A Brief Meditation for the Month

January 2018

As we take our leave of the old year and enter the new, we are aware of the passing of time. How true the oft used adage is, “time stands still for no man.” Silently and yet persistently time just keeps passing. Time does not slow in its pace as it passes, yet we do. It does not lose its vitality to persist in its movement, but alas, we do. We cannot hold time back, and very often we hear the complaint, “there are just not enough hours in the day.” It seems we all want more time for the things we enjoy, or the activities we find pleasure in, or the schemes and plans we wish to complete. As it passes, so we measure everything by it; hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries, millenniums; and of course, our own life span. The ancient sage, Job; referring to his own passing life said, “Now my days are swifter than a post: (runner) they flee away,…They are passed away as the swift ships.” (Job 9:25&26). If we think rationally, we will all concur with the sentiments of Job; but what then ought to be the effect of such a reality upon us from day to day?

The great law-giver, and prophet of the Old Testament, Moses, requested that God would “teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12). We all stand in need of divinely bestowed wisdom to make proper and profitable use of our time, and our lives in this world. True Christians will want to make the best use of their God-given time. They will desire to avoid wasting it as much as possible, and yet honesty will compel them to acknowledge their foolish misuse of their time on numerous occasions. When the apostle Paul wrote his epistle to the Ephesian believers, he appealed to them to behave wisely, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Eph. 5:16). What Paul wanted the Ephesians to understand, was that there had been so much time wasted and lost, during their unconverted days in the service of Satan, that it was their duty, as it were, to claw back as much time as possible. Humanly speaking, this is an impossibility: nevertheless, the sincere children of God, will lament much wasted time in their past lives, and will earnestly seek to make up for it as far as possible, with greater effort, diligence, and consistency, in the use of what time is left available to them, to serve Christ, and live for his glory.

One of the Lord’s servants, at the end of a life devoted to the service of Christ in missionary labour, testified that if he had a thousand lives to live, he would live them all in the service of Christ. That surely is the spirit that ought to motivate every believer. When we look beyond this earthly scene, to the eternal glory awaiting the Lord’s dear people, we must appreciate that we will never regret giving too much time to the service of our Redeemer. However, when we reach the end of our little pilgrimage through this world, will we look back with regret that we wasted so much time in the pursuit of fleeting vanities, when we could have done more for the Saviour? Remember, “life itself will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”

G. G. Hutton.