February 13, 2022

Make The Best Of Our Time

Passage: Psalm 90:12

Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400.  It doesn't carry over a balance from one day to the next.  Every night deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day.  What would you do?  The logical thing to do is to withdraw every single cent!  Each of us has such a bank.  Its name is Time.  Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds.  Every night it writes off the losses of what you have failed to invest to good purpose.  It doesn't carry a balance.  There are no rollover minutes with God.  If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours.  Benjamin Franklin said, “Do not squander time, for it is the stuff life is made of.”  You will agree with me – life has become a battle with time.  There are thousands of frustrated people who literally fight against the clock to get things done.  They stay up late to finish those projects which deadlines are the next day.  It's a cycle that repeats itself over and over again and it seems impossible to break out of it.  Let’s learn from God how to Make The Best Of Our Time.  From Psalm 90 we see how Moses made the best of his time.  He and God were on good speaking terms.  Listen to what God said of His servant – “My servant Moses…is faithful in all My house.  I speak with him face to face….”  Num.12: 7&8.  What can be a greater reference of any person’s life than when the God of heaven and earth approves of the way that life is lived?  It was essential to Moses that he first of all satisfied God – God was at the top of his daily list.  But then…Moses was also a great leader.  He certainly qualified to communicate God’s perspectives on time and life to the people he was called to lead.  For 40 years, under God’s supervision, he led Israel out of slavery in Egypt, through a wilderness on the way to their promised home.

What did Moses “the man of God” think about when he weighed human existence against the preciousness of life?  First he requested; almost pleaded with God – 1 Teach Us To Number Our Days.  I like the way it’s worded in the New Life Version of the bible – Teach us to understand how many days we have.”  Moses wants us to realize that our lives are like a book.  Let’s say a biography that is written of each one of us.  Each day is a new page with new information – positive or negative.  Each night that day’s information is completed.  We can’t go back to it the next day and change it.  Eventually, there will come a day when we come to the final page.  It won't be marked, "To be continued…."  No, it will be marked, "The End."  On that day we will die.  In Ecclesiastes 3: 2 reminds us of “...a time to die.”  What Moses wrote in verse 3 will come into reality for every single person on the face of the earth.  For millions it already has come into reality – “You turn people back to dust, saying, 'Return to dust, you mortals.'”  You know my friends, there are many in the world that do not live with this reality in the back of their minds.  They live as if there will always be a tomorrow; always be another opportunity.  It’s like their biography reads “Never ending.”  But the reality is – the life story will end.  A number of years ago someone made reference to a new medical term.  It was said that a seriously ill man was "pre-terminal."  It meant he was not yet terminal, but it was expected that soon he would be.  That left me thinking – Isn’t the same true of every person on the face of the earth?  When it comes right down to it, aren't we all "pre-terminal"?  Aren't we all going to die someday, unless the Lord comes back first?  And because the hour glass is running out for all of us we should ask, “How do I number my days?”  In some translations of Psalm 90: 12 we read, “Teach us to number our days aright.”  That means that you can’t just live day after day and count up all those days – no, you have to make sure that your life is lived the right way.  When the funeral procession of Dr. David Livingston moved towards the Westminster Abbey in London, a beggar came forth from the crowd and insisted that the casket be opened so that he could see the body.  The family agreed, just to get the procession moving again.  After seeing the body, the beggar said, “I attended Sunday school with David Livingston – we had the same choices before us – God or oneself.  He chose the right life – to serve God and he died a man of God.  I chose to live for myself and became a miserable beggar.”  What will be said of us when our lives are over?What will be true of how we numbered our days?

Moses tells us why we should number our days – 2 That We May Gain A Heart Of Wisdom.  Moses had some kind of comprehension of what the wise Solomon later wrote about in Ecclesiastes – about the things people chase after.  But it’s just like little children running around and trying to catch the wind.  They can try all they want, but it’s never going to happen.  Moses saw those around him as they wandered through the wilderness – they weren’t focused on God and in the end they didn’t just physically perish in the wilderness.  No, they spiritually faded.  Hundreds of years after Moses we still see those who miss the point of wisdom – their science will not get them beyond this life, because it will not pass the test of time; philosophy is useful for the ways we reason, but in the end it will cease; technology will never be stable because it changes too much.  There is only one wisdom worth mentioning – the wisdom you get when you surrender your life to God.  In Psalm 111: 10 we read, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His precepts have good understanding….”  A heart of wisdom means a heart filled with Jesus. Those who number their days aright, those who know that someday they will die, make sure about their relationship with their Maker for they know that someday they will stand before the Judge.  Those who number their days aright confess their sins and believe in their Savior. Those who number their days aright are transformed to be like Jesus.  They live with His humility, His love, His servant hood and His compassion.  The day when God’s wisdom reached our hearts was the day we realized that we needed a transformation.  We knew at the time that change was needed.  Shortly before his death, the legendary film producer Cecil B DeMille shared this beautiful incident: "One day as I was lying in a canoe, a big black beetle came out of the water and climbed up into the canoe.  I watched it with curiosity for some time.  Under the heat of the sun, the beetle proceeded to die.  Then a strange thing happened.  His glistening black shell cracked all the way down his back.  Out of it came a shapeless mass, quickly transformed into beautiful, brilliantly coloured life.  As I watched in fascination, there gradually unfolded many-coloured wings and soon a gorgeous dragonfly started dipping and soaring over the water.  He left the old life behind and went into pursuit of something new.”  When I read this story I asked myself the question, “How much of the ways of the world are we as Christians willing to leave unconditionally behind and be the new person God made us?”  Those with a heart of wisdom will look back one day and know, “I lived my life serving God and I shared the Gospel with many people.”  What is important is a life in which one has shown God’s compassion and love to those in need.  What is important is a life in which children and grandchildren have been taught to know and fear the Lord.   What is important in life is time spent in Bible reading and prayer.  No one who has gained a heart of wisdom stands at death's door boasting about position, wealth, honour, glory, and achievement in life.  At the end of life no one ever says, "I wish I spent more time at work and less time at church!"  There is a question each of us will answer in different ways, “How are we going to Make The Best Of Our Time?”  Different, because we will identify unique ways in which we individually are going to serve God.  But in the end, this question will join us together, because it’s all about the cause of God and together we all are instruments in His hands.  Let’s all strive to Make The Best Of Our Time – for God and His kingdom and for one another.


Rev. Willem H. van de Wall