My view is temporal and chronological. For God, time includes a duration of moments affecting people’s lives. Join me in looking at some timely scriptures.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
Ecclesiastes 3:1

The writer of Ecclesiastes declares that there is a distinct time for everything that happens. Then he lists specific activities in verses 2-8. Being born or dying. Tearing down or building up. Laughing or crying. Loving or hating.
My Reader, what time is it in your life? It is OK to have conflicting emotions because life involves a variety of feelings and behaviors.

And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
Esther 4:14

As queen of King Xerxes, Esther was used by God to prevent the annihilation of the Jewish people. Mordecai reminded Esther that God may have given her favor with the king because He had a special plan for her. Esther accepted her position and boldly approached King Xerses. Esther says in verse 16, “If I perish, I perish.” She knew what time it was for her physically and spiritually.
My Reader, what time is it according to your spiritual watch? God orchestrates times in our lives for His glory.

With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
II Peter 3:8

From God’s perspective, time is very different. While we may become impatient waiting for God to fulfill His promises,  Peter reminds us that God is patient because He desires for everyone to have a personal relationship with Jesus. Spiritual time is unique – not like our spacial time. One day is like a thousand years and yet a thousand years is like a day! God’s timepiece is different from ours.
My Reader, what time is it for you regarding a promise you are waiting for God to fulfill? God is never late. And, He is never early. He is always on time!

My times are in your hands;
Psalm 31:15

David places his time in God’s hands. He trusts God enough to give up his agenda and accept God’s plans. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Time does not influence how or when God interacts in our lives. He is always the same no matter what time it is.
My Reader, is it time for you to relinquish your time into the Lord’s hands? Don’t get bogged down trying to see the purpose in everything that happens every minute and hour of the day. Most likely, you are too close to your situation to see the bigger picture of how God is using your time. However, it is amazing how valuable your time is when you place it in His hands!

 

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Leftovers Left in Our Hands (Part 2)

When I worked in a fabric store, I would create a fabric remnant if there was less than a yard of material left on a large bolt. I would measure the piece, fold it into a small parcel and mark it at a lower price. Most likely this piece would not be of value to the shopper who had plans for a big project but there was still potential use for it. A customer might purchase a remnant because it was the right amount for a specific project or one might buy it because it was a bargain that could have a potential purpose. Just because the cloth was not on a full bolt of fabric, did not mean it had to be discarded. This leftover fabric was still valuable.

Last week we looked at how Jesus uses our leftovers. (see post for August 16, 2017) This week I want us to evaluate how we use our leftovers. So, what are our leftovers? Although there are many, I want us to focus on one particular life leftover we all encounter. I am referring to the fragments of time within our days that have the potential of being useful leftovers for Gods glory. Let’s look closely at God’s perspective of our use of time.

 

There is a time for everything, and a season
for every activity under the heavens
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 is a good guideline for use of time. If we are giving our time to the Lord, every minute of our day, even what we might consider leftover time, will have a purpose. When we come to the conclusion of our day, there should not be any minutes unaccounted for.

And who knows but that you have come to your
royal position for such a time as this?
Esther 4:14

Personally, I want to allow the Lord to show me how to fill my day, even those moments that appear to be the odds and ends of time. God wastes nothing and neither does He want us to waste anything. We must strive to use our leftover time constructively because in God’s eye there is no such thing as leftover time. This moment may be God’s ordained time for us to take time to do something we might not otherwise do.

Do not despise these small beginnings
Zechariah 4:10

God uses small amounts of time. What may appear to be a small amount of leftover time to us, is valuable to the Lord. We do not want to waste time and allow it to turn into a useless leftover just because we do not think we have a significant amount of time. These small bits and pieces can be the beginning of big things in the hands of God.

Knowing God is sovereign over every second of our days, let’s look at three examples of odds and ends of time that we can put to use in a positive way.

WAITING AT A TRAFFIC LIGHT
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:6

Although we might consider it wasted time to be stopped by a red light, we can put this time to good use by praying while waiting. We can say a quick prayer for the people in the cars going by. We should not be anxious, but rather perceive the red light as a reminder for us to pray.

WAITING FOR AN APPOINTMENT
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up,
just as in fact you are doing.
I Thessalonians 5:11

If we are open to the leading of the Holy Spirit, He will show us how to occupy our time while sitting in a waiting room for an appointment. Maybe we can send a quick text to a person who is having a tough day and is in need of a word of encouragement. Why waste time doing nothing when we can be doing something constructive that will only take a couple of minutes?

TAKING A WALK
A friend loves at all times, 
Proverbs 17:17

All times” includes times when we may think we do not have time. For me, this may be taking time to chat a few minutes with a lonely neighbor in his/her yard while I am on a walk.  My minutes may give that person more moments of joy than I will ever realize. “All times” does not mean only when it is convenient for us. God’s schedule is often different from ours.

In conclusion, we discover leftovers are precious to God. Now we have to decide how precious they are to us. From our perspective, leftovers may appear to simply be bits and pieces of time cut out of our days that hinder us from accomplishing our goals. However, from God’s viewpoint, all of these minutes and moments are ordained divine appointments. Our fragments of time are valuable to the Lord. Are we willing to use our leftovers for His glory?