Tue November 14, 2023

By Shelly B Short

Daniel Bramlett 

My time is not my time. It never has been. If it were mine, I could borrow or trade it. I could possibly buy more of it or sell some of it. But we can’t do that, can we. We can’t gain a single minute or lose a second. We have what we have and that’s all we’ll ever have. 

God created time and He stands outside its bounds. The Bible tells us He can see in it and even be a part of it. It also says He can see beyond it, like from its beginning to its end. Remember “one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.” God has never been bound to time. 

Why is this important? Because we act like we own time. We live our days with zero thoughts about our end. In fact, we act like death is something that catches us completely off guard. Jesus says death is like a “thief in the night,” but we’ve been given an alarm! It should not shock us when we face death. Neither should it scare us when we learn that our time has shifted from the boundaries we thought we had. It’s not our time and it never has been.

If time is not ours and it is without a doubt a real, tangible thing, whose is it? Without question, time belongs to God. He establishes its limits and our schedule within it. That doesn’t eliminate our responsibilities, though. We will be held accountable for the way we used the time we were given.

The Word is filled with stories of well spend and misspent time. I think about the virgins who were ready for the groom and others who fell asleep or the men who invested their money well and the one who buried his. The one I’d like us to consider today is the story of the ones who presented themselves to God and were turned away with the words “I never knew you.”

You remember the scenario. Jesus says many will stand before Him on the day of their death and brag about all they did in His name. Prophecies delivered, demons removed, miracles enacted…all powerful reminders of the King they served (or so they thought). These people spent their days working hard, but for the wrong King. Jesus doesn’t wink when He says “Depart from me, I never knew you.” He says they will mingle in amongst the ones who call Him “Lord,” but they have no idea what they are saying. They will have spent their days serving themselves. Their works reflect their power, their words sound an awful lot like pride and arrogance, their lives are not marked with humility and grace but business and independence. In another place Jesus says “They have all the reward they are going to get.” And what reward is that? Recognition from others. Pats on the back. Money in their pocket. A place on a resume or a mention on Facebook. Sounds awfully empty at the end, doesn’t it. Who cares how many friends we had on Facebook if we didn’t ever really know Jesus. What in the world does it matter if we gain the whole world and lose our soul. 

Time matters. How are you spending what you’ve been loaned? An answer is required. This isn’t a rhetorical question. You will stand before Jesus. I imagine it will be intimidating but also full of love and acceptance. The enemy wants me to back away and my sin causes me to hesitate, but God’s Word compels me to run to Him. The Jesus the Word reveals to me is inviting, not pushy or rude. He isn’t grading my life like a test where an 80% is required to pass. I’m sure I will cringe at the revelation of some of my wasted time and I know I will be excited for other stories to be told. All that matters because I know Him. I have a relationship with Him. That doesn’t make me special, but it does set me free from any condemnation at the end. 

I can also hear the tears of those who approach Him arrogantly only to be told “No. You cannot enter here. I don’t know you.” All the justifications in the world won’t matter then. One simple question: “Do you know me?” Forget time. All eternity hangs in the balance. Time matters. Spend it wisely. 

“Jesus, forgive me for wasting Your time. Teach me how to number my days and make the most of my moments. I want to live life for you, not for me. I want to set myself, my goals, my schedules and my independence aside and embrace You and the life You designed me to live. Please lead me today.”