Today is June 30, the last day of the month on the calendar that man has devised to mark time. It is a significant physical date in the United Church of God. By comparison, today is the first day of the fourth month by God’s calendar. In just three months, on the first day of His seventh month, we will be observing the Feast of Trumpets.
Time and how we use it is important to God. From the very beginning, He created the system of marking time for mankind: “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons [appointed times], and for days and years” (Genesis 1:14 Genesis 1:14And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
American King James Version×).
We are but mortal beings with a limited amount of time that God allocates us to live this physical life. “Since his days are determined, the number of his months is with You; You have appointed his limits, so that he cannot pass” (Job 14:5 Job 14:5Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with you, you have appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;
American King James Version×).
How we use our time and “knowing the times” is important in our walk with God. He created “appointed times” for us to observe and assemble before Him. Without observing those times—those Holy convocations listed in Leviticus 23—we aren’t walking with God as He expects of us. Those weekly and annual appointed times teach us and remind us of His supremacy, His plan and our purpose for being.
Each year we observe Passover on the 14th of the first month of His year. Part of our preparation for the Passover is to examine ourselves (1 Corinthians 11:27-32 1 Corinthians 11:27-32  Why whoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
 For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
American King James Version×), reviewing our spiritual progress in the light of God’s eyes and truth. Ongoing self-examination and repentance (turning to God) is an important part of our calling. We have the time God has allotted to us in this physical life to learn and apply God’s ways into our lives, and to grow into “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13 Ephesians 4:13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:
American King James Version×).
One of the features of proper Pentecost observance is “counting the days.” Firstfruits have a number of days in this life to grow into the spiritual maturity God desires in us. His Holy Spirit will lead, but we must yield and follow. “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalms 90:12 Psalms 90:12So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
American King James Version×, emphasis added). Use wisely the time God has given us so we will be “ready” when Christ returns.
June 30 is a significant physical date in the United Church of God, as it marks the end of our fiscal year. Fiscal year 2022 ends today; fiscal year 2023 begins tomorrow.
This allows us to stop and review. What was achieved in this past year? Did we meet the expectations God has for us? Did we follow the Plan? Has His message to the world increased according to His will? Have the resources He has provided been used to His glory and honor?
At this time, we take an accounting of the results and what has been accomplished. What is the “state of our flocks” (Proverbs 27:23-24 Proverbs 27:23-24  Be you diligent to know the state of your flocks, and look well to your herds.
 For riches are not for ever: and does the crown endure to every generation?
American King James Version×)? Have we been wise stewards of what God has provided (Proverbs 21:5 Proverbs 21:5The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenty; but of every one that is hasty only to want.
American King James Version×, 20)? Have we sought and followed God’s will (2 Chronicles 26:5 2 Chronicles 26:5And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper.
American King James Version×; Proverbs 19:21 Proverbs 19:21There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.
American King James Version×)? Have our efforts produced the fruit He desires?
As we review this fiscal year, it is also time to acknowledge God in all we do and to thank Him for the many blessings He has bestowed on all of us, and on His Church.
Based on what are yet preliminary numbers, the Church’s income this year increased by about $1 million over the prior year and is about $2 million over budget. Even in the face of an uncertain economy and skyrocketing inflation, God has provided. We thank Him, and we thank you for your loyalty and commitment to God in honoring Him with your tithes and offerings.
As we enter into a new fiscal year and the uncertain times ahead of us that will lead to the return of Jesus Christ, we look to God—our Rock and our Salvation—for guidance and direction. He has given us a strong physical foundation. We have many physical resources including state-of-the-art facilities, spiritually strong ministers, members and support staff and a sound financial basis. So, physically, we are ready to continue God’s work. Now we must seek His will and do the spiritual work of strongly proclaiming the truth and His message to the world and completing the spiritual temple He is building in us individually and collectively as His Spirit leads.
Let’s all be about our Father’s business.
Brethren, have a wonderful and productive day of preparation for the Sabbath, and an inspiring Sabbath as we fellowship together in worship of God—who has provided immeasurable blessings for all of us.
And be sure to take the time to thank God for all He has done for all of us.