By Abe Laurenzo, RM-1/C, LCI 47, 409
NASB: James 4:14,15; John 1:12; II Cor 6:2; Prov 27:1; I Tim 6:17; I Cor 2:9; Isiah 64:4; Heb 4:13 Amplified version Ephesians 5:15-17
We all have the same amount of time each day, how we use that time defines how we live life. It is good to made short term and long- term plans for success in business or personal life. We plan and trust our goals will be met.
During my career as a Purchasing Manager for the Us Dept. of Defense, my division was subjected to “time and motion” studies to determine the efficiency and relative productivity of my division. I am not suggesting a formal study for our personal life. However, as I read and study my Bible, I am reminded of the importance of time and how quickly it passes. I am now in my 94th year and it seems to have flown by. Take note of James 4:14,15. “What is your life? It is like a vapor that appears for a little while and vanishes away.” The brevity of time is emphasized in this scripture. Therefore, as verse 15 reads, we should say, if the Lord wills, we will do this or that. Considering what we stated above, let us see what the great Apostle Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesians 5:15-17 “Look carefully how you walk, live purposefully and worthwhile, and accurately, not as the unwise or witless but as wise intelligent people making most of the time, buying up each opportunity because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be vague, thoughtless and foolish, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” Words like these, grab me and maybe an alarm goes off within you also. We sense a waste of time and energy. Perhaps the time slipped by with an opportunity while I was day dreaming. Verse 14 just before these quotes reads “Wake up o sleeper.” We say “Get with it man, etc.” That’s the wake-up call to the time wasted as he drifted thru life. Someone said, “There may be a tendency to have time nagging us rather than our managing it”, and just drifting along hoping for the best.
The words of the Apostle quoted above did not come from a book on time management. They come from the book of books-the Bible.
You may remember the old song “Time waits for no one, it Passes You By”. In this New Year 2019 we should use some of the time to be with family and friends, and to help others.
The resolution should be the oath. Some of us learned as Boy Scouts “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and country and to obey the Scout Law, to help others at all time, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.” That is a tall order for anyone to keep without the help of God, especially to “obey the Scout Laws” which say “A scout if helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.” I learned those words as a 12-year old and never forgot them in my youth, my military life and to this day. Except for God’s grace, mercy and wisdom how does one tap into this power perform? The Bible says in John 1:12 “As many as receive Him (Jesus) to them He gives the power to be called children of God, to those who believe on his name—Who are born of God.” Apart from God’s power we cannot begin to keep that stated in the Scout Oath and Laws, but the Bible teaches that God gives those who believe His Holy Spirit who enables us to do so and please him. With this new life comes power to fulfill our commitment to do what we resolve in 2019. And to do what was seemingly impossible and difficult before.
It is important to order our lives intelligently using our time to a good life for us and our loved ones; but preparation for our eternal life should be of immediate interest. The Bible tells us “Now is the acceptable time, now is the day of salvation.” II Cor 6:2.
We have time now, but we don’t know about tomorrow. Solomon said in Prov 27:1 “Do not boast about tomorrow for you do not know what a day will bring forth.” James echoes the same truth when he says, “Life is a vapor that quickly vanishes.”
God wants us to enjoy our time and has given us the simple formula in his work-the Bible. He isn’t in heaven ready to rain on our parade.
Obedience to what he has laid out in the Bible will give us the best possible life here and in the hereafter.
Take a good look at what God has given us. The Apostle Paul in I Tim 6:17 states “God has freely given us all things to enjoy.” His is the giver of all good gifts. If the beauty we see around us in so enthralling just think of the surpassing beauty prepared by God for those who love Him. The Bible says in I Cor 2:9; Isiah 64:4 “It is written, eye has not seen, nor ear heard neither have entered the heart of man the things which God has prepared for them that love Him. There is reward beyond our comprehension at the end of God’s “time and motion study” for obedience to his will.
Heb 4:13 remind us “There is no creation hiding from his sight; But all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with Him with whom we have to do.”
In a book by Charles Swindell he relates a simple formula presented to Charles Schwab, President of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation years ago. In answer to Schwab’s request “show me how I can get more things done with my time.” His consultant, Ivy Lee, said “Make a list of the most important things you want to accomplish. Start with #1 till that is done, then recheck your priorities and start with #2 and 3. Make this a practice each working day. Pass it on to those under you. Try it as long as you like, then send me a check for what you think it is worth.” After trying that for several weeks, Schwab sent him a check for $25,000. A simple formula, but very useful in our business or personal life. However, don’t send me a check. I stole the idea from those named above.
Ebenezer (I Samuel 7:12)