We Don’t Have The Time?
by Bill Burk
Several years ago I had the opportunity to spend some time with an old friend of mine from high school. We went for a drive in the same Ford truck in which we had driven around town so many years before. As we reminisced about our youth I thought I might struck up a conversation regarding spiritual things. At the time I was preaching in the same area where he lived and so I asked him to bring his family to worship services. He seemed to grow a bit uncomfortable at the suggestion and responded by saying. “We would like to go to church sometime, but right now we just don’t have the time.” He then, and not too inconspicuously, took the conversation in another direction. I have thought about his response quite frequently since then. “We just don’t have the time.” With this in mind, we might ask, “Is such an excuse valid?”
1. God is the giver of time. He is the one who grants life (Job ) or, in other words, time. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights” (James ). Time is one of those good and perfect gifts. God demands our worship and service (Matthew ; John ). How strange for one to think he doesn’t have time to do what the giver of all time desires of him.
2. Each of us finds time to do what he wants to do. The Lord blesses each person with 168 hours per week. No one gets anymore, no one gets any less. The fact that numerous folks “find time” to worship God says that every person can do the same if he so wills. This is where the real problem lives. A refusal to worship with the saints or serve the Lord at other times is not a matter of time but of the will (cf. Joshua 24:15). Each one of us determines how we will fill our 168 hours. Most people, sadly, will choose to fill them with that which is eternally profitless (Matthew -14).
3. We will give an account of our time. Since, as we have already said, time is a blessing from God, we can rest assured that we will give an account of how we use it (Romans ). As stewards of the time God gives, as it is the case in all things, we must be found faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2). When the Master returns, will he find that we have been faithful or unprofitable servants (Matthew 25:14-30)?
4. Time lost is time never to be regained. We certainly need to be taught to number our days because our days are undoubtedly numbered (Psalms 90:9-12). None of us knows when we will die (Genesis 27:2, Hebrews ). Every precious moment wasted is a moment we will never get back. Therefore, it is imperative that we make the main thing, the main thing. It is of the utmost importance that we focus on the eternal much more than we do the temporal (Matthew -21; 2 Corinthians ). Time is of the essence. So, we dare not waste it.
We don’t have time? On the contrary, whatever time we have should be used in our service before God (Romans 12:1-2). Every waking moment should in some way be used to God’s glory (1 Corinthians ). As far as spiritual matters are concerned we should always “make time.” As far as the mundane and the carnal we should say, “We don’t have time.”