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Who’s Killing Who?

Hector Berlioz jars me with these words — "Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils." Methuselah lived longer than anyone on record, but at long last, time killed him. And so we read in Genesis. 5:27 - "So all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years; and he died." Sometimes people say they are just "killing time," but let me say it again — time cannot be killed. Instead of killing time, every second carries us further along the river of time that in the end spills out into the infinite ocean of eternity. Every day we live, twenty four non-renewable hours disappear, never to be seen again, no matter how hard or long we search for them. We can use time or abuse time, but we delude ourselves if we think we are killing time. With every tick-tock of the clock time is slowly running out. In the words of the wise woman from Tekoa, spoken to King David long ago in 2 Samuel 14:14a, "For we will surely die and become like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again." Let us not deceive ourselves. In spite of all the marvelous advances in medicine and all the hype about better health and better health care and extended life spans, the passing of time eventually kills us. All of us.

So, the Bible admonishes us to make the most of the time God gives us. Our most precious treasure is not silver and gold but time. Daily there are thieves who seek to steal this treasure. That's why the apostle Paul's counsel concerning time in Ephesians 5:15-16 is so crucial — "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." The English Standard Version translates verse 16 of this passage, "making the best use of the time, because the days are evil." Somebody said our days are like identical suitcases — all the same size, but some people can pack more into them than others. We pack our days in modern America, that's for sure. A thousand things, and not all of them bad in themselves, call for our time and attention. Spiritual wisdom demands we keep an eye on what we are packing into our minutes and hours and days. What are you doing to redeem and make the best use of your time? Jesus made the best use of His time. John 9:4 reveals His heavenly perspective on the use of time - "I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work." Jesus was never hurried, but He didn't just "kill time." He used it toward life's great end — to do the will of God in His life. How about you? Are you packing the best things into the suit cases we call days? Or are changes in order to make better use of time? Will this be the year you read the Bible through from cover to cover, or will trivial pursuits soak up major chunks of your time? Will you carry through on the resolution to attend worship more faithfully and be involved in the church more fully and "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness" (Matthew 6:33)? Do you need to use more time to be with your family instead of at work? The year 2014 will fly by just as swiftly as all the years before. We can't afford to kill time this year because time will be killing us. Make the most of your time in 2014 by living for God's glory.

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ