Posted May 31, 2007
Your time is your life! Everyone has available the same amount of time every day—just 24 hours. Do you invest your time wisely?
What are your priorities? On what basis do you make your primary choices? Are they merely materialistic? Or do you seek God's involvement in setting them?
King Solomon once wrote, "There is a time to be born and a time to die" (Ecclesiastes:3:2). Between these benchmarks we have a limited amount of time available. However, no one knows in advance exactly how much.
That is why the apostle Paul gives us this wise advice, "Redeem the time." Many past servants of God were busily pursuing their own goals in life when He called them. They thought that their time was their own. But the Creator, in His own wisdom and for His own eternal purposes, decided to reveal Himself to them and personally intervene in their lives—guiding them in a totally different direction.
Abraham was living his own life in the ancient Mesopotamian world. But his Creator had something very special in mind for Abraham. He asked him to leave his whole world behind. He planned to make Abraham "the father of the faithful". Through Abraham all nations were to receive, in due time, wonderful spiritual blessings.
Some 1,000 years afterwards Ezekiel, who was educated to be a priest, was suddenly asked to become a prophet and to deliver a message very few people in his nation would appreciate. This sudden switching of roles could not have been easy psychologically for one trained for the priesthood. Yet many crucial aspects of God's prophetic plan for the benefit of mankind were revealed through this prophet.
Hundreds of years later a few fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were asked to abandon their profession to become special disciples of Jesus Christ, taking His message to all nations. Perhaps the most radical career change of all was when Jesus Christ, after His resurrection, suddenly interrupted Saul's obsessive role as arch-persecutor of Christians. His whole life was completely altered in a moment of time. In due course he became Paul, the most effective apostle of all.
During the past 2,000 years a relatively small minority of human beings termed the firstfruits have been called to salvation. As an online reader of these commentaries, God may be calling you. If so, what is your basic responsibility, your most important duty and main spiritual goal? The answer can only be found in the Holy Scriptures.
A crucial passage explains clearly our first priority, "Seek first the kingdom of God" (Matthew:6:33, emphasis added throughout). All material concerns must be secondary to this one great priority—obtaining everlasting life in God's eternal family.
If we indulge ourselves in the empty husks of material satisfaction and carelessly downplay our spiritual needs, sooner or later our time runs out on earth (Hebrews:9:27). Jesus spoke about this in a parable about a rich man who said to himself: "Soul you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat drink and be merry" (Luke:12:19). But his time had suddenly run out. He did not even live to see the next morning (verse 20).
Jesus summed up the tragic lesson: "So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God" (verse 21). The common trend today is to allow material values to dominate one's life to the neglect of the more important spiritual dimension.
Seeking God's Kingdom was priority number one in Paul's life. His life was given over and surrendered to Jesus Christ. He wrote: "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me [through the Holy Spirit]; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians:2:20).
As human beings we often deceive ourselves about how much time we really have. We may say to ourselves something like this, "After I do such and such this week, I'll have more time for the things of God next week." But next week arrives and something else comes up that persuades us to again put off making things related to our salvation a priority.