January 1, 1987 Issue
By Brian Burns

What would we do if someone offered us $86,400 to spend every day? The only condition of the offer was that you must spend every cent of the money in one day to receive the next days deposit. Every day you had to spend the very same amount of money, how would you use your money - wisely, generously, or wastefully?

Let's compare the way we would use our money to the way we use our time each day. Every day God deposits 86,400 seconds into our daily account. By itself, one second seems as insignificant as one dollar. But when grouped together those little things become valuable. In reality the second is more valuable than any amount of money because the entire earths treasure can not buy even one. Every day we are given a treasure to spend and we do spend it. How do you use your daily treasure of time?

Even Satan is conscious of time and his use of it, Rev 12:12. He does not know when the end of time will be any more than we do. He does realize though that his time is limited. Satan has nothing to look forward to but punishment. He values his remaining time, realizing that once a minute passes it can never be recovered. Are we as concerned about our "short time" as Satan is?

Time is a tool. It is of no value unless properly used. The householder of Matthew 20 urged men to use the day productively and promised them fair payment. The fourth time he went out he could not understand why men wasted their time instead of working. In verse 6 he asked the question, "why stand ye here all the day idle?"

Our Lord Jesus did not waste time either as we are told in John 9:4. Jesus had divine power while in the form of man, yet his work was also governed by time. The life of Jesus is an example of the "wise" in Eph 5:15-16 that are redeeming the time. In Thayer's Greek Lexicon P.220 he defines redeeming here as - to make a wise and sacred use of every opportunity for doing good.

Time must be used wisely to obtain salvation. We all have responsibilities that concern our salvation. Peter told the Jews on Pentecost, "Save yourselves from this untoward generation," Acts 2:40. These people used their time and opportunities wisely and must have sensed the urgency in Peters speech because " ... the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls," verse 41. Peter did not tell them to go home and think it over or to take their time, he said "save yourself" - take action now. There are dangers in delays and warnings against them. Paul makes reference to Isaiah 49:8 as he writes in II Cor 6:2 "..behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."

The writer of Hebrews stresses the need to act quickly when we are called, Heb 3:13-15. For the unbeliever, delays cause a hardened heart and decreases the possibilities of ever obeying the gospel. Remember Felix? "Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee," Acts 24:25. Imagine a man literally shaken yet he let the time slip by and the convenient season never arrived. The same is true when the Christian waits for that convenient season to do the work he knows needs to be done. We are all familiar with the old saying, "There's no time like the present."

The scriptures give numerous warnings about the brevity and frailty of human life. The aged we know and love will tell us that life has passed so quickly. Our life should begin with a knowledge of our Creator, Ecc 12:1, so that we may use our precious time wisely and "apply our hearts to wisdom," Ps 90:10-12. The mightiest of men are as dust or a flower that comes and goes with the wind, Ps 103:14-16. James recorded one of the most familiar passages regarding mans frail existence in James 4:13-15, "For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."

Never count on tomorrow when eternity is at stake. We are not promised another second here on this earth. How easy it is, though, to take tomorrow for granted. The sun has always risen in the past and we assume it always will.

The story is told of a man who once dreamed that he was standing in the midst of a great crowd of evil spirits, with Satan, their lord, sitting over them upon his throne. The arch enemy of mankind was seeking some new way in which he might beguile, entrap, and lead to eternal ruin the souls of men.

"Who," the king of the evil spirits cried from his throne, "will go to earth and persuade men to accomplish the ruin of their souls?" One of the dark spirits volunteered to go, and upon being asked how he would accomplish his work, replied, "I will persuade them that there is no God." But Satan answered, "That will never do; for you can never persuade the majority of men that there is no God. They may make the denial, but down deep in their hearts they will not believe it. God created man and he will therefore always believe that there is a God; for the voice of God speaks in His very nature."

Then a second dark spirit came forward and said, "I will go." When the prince of demons asked him about his plan, he said, "I will persuade men that there is no heaven." "No," replied Satan, "that will not do either; for men expect a future life. The very instincts of their hearts lead them to long for the happy land from whence we have forever fallen."

A third demon came forward with this plan, "I will persuade them that there is no hell." "No," said the devil, "your plan will not work, you cannot persuade men that there is no hell. There is too much suffering in the world, and too many pangs of conscience among men for them to believe that. We must have some other plan, something that will appeal to all men, of all the ages in all conditions, and of all beliefs."

It was then that a fourth dark spirit came forward and whispered to Satan, "I will go, and I will tell them that there is no hurry; tomorrow will be time enough!" "Go," cried the evil one, "and my presence be with you!"

Time is precious and fleeting. How do you spend your daily treasure?

Other OPA article links:

Time (Redeeming Of);

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