We live in an increasingly fast-paced world where time is precious. It is being used constantly, whether we appreciate it or not, and cannot be relived or reclaimed. But if we see time as a gift and value the gift of time that we have been given will our perspective on life change?
The Gift of Time
Time is one of those gifts that is valued the most when we realize that it is limited. We may think that we have a plan and our schedule is organized – but then life ‘happens’. Everything is disrupted and there is a sudden shift and change in our priorities. This is when we come to realize the danger of prevarication – all those things we were going to do ‘one day.’
But what if ‘one day’ is now? That this is the time we should be living our best life, living life to the full, life in abundance!
'All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us' J.R.R. Tolkien
Is Time a Gift from God?
All good gifts come from God who is eternal – He has no beginning and no end. God is our Creator and Sovereign Lord, and He is the source of our existence. Time exists in and through God alone because He created the beginning, and He will bring time to fulfilment.
If we trust that all events and circumstances are in the hands of an eternal Sovereign God then we have peace that ultimately God is in control. With that peace comes the knowledge that our life and our time are gifts from God and as we receive, we give back to Him.
The greatest gift that God gives us is the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ. When we choose to believe in Jesus and follow Him in this life then one day we will be freed from time into eternity with the Lord.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”John 3:16
But for now, we have an accountability to value the gift of time that we have been given.
Time is a Gift from God Bible Verse
There are many Scriptures that relate to time as being a gift from God. But the one most frequently quoted is from Psalm 90. This Psalm is listed as a prayer of Moses, ‘the man of God.’
Moses is considered to be one of the great Old Testament prophets and leaders of Israel. He was a man who knew God, like no one before or since, and was also a leader who understood the frailty of people.
Psalm 90 reflects on the eternity of God, and our human frailty that we are just a moment! A thousand years in God’s sight is just like a day, or a watch in the night – a three to four-hour time period. This resets our perspective with awe and reverence for God.
From a posture of humility, Moses, the psalmist, then comes before God with the focus of his prayer that we might value the gift of time:
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”Psalm 90:12 NIV
Teach us to Number our Days Meaning
In my view, one of the greatest characteristics of humility is a teachable spirit. Moses was a lifelong learner. He was a man who had encountered the presence of God in supernatural ways. He had seen and participated in many mighty miracles. And yet Moses hungered to know more of God, after all of those experiences, this was still his prayer:
“teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you.”Exodus 33:12
Moses was also an intercessor, praying for the people of Israel and for God’s mercy and grace over the nation. As Moses longed to use the gift of time that he had been given to know more of God, so he prayed that we would all “number our days.”
This simply means to reflect on our priorities and love God wholeheartedly. The first command that came with a promise, was to love the Lord our God with all of our being more than anything, or anyone, else.
When we have our priorities right everything else flows from there. If we are trying to fit God into our busy lives, we will be forever running and playing catch up! We should be asking ourselves how does our life flow out of our relationship with God? If we get that perspective, then our faith will strengthen and our relationship with God will grow – everything else will flow from there.
Lord Teach Us to Number Our Days
Time is a gift from God and living with an awareness of the gift will bring the wisdom to use it well. If we come in humility with the desire to love God above all else, however busy our life, God will bless and honor that commitment. Have you ever had those days when everything seemed to flow? We may find that as we give to God, He multiplies back to us…..
Make the Most of Every Opportunity
The prayer of Psalm 90 ends with a plea for God’s favor to rest on us. The Psalmist has acknowledged that we are only transient, just a moment in time, whereas God is eternal. But, he asks that God would make our labor effective and enduring – remember the writer here is Moses!
“May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.”Psalm 90:17
We all have that desire deep inside to make a difference in some way. But being wise with the gift of time is not all about doing, we are human beings! It is being obedient to God’s call and who we become in Christ Jesus that has eternal value.
Our priorities flow from our relationship with God. And yes, we are to make the most of every opportunity, but that may not look like what we think it should look like! God values relationships above all else – as I type those words, I have to pause and read them again and let them sink in….
Our relationship with God and our relationships with family and friends are our place of strength and support and they have a lasting value!
Further Reading: Bible Gateway Ephesians 5:15-20
Be Intentional with The Gift of Time
Reflect – Sometimes it’s good to pause and look at our schedule and re-examine our priorities. Do we need to make any adjustments?
'We must recognize how the evil one is working in this world and take a firm stance against him. It means we take careful thought concerning what we put in our minds - what we listen to, what we watch, and how we use our time.' Chip Ingram
Pray – Making the most of every opportunity is knowing the Lord’s will for our season. It is important to pray over our commitments and allow the Lord to whisper to our spirit words of wisdom and insight.
'Time spent in prayer is never wasted.' Francois Fenelon
Move – Finally, God’s word is only effective if we respond. Are there things we need to put down? Are there responsibilities that are no longer ours and we need to let go? Is it time to move out into the wide-open space of God’s grace? That’s where I want to be, standing tall and declaring my praise to a faithful God for all of His good gifts. Will you join me in making that our prayer?
'The best use of life is love. The best expression of love is time. The best time to love is now.' Rick Warren
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