'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
It is difficult to imagine going through a day using or hearing the English word "time", or one of it forms.It is even more universal in usage that the word "fix’, which has come to have double or triple meanings or applications for many Americans. It is truly amazing how a word which is an intangible, has come to be applied to so many tangibles. Reference to time ranges from every day communication to eloquent quotations by leaders, kings, and statesmen throughout history. From the ringing of an alarm clock with its "time to get up" exclamation, to the British ambassador's notorious statement just prior to World War One, "peace in our time". Time has been a VERY useful word!
Recently I was given as a gift of a complete pictorial history of World War Two naval action by the Allies. I was struck with how often a phrase or comment included an allusion to time, timing, or times, and how important "timing" was to a particular action, etc. Near the end of the video (almost fifteen hours), Ecclesiastes 3:1-9 was quoted almost in its entirety. The ebbs and flows of war was intimately joined with God’s design for time.
Time, in one grammatical form or another, is referred to in God’s Word some eight hundred times - since it is so important to Him, it must be VERY important to us...
There is a design for TIME in a general sense. And there is a more specific design for "times" in a personal sense. King David understood his personal relationship to time: "MY TIMES ARE IN YOUR HAND; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!" - Psalm 31:15.
David realized that the times in his life were in God’s hand. For him, TIMING was everything. Most of us realize upon a little reflection that time is fleeting. As is often remarked, "time flies"! The older we get, the faster it flies. Time is such an ever-present unrealized reality that it is taken for granted. And, like many things, we do so at our peril. For us, time involves three "loans": yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The first has been spent. Its gone. The second we are spending right now - this very moment. As you read these words you are spending your loan. So am I, as I write. The Third loan is conditional and is speculation on our part. God gives us these loans of time to spend for Him (John 9:4).
In these time-loans, God also loans us our children - we have such a little time to make the difference. God loans us our mates. All too soon, this loan also is "spent". Family - spiritual and physical - are only loaned to us for such a little while. Then the debt must be paid. We all desire to be loaned more times. But, like David, OUR times are also in God’s hand. There is a presumption that God has GIVEN us our times. However, God only LOANS us our times. Everything we have, are, is only a loan! It is a loan because it must be paid back. Payback time is when our lives - our "times" - are over. But God IS a giver - it is one of His titles. The only real GIFT He gives is the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38), which is a down payment and pledge and guarantee of eternal life.
Astronomers have recently concluded that there will come a "time" when there will be no more TIME. They speculate that since time, as they define it, is a dimension, at some point in the future time will somehow become full, and no longer will be. Time will end. At least in this they and God agree. Time is God’s domain. He MADE time - we can only measure it within our finite existence. God has loaned (remember, not given...) us part of it for His majestic purpose.
How are you spending your "times"...?
Our loaned time of yesterday is spent - do you need to ask forgiveness for HOW it was spent? We are not given an open-ended "line of credit". But what about TODAY - this day? What type of time has God loaned you today? What will you DO with your loan of "today"? This moment is really the only loan you can control with any certainty. The next moment is only speculation, with hopefully good intentions. Technically, there is no third "loan" - tomorrow. God has kept this one in His own power, in His time domain, and at His discretion. Tomorrow may never come...
But there are a great many options for the precious loan of time we call today! We should consider the SIGNS of our times (Matthew 16:1-3). We all need to ask what can we do today, while it is still called "today" (Galatians 6:10; Ephesians 5:10-17)! Is there a reconciliation that can be made? If we neglect or ignore an impulse of the Holy Spirit tugging at our heart, He may not provide it again. It can be simple things - making a phone call, doing a good turn, etc. Many things are possible in the NOW times. The axioms "don’t put off to tomorrow what can be done today" is certainly wise. This one is so seldom followed that it has become a point of ridicule. Do it now, and now is the time, because there is only the NOW TIME. There are times for all things, and everyone "under the sun". And there is ANOTHER "time" under the "Son" (Ecclesiastes 3:14; Revelation 20:11-15; Romans 14:11-12). Do TODAY what can to be done about YESTERDAY, and today. Lay all your TOMORROW-times at the foot of the Cross.
God was with David through all his times - so will He be for you and me. Then some day, they will ALL be just our "yesterday" times.
None of them will even be worthy of remembering...
"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind" - Isaiah 65:17
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