Time

Time

Ben F. Parmer

A past contributor to the magazine, Mr. Ben F. Parmer of Burlington, Colorado, is — among other things — the speaker on the Family Bible Hour, a weekly radio broadcast eminating from Burlington.

Time is the most valuable thing a person can spend. Some say it’s money, pleasure, boring or a drag. Is it a liability, an asset, joy, serving Christ, etc.? I suggest time is opportunity; opportunity to be saved, to serve the Lord.

Time. It is something you possess “now” but time is passing. Tomorrow is uncertain (James 5:14).

Time comes from God. It is limited, it is precious, it is wonderful if used right; it is damaging if used wrongly and lived without Christ. It is better to have not lived than to die without Christ.

A man called me by phone. He said, “We have been trying to contact you for two hours. My mother is in the hospital dying and she wants to see you.” I knew she had been an unbeliever and even hostile to the Gospel. I rushed to the hospital only to be told, “She died three minutes ago.” “Behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2). If you are unsaved, delay may cost you your soul (Heb. 2:3). Christ died for your sins. Jesus said, “Will you now believe?” “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

When I was a young man I saw in a business office a motto I have never forgotten: “Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.”

You may foolishly spend a few dollars and replace them. Time wasted can never be replaced. We often hear someone say, “I wasted my time.” Procrastination is the thief of time.

Today we hear a lot about living on a fixed income. Many Christians wisely budget their fixed income for groceries, clothing, rent, house payments or whatever else is important but fail to give the best priorities in budgeting their time. We all are living on a fixed amount of time, twenty-four hours a day, no more, no less. Do you budget your time, giving priority to things eternal?

Nearly everyone does some budgeting. Some budget their money. The wise preacher budgets his time to be sure he says what he thinks is the most important. The editor tries to use his limited space wisely. He may even shorten some articles. There is not time to do everything. Give priority to that which is most important.

Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His Word. Her sister, Martha, was busy serving alone. She complained to the Lord and said, “Bid her, therefore, that she help me.” In reply Jesus said, “One thing is needed (has a higher priority than serving), and Mary hath chosen that good part.” Mary chose the best use of her time. God says, “And that knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep” (Romans 13:10). The Paraphrased Bible says, “Another reason for right living is this; you know how late is, time is running out.” “Wake up,” Christian friend. Procrastination is the thief of time.

We should budget our time, giving top priority to use it to bring glory to the Lord, blessing to man, and eternal reward. For budgeting your time here are some priority suggestions:

Take time for private Bible reading and communion with God, at least a few minutes a day.

Family devotions are an important priority.

If you have children, remember they are a gift from God. Raise them for God (Ephesians 6:4).

Make time to attend all the regular church gatherings. Your presence is not only commanded by God (Hebrews 10:25), but it is needed (1 Corinthians 12:21-22).

Allot time to be a helper (one of the gifts). Whether you are a teacher or one who cuts the grass, fulfill your job. “It is required in stewards that a man be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2). If you are a teacher, take time to prepare to teach, to know your children, their birthdays, interests, spiritual needs and their parents. Don’t miss class if you can help it. Children tend to think Sunday School is not important if their teacher is often absent.

Budget your time to write that letter, enclosing a tract; make that visit, help that neighbour, etc.

Budget your vacation so you at least don’t miss Sunday services; give out some tracts, witness, etc.

Take time for proper rest, but don’t sleep in when you should be up and out.

Sincerely ask the Lord’s guidance. Paul prayed, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6). The Lord responded immediately and gave Paul instructions. I wrote a dear missionary whose wife had just died. I said, “It is not only comforting to know that she is in glory but that she lived her life for Christ.” Let us walk in wisdom, redeeming the time (Colossians 4:5), as this sister did.

“Only one life, ‘twill soon be passed, only what’s done for Christ will last.”

By giving the right priorities to your time you will some day hear the Lord say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).