So here we are, at the last Sunday of 2012. I challenge you to think back over the past 363 days and ponder this simple question, “How did you use your time?” As we look forward to this next year, 2013, I wonder how we’ll do this year? Will we be as busy? Will we make any better use of our time? When this next year is over, will we be looking back with joy, or with regret? Will we be looking at the future with anticipation, or with dread?
There is a passage of Scripture that I believe can be of help to us as we look forward to 2013 if we’ll listen to it and apply it. The passage is Ephesians 5:15 17,
“Be very careful, then, how you live not as unwise but as wise,
making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Therefore do not be foolish,
but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
I think that in this passage the Apostle Paul presents some important lessons that we need to consider.
First simply that OUR TIME ON THIS EARTH IS LIMITED. The Psalmist wrote, “Show me, O Lord, my life’s end & the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life” (39:4). “The length of our days is 70 years or 80, if we have the strength…they quickly pass, & we fly away” (90:10).
Second, MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY. Paul tells us that we must make “the most of every opportunity.” And he gives a reason, “because the days are evil.” We’re overloaded with commitments. We’re also overloaded with possessions. We’re overloaded in almost every area of our lives. Are we making the most of every opportunity? Or are we so overloaded we couldn’t see opportunity if it hit us straight in the face?
Thirdly, UNDERSTAND WHAT THE LORD’S WILL IS. God clearly tells us His will for us in His word. We don’t have to guess or gravel around in the dark. They can be summarized as the following:
- SAVED – 1 Tim 2:3-4; 2 Pet 3:9
- SPIRIT-FILLED – Eph 5:17-18, Col 3:16, Gal 5:22-23
- SANCTIFIED (Separated from Sin) – 1 Thess 4:3-7, 2 Cor 6:17, John 17:17
- SUBMISSIVE – James 4:7, Eph 5:21, Heb 13:17, 1 Pet 2:13-15, Rom 13
- SUFFERING (Share in Christ’s Sufferings) 1 Pet 3:17, Phil 1:29; 2 Tim 3:12
- SAYING THANKS TO THE LORD – 1 Thess 5:18
But there are 2 things you can do to help with this, 1) establish your priorities and 2) learn how to live for today. The two greatest enemies of time are regrets for things we did in the past and anxiety about what will happen to us in the future. Many of us are living either in the past or in the future.
We all have the same amount of time, 8760 hours will be given to us to manage in 2013, how will you do? Oh yea…and Happy New Year!