Lessons - Devotional - "Time"

“Don’t you have anything better to do?”

How many of us have asked, or have been asked, this question?
Personally, I haven’t heard this question in a while, but I did several times in my early teenage years… usually I just shrugged back.
Was there something better to do than watching TV, playing video games and “hanging out”?
Have you noticed that this question is usually asked by someone who is busy, and perhaps a little frustrated, with someone else who appears to not appreciate their time enough?

Time is among the most precious gifts we have.
No one can purchase more time on this world - regardless of their financial resources or public status.
That’s why Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:15-16 to “Be very careful then, how you live – not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”

Most of us have heard someone say that when you are older and looking back on your life, you will never say that you wished you had spent more time at the office. Rightly so!
What will you wish you had done more of during your life though? More sleep? Watched more movies? Spent more time on Facebook and YouTube?
When the apostle Paul looked back, he was able to write in II Tim 4:7-8 - “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

So, what is worthwhile to do with one’s time?
We have the written account of a man with much more wisdom and resources than we have, who searched for the answer to this question.
He discovered that wisdom, pleasure, work, advancement, and riches all have their time and place, and they are blessings from God, but they are meaningless by themselves in the “big picture”.
His conclusion in Ecclesiastes 12:13 is “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man”.

Notice it isn’t “give up pleasure and just work hard”. That is what Satan wants us to believe so the Christian walk will seem awful.
Many parents fall into the trap of sacrificing fun time with family because they feel guilty leaving work or home responsibilities undone.

How do I focus on family and job and church and health and finances and on and on..?
You don’t. You focus on God. Seek Him and cast every care upon Him. You can’t do it all. Apart from God, you can’t even breathe God! Why do you think you can be successful at solving all your problems, and then do Bible study and prayer in your leftover time?

You can’t make all the right choices and you can’t get everything done perfectly.
It is good to work hard, but if it is done with your own effort & determination, through only a motivation of guilt and obligation, then only frustration and misery can result.
Is that really helping you? Or helping anyone? Is that what God wants for you? Did He send His Son to free you from the misery of sin so that you could be miserable and overwhelmed with responsibilities?

The only solution and hope we have, is submitting to God, who created both us and time itself. Give our lives to Him, and stop trying to take them back. Devote time in study so that we will know how best to make use of the time we have been given, and which we will have to give an account for.

In our temporal existence, a moment that has past… is gone forever.
The impact of that moment does carry on though, and the repercussions of it can carry through our lives and even beyond!

Long after your mortal life has ended, if you find yourself in eternal torment and separation from God, how badly will you regret having put off searching the scriptures and put off obeying the gospel “until the right time”?

Perhaps you have already obeyed the gospel plan of salvation. Wonderful! Now ask yourself this:
If your friend or love one passes on from this life, without you having shared the gospel with them, how comforting will it be to either of you that you haven’t missed an episode of your favorite TV show for 3 seasons?

If you are not using your time wisely, the fix is to focus on God
If you are overwhelmed with too much to do, the fix is still to focus on God.
“Don’t you have anything better to do?” Not if you are focusing on God..

If you need to respond to the invitation, please do so as we stand and sing.