TIME: Making best use of it

TIME (Growing older with thankfulness 3)         I Corinthians 13: 11-12

When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity [face to face]. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

Time is a slippery customer!

We come from many different backgrounds but we all have something in common… We were once conceived and born and became children …then reached adulthood

Something to shock you… You are older now than when you started reading this message!

  • You will never be this young again!
  • The older you get, the faster time goes… a year seems like a month, etc.

Someone has written

“When, as a child, I laughed and wept, time crept

When, as a youth, I dreamed and talked, time walked

When I became a full-grown man, time ran

As older still I daily grew, time flew

Soon, I shall find in travelling on, time gone!”

Yes, time is certainly a strange and slippery customer!

When you are nine, nineteen seems ancient

When you are nineteen, thirty seems ancient

When you are thirty, forty-five seems ancient

When you are forty-five, sixty seems ancient

When you are sixty-plus, you wonder how on earth you got to be that age so suddenly!

When the psalmist tells us in Psalm 90 that with God a thousand years is like a day and a day is like a thousand years, we begin to see that although we view time as linear, God is outside of time

  • He sees the end from the beginning and everything in between… Nothing takes Him by surprise! You cannot outwit Him…

A man walked to the top of a hill to talk to God. The man asked:

“God, what’s a million years to you?” and God replied, “A million years is like a minute to me.”

Then the man asked:

“Well, what’s a million pounds to you?” and God said: “A million pounds is like a penny to me.”

The man thought for a moment then asked slyly:

“God…can I have a penny?”

And God replied, “Certainly, no problem… just give me a minute to sort it out.”

God is not mocked!

As we get older, our features change… and our attitude towards life in general… Perhaps we look back longingly at the past when we were “young & beautiful”… Perhaps we start to believe the lie that we’re past our “sell-by” date!

But God is much more concerned with our attitude and obedience than with our age or competence or appearance!

God views us as His children, whatever our age, and wants the best for us… After all, He GAVE HIS BEST for us in the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ!

We grow physically older… but age can and often does bring greater spiritual wisdom

In I Kings, we read of Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, whose refusal to listen to the wise counsel of older men led to the splitting of Israel and (almost) to Civil War

Now growing older does not necessarily make us wiser…there are many wise & discerning younger people…but the passage of time gives us greater opportunity to learn more about God’s purposes and what really matters in life

Moses’ counsel in Psalm 90 applies to all of us, regardless of age:

Teach us to realise the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom

  • LIFE PASSES BY and we need to ensure that we use the time well…
  • Rudyard Kipling wrote these words: ‘Fill the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds-worth of distance run
  • Or as we read in Ephesians 5: Making the most of every opportunity, for the days are evil

So what really matters in life?

  • Is it our families…our health…our friendships…our church… our job … our leisure? All of them are important…
  • Yet above all else, our single purpose in life must surely be to become more like Jesus?
  • There is no better way to use our time well.

As we look back, some memories are JOYFUL, some are PAINFUL… and we are now able to smile at some things that seemed SO disturbing at the time!

  • Perhaps we regret some decisions we made, words we spoke and actions we took … We wish that we could go back and correct the mistake … but we cannot!

But we all have TODAY, NOW… and hope for tomorrow

So life has its ups and downs… its joys and sorrows

God does not promise a smooth and carefree life… He DOES promise to be with us and give us peace in our hearts, whatever the circumstances… as I’m sure many of us can testify

 

The passage of time affects us all

None of us will live forever… or will we/can we

Jesus said that even though we grow old and eventually die physically, our souls {the person we are} need never die but live eternally! How is this possible?

Jesus gives us the answer, recorded in John 4:

Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes [places all their hope and trust] in Him who sent me has eternal life [already] and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life

 The everlasting/eternal life won’t just be a continuation of this life … After all, do you want to live forever in this world and with a body growing ever weaker!

  • No, the “ever-flowing” [the meaning of ‘eternal’] life promised by God is as fresh and new and clean as a pure mountain stream!
  • We are promised new bodies… for when we see the Risen Christ, we shall be like Him {Note this!} when we see Him face-to-face

It’s also recorded by the Apostle John that one of the disciples, Philip, complained to Jesus that they didn’t know where He was going, so how could they know the way?

Jesus told them all that He was the way, the truth and the life… but He also said something else to Philip:

Have I been with you so long, yet you still don’t know me!

Is it possible that you, dear reader, are in that position?

  • You have, perhaps, “been with Jesus” for many years… possibly from Sunday School days … or later in life through church attendance or coming to Christian meetings… Yet you still don’t (really) know Him! It’s TIME TO CHANGE THAT!
  • Today may be the time to accept the fact that you have never said YES to Jesus Christ as Saviour & Lord

Or perhaps you once walked closely with Jesus but other things have got in the way… you’ve lost that fervour that you once had in abundance? It’s TIME TO CHANGE THAT!

  • It’s time to renew your wholehearted commitment to Christ and use the rest of your life to serve Him unconditionally

Dear friend, don’t do anything else until you have done one of those two things … saying YES to Jesus Christ or renewing your wholehearted commitment to Him… for time moves on and we do not know what lies ahead or what tomorrow may bring.

 


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