By Dennis L. Shaver
Hour glasses, sun dials, clocks, wrist watches, etc . . .; man is time conscious. We set times for worship, times for business appointments, times for recreation, times for rest, etc . . . . How many times has a complete stranger asked you, “Do you have the time?” Yes, we are time conscious . . .or are we?
Time is more than the hour of the day. It also refers to the period man is allotted upon this earth. And in this respect I fear that man is not time conscious. Too many are living life so busily that, they have no time to consider this aspect of life. We will not be in this earthly existence forever. Just as the sand in an hour glass runs out, so will our life. Each day we live, each breath we take draws us closer to the end of our time. Am I really time conscious? How do I use my time?
Man’s existence upon this earth must be used to prepare himself for a never ending existence-life eternal. If this is not our purpose, or how we use our time, then we are wasting our most precious God given possession, time. We make schedules daily, we set goals we desire to attain, and we work to see that these schedules of time are met. May I ask a question? Have you set a schedule or a goal for your spiritual development? I think I can say without too much fear of contradiction that most Christians are simply gliding along and have not set any particular goals for their spiritual growth. Paul said, “For when for the time ye ought to have been teachers, ye need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have exercised their senses to discern both good and evil” (Heb. 5:12-14).
According to Paul there comes a time in our life when we ought to be teachers of God’s will. May I ask, are you able to teach others now? Do you plan to train others? You do! May I ask when? You say sometime! That is exactly what I am talking about. You do not have a goal, or a schedule, do you? And, if you are like most Christians you will read this article and still will not set any goals (spiritually) for yourself. I wonder, do you expect to just someday become a teacher? Do you think it just happens? Far too many of my brethren sit in a Bible class for a number of years and all of a sudden they become a teacher! And you know what they teach? What they have heard, be it truth or error!
I appeal to you brethren, use your time wisely! If you want to teach the lost, strengthen your brethren, and live a stronger life in Christ, become time conscious. Make a decision on what you desire to do in God’s kingdom. Do you want to be a Bible class teacher? Is your desire to bring many in His kingdom? Do you want to be an elder? What is your goal? After you make your decision use your time wisely to reach your goal. It will not happen sitting in a Bible class on Sunday and Wednesday, or listening to a preacher twice a week. Teachers are not born, they are made with desire, work, and determination.
We cannot know how much time we have left on this side of eternity. But this is certain, each breath I take brings me closer to it. My time must be used wisely and in service to my Creator. Look around you. See your brethren who need strength; see the lost who are dying without Him; and examine your own life. Time, begin using it wisely today for the time is fast approaching “when no man can work” (Jn. 9:4).
Truth Magazine XXII: 32, p. 514
August 17, 1978