God created time for this creation and for the creature, namely man. Because God created an orderly creation and governs it with time, we are bound to work within the framework of time. All that we do, have done, or project to accomplish, is measured by time. The Lord started the clock of the universe at creation. He subjects man to the divine timetable. We know through His Word when time began, and know that it will end with the Second Coming of Christ. After our Lord’s return we will not need time, nor will we yield to the effects of it. Time, being a creature, will itself be “destroyed”. But, on this side of glory we must use time in a sanctified manner.
God, being the creator of time, is also the exactor of it. Time is given us by the Lord to use to the glory of His holy name. We can liken it to the parables of the talents. The ruler in the parable giveth his servants talents for a period of time and travels. Upon his return he reckons with them, demanding to know if they were diligent with the use thereof. The Lord has given us an allotment of time at our birth and exacts it from us when we are laid in the grave. Job 7:1, “Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? Are not his days also like the days of an hireling?” Our days and months here below are numbered. Each must be accounted for to our Ruler. In our youth so often we feel as though there is no end of life; little reason to be concerned with stewardship of our time. We seem to have such an abundance of it.
Let us remember that all of our time is given by the Lord to magnify and extol His name. Now let us ask the question, “Why must we be so concerned with the use of time in our youth?” Romans 14:7, 8, answers this question: “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.” Also, Lord’s Day I of the Heidelberg Catechism explains that we are not our own, but belong to our faithful Savior Jesus Christ.
You are elected to serve. Oh, what an assuring thought in a troubled and anxious world. God has chosen you to serve Him now and forever in glory. Lord’s Day I ends with this comforting thought, “He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto Him. ” Your desire, then, is rooted in thankfulness to your creator, and not just a demand or obligation that you must begrudgingly fulfill. The Lord’s command to deny one’s self foolish pleasure and husband our time is welcomed by our soul, but challenged and ridiculed by our old man of sin.
We, by nature, are like the Athenians to whom Apostle Paul preached. They lived for themselves. There was no sacrifice of their time for our God; only squandering of it. We read in Acts 17:21, “(For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)”. We, too, must struggle with the temptation of using our time for ourselves, giving no regard or asking of ourselves, “am I busying myself with things earthly or things heavenly?”
We must be spiritually ambitious, using our time to learn of and to praise God for the great work of salvation. This means that we must set aside time to discuss, time to read, time to spiritually build on the foundation of faith given us. Busy yourself with spiritual matters. Question your use of time with regard to recreation.
To neglect your spiritual life is to be lazy concerning time. Proverbs 24:30, 31, “I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.” Now, you may ask, “Isn’t this too difficult? Aren’t we being asked to sacrifice more than is necessary? Would Christ demand this? After all, my time is precious.” All we need to do is to look to the rich young ruler. Christ demanded all his possessions in order that he be considered a follower of Jesus.
What, then, is God’s reward to His elect as they struggle to serve Him with their time? As you busy yourself with the Word, the promise given in I1 Timothy 3 is that it will “make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” God blesses you with spiritual discernment. He anchors you firmly in the truth of His Word. You will not be ignorant in these days of great apostacy. No, you will know the proper pathway to follow in this day of heretical attacks against the infallibility of Scripture. In your personal life, the Holy Spirit bolsters you against doubt and despair. As the winds and waves of temptation buffet, you will not be moved. We enjoy the safe harbor of God’s loving hand protecting us until the end of our time here on this earth.
Psalm 90:12 “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”