Scripture text: Ephesians 5:15-17
By Kemi O.
"How are we investing the time the Lord has given us?First of all, let's define the word "Steward"
A Steward is a person, for example a manager of the affairs of another person. In the case of a believer, we are managers of the affairs of God on earth. Everything we possess e.g. our talents, spiritual gifts, skills, wealth, health, time is from and the time will come when we shall all stand before God and give an account of all these things and more. Matthew 12:36. Everyone on earth have been given equal amount of time to utilize, i.e. we all have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to use and the question is how are we spending those precious times He has given to us. The Lord reveals in His word in our main text that we need to make the best of every opportunity, redeem the times because the days are evil. Needless to say, the end is very near and satan, his demons and his servants are working tirelessly day and night to accomplish their evil goals and what are we believers, His servants who are ambassadors of God on earth doing with our own time in these last days.
Ladies, we know that our time on earth is just temporary because we have a permanent home awaiting us. None of us know how much time we each have left on this earth, but our prayer is that He will satisfy us with long life and we shall live to fulfill our divine purpose as His word reveals in Psalm 118: 17 and Psalm 91:16. Unfortunately, numerous people, even Christians are not valuing this time given to us; I believe it is so ignorant and immature to waste the time God has given to us especially now, more than ever but we see it happening every day. You will see people wasting time pondering on how they are going to hurt someone, how they are going to retaliate against that former spouse, fiance, friend, who betrayed me, or how they will make someone suffer by turning everyone against them, all sorts of evil thinking even in the Body of Christ. It is so sad. We fail to realize that once that year, month, day, season has passed, it is not recoverable. Many of our worldly possessions can be replaced or restored, a woman who lost a child will not be able to get that particular child back, but the Lord is able to instead bless her with more children afterward, our health can be restored to a certain degree also, but not so with time, once it is gone, no man has the power to turn back the clock.
In Ephesians 2:1-4, here Paul is addressing us believers concerning the time, we were still living in darkness, for we were blinded by the works of the flesh and was oblivious to the devices of the enemy, therefore living our lives in a selfish manner until the Lord saved us by His grace and so for many children of God who have had a few regrets, these were the period of their wasted years, missed opportunities. For some of us, like myself, my mistakes were made while as an immature believer who thought that she could enjoy both worlds ( Lukewarm Christian) but realized years later that there's no peace or joy living that way. If it were possible, I am sure, we will go back in time to re-do it all but as great as it sounds, we know it is impossible to do, for only God has the power to restore lost years according to His word in Joel 2:25. I also believe that our God, who is always in the know because He is omniscient had purposed our lives to turn out in a certain way and not the way we had planned because of His divine plan for our lives. Without that mistake, which may be part of our preparation or training process, we may not be able to fulfill God's purpose for our lives. We always have to remember that He is always in control and nothing happens without His approval and also He is the God of a second chance and now that we are spiritually mature, He will continually grant us the wisdom and ability to manage our time effectively for His glory.
It is the will of God that we make the best of the time given to us, for He does not want us to spend so much of our time on earthly or worldly matters but rather invest our valuable time and all He has given us into His Kingdom plan. We must strive to live a life of balance where all our activities both spiritual and earthly/ secular are prioritized according to God's will. Even though He has made us managers of our time, He is still the Owner of it and demands that we invest it wisely after all, He does desire for us to prosper here on earth and enjoy all He has given us according to III John 2, but we must learn to put Him first above all everything and everyone else. God wants us to prioritize our time well so that all that He has planned for us shall be fulfilled. There is nothing wrong with achieving the good things of life which include financial success, a good education, marriage, having babies etc. these are all blessing from the Lord but He desires for us to seek Him first which goes back to prioritizing. We are not just here to accomplish these things, and just enjoy life but we are created for a purpose and we each have our own assignment to complete before we are called home to glory. Even King Solomon, after spending most of his time acquiring wealth, knowledge, power etc., he came to the conclusion that all of it was temporal, it was vanity and that seeking, worshipping God and doing His will was the uttermost and most important thing of all, for the reward was eternal.
Beloved, the time has come for us to examine our lives on a daily basis if possible, for it is important to start paying attention to what we are really doing with this time of ours. We need to either begin adding more spiritually minded activities to our lives and subtracting more worldly activities from our daily routine. What do I mean? Do you spend more time watching secular programs on TV or surfing the Internet than you do studying the Bible and reading Christian literature ? If the answer is yes, then it is time to make a change. Do you spend more time on the phone with friends talking about irrelevant things or do you spend time encouraging and praying for others on the phone, online, in person etc. If your answer is yes, it is time to repent. Do you spend time working 80 hours a week, therefore no longer having time for Sunday church service or any type of Christian fellowship, if the answer is also yes, it is time to repent, for the Word of God admonishes us in Hebrews 10:25, not to forsake the assembly or gathering of the brethren. Are you spending time putting things off, i.e. procrastination, things you know that needs to be taking care of today but you keep saying .. I have more time, I will postpone to next week, next month. If the answer is yes, you need to repent; tomorrow is not promised for even the Bible warns us in James 4:13-15, that we should not boast about tomorrow, since we have no clue if that day will ever come for us. Every day we read in the papers or hear on the news, how people are just dying in great numbers all around the world, both young and old. These people never knew death will come knocking so soon. Each day we are being given the gift of time and we need to appreciate the Lord for it and strive to make the best of each day. May the Lord help us in Jesus name.
Let us look at how we can be good stewards of our time in these evil days;
1). By seeking God’s will in prayer regarding how to manage our time wisely. Ephesians 5: 16-17
2). By feeding regularly on the Word of God and also reading biblically inspired books, articles that will teach us on how to invest our time well.
3). by becoming heavenly minded. Our goal as believers is to prepare our spirit and soul for eternity and so it is imperative that we invest our time in activities that will earn us eternal results. E.g. Attend worship services regularly; See Hebrews 11:25 , pray for others often (intercession), reach out to the lost through evangelism, sharing your own personal testimony of what the Lord has done for you, show love to others through giving, reaching out to others in their time of need. In a nutshell, we need to give more of our time and resources for the sake of the Kingdom willingly, however way the Lord leads us.
4) By being accountable to God for our time; we need to always be conscious of the fact we, believers, His servants are to be accountable to God on how we spend our time here on earth just as we are accountable to our boss in the office. Our light has to shine for Him every day so that He can take the glory as it states in Matthew 5: 16.
Beloved, let me conclude by encouraging us today to be sensitive to the time God has given us for we are living in evil times and God is really concerned more than ever about how we invest this precious time given to us. Let us not allow the enemy to rob us any longer of our time but we must live according to God’s plan for our lives. The whole purpose of being a good steward of our time is so that we can enjoy not just the earthly benefits, the Lord has prepared for us but most especially the eternal or heavenly benefits awaiting us which results from serving God faithfully with all that He has given us. We should strive to be like the servant in Matthew 25:20-21, whose master praised and rewarded Him for investing wisely. Today, let us endeavor to make the best of every opportunity God brings our way so that the name of the Lord shall be glorified in our lives.