April 28, 2004
Encouragement for Today
The Gift of Time
Glynnis Whitwer, Senior Editor P31 Woman, Speaker for Proverbs 31 Ministries, firstname.lastname@example.org
“ … Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:8b NIV)
A finite resource is one that will run out someday. For instance, gasoline is a finite resource. One day our world will run out of crude oil, which is why we are paying $2.00 a gallon for gasoline now.
Our time on earth is another finite resource, although most people don’t see it as such. In fact, most of us think we’ve got all the time in world. The truth is, that each of us has a limited amount of time in our lives. In fact, the last time I checked, the death rate was still hovering at 100%.
Time is a free gift, but God asks us to use it wisely. God is generous with His gifts, but He hopes we will use them for His purposes, and He expects us to give them away. God doesn’t give with the same intent that we do. If I gave my friend Ginny a sweater for her birthday, and she turned around and gave it to Janet, I would probably be annoyed when I saw Janet wearing my gift. But God isn’t like that.
God wants us to start this pattern of giving, by offering our gifts back to Him first, then to others. Not because God needs our money, homes, or time. But by offering our gifts back to God, we show that we trust Him to provide for our every need. We also show God that we surrender to His will in our lives.
Of all God’s gifts, time might be the most valuable. The greatest acts of mercy, kindness and boldness start with someone taking the time to make them happen. People are willing to pay thousands of dollars for time management seminars, organizational products and services to figure out how to get more time in their life, or at least, make the most of what they’ve got.
So the question for today is, what are you doing with the time you’ve got left? You can hold on tightly to it, and focus your time on your own desires. Or, you can give it away to the glory of God.
There’s an amazing mathematical principle that God applies when we give something away with a generous heart. Somehow, He multiplies it so we always have enough to give more. So, maybe time isn’t a finite resource; at least not in God’s economy.
My prayer for today:
Lord, you know the time I have left on this earth. I pray that you would help me spend my time on your purposes. Help me see my time as a gift, and not something that I have earned and deserve. I ask for wisdom to discern good choices.
Consider if your schedule reflects godly time management. Do you spend time on commitments that might not be in line with God’s will for you? How can you give God more of your time?
What do you spend the most time on in a given week?
Does your schedule reflect your priorities? If not, what’s out of alignment with God’s will for your life?
How have you been stingy with the time God has given you?
Is there something you know God wants you to do, but you haven’t taken the time to do it? What is it?
How can you serve God best this week with your time?
Romans 11:36 “Everything comes from God alone. Everything lives by His power, and everything is for His glory.” (LB)
Esther 4:14 “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this.” (NIV)
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”
Mark 10:45 “For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many." (NRS)
P31 Woman Magazine by Proverbs 31 Ministries
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