How to Use the Time

In Ecclesiastes 3:1 we’re told, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Each of us has been given the same amount of time per week. Each of us gets 168 hours—whether you are a king or a peasant. Each of us should be spending roughly 56 of those hours sleeping; it’s how God created us; it’s what we need to not only survive, but flourish. That leaves 112 hours. 40 of which, most of you are probably going to work, whether it’s at home or at some other place of employment. And so that leaves you 72 hours—plenty of time—to effectively use your time for God. We’re told in Ephesians 5:16 to make the best use of the time—or to redeem it, or buy it up—for the days are evil.

Now, much of what we see in Ecclesiastes 3 happens outside of our control, for God determines a time for everything. Yet, that does not give us permission to adopt a fatalistic, ‘Oh well, I have no power’ attitude, and therefore do nothing. In fact, we’re to do quite the contrary. Because we are not ultimately in control of time, we must make the best use of the time we have been given, remembering that there is One in control of time: Jesus Christ. He existed before time began, entered time and space as a man. Yet, despite the fact that He was in time, He was not subject to time. No, rather He controlled it. In Mark 1:15, at the beginning of His public ministry, He said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”   Throughout His ministry He let others know that His time had not yet come—meaning it was not time to reveal His true person and purpose, that He was the Son of God, who had come to die for the sins of His people. And then in Mark 14:41, as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, He said, “The hour has come.” And when it had, He went to the cross for you and for me. In all of that, He was in control of time, for He is God. But, you and I are not. We are subject to time and space, with eternity in our hearts, yet with no ability to determine the beginning from the end. As you contemplate the time you have or don’t have this week, remember your need for the One who controls it all.