It doesn’t seem like that long ago that these mason jars were full of M&Ms, and I was standing in front of the congregation preaching about being intentional with the time God has given us. Now, my one jar has one M&M left in it. You see, each M&M represents one week of time between now and when my kids graduate from high school. The jar with one M&M is for my oldest son Joel who will graduate next week. The other jar that has 53 M&Ms represents my youngest son Jake.
As I look at these jars, I am reminded of how quickly time flies. It seems like just yesterday that I was holding my newborn sons in my arms. Now, they are both grown men about to embark on their own lives.
Everything in this life is time-bound. Time is a commodity that you can’t stop, slow down, or make more of. So it is crucial that we invest it intentionally to make the most of what God has given us. Whether it is the time we have to invest in our kids, with our spouse, on our job, in our education, or on a week of vacation, intention is important.
Ephesians 5:15-17 says, “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.”
Here are a few tips to help us use the time God has given us for his glory.
- “Understand what the Lord wants you to do.” The time we have is a gift from God, and He has given us all both general and specific callings. Seek God and the purposes he has for your life. Explore God’s Word, be dependent on the Spirit’s guidance, and seek wise counsel from other believers. To learn more about yourself, including how God created you and what He created you to do, I often recommend SHAPE. SHAPE is a class at Bridgeway that helps you discover how your Spiritual Gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences can be uniquely used for God’s glory.
- “Be careful how you live.” Be a Godly example others can follow. Jesus calls His followers to be His representatives, showing His love to those around us. HOW we live is like Christ, an extension of His mercy, compassion, grace, and love.
- “Don’t live like a fool.” A common theme when the Bible talks about a fool is thinking or living for the short term, the easy way, or temporary things. Don’t live for the here and now; make the most of the here and now with the future in mind. Invest in things that will last, our relationship with God and people.
- “Make the most of every opportunity.” In our hustle-and-grind culture, we often think of this as never stop working, but making the most of the opportunities God gives us doesn’t always mean pushing forward as hard as we can. Rember there is a time for every season under heaven (Ecc. 3). It is equally as important to rest and fully invest in relaxation in your regularly scheduled time off as it is to grind during times of productivity. Rember God set an example for us resting on the seventh day after he created the world.
I am glad I invested the time I have in my two sons. I am proud of them and the young men they have become. I will continue to invest in them and trust God to guide their lives.
I know that I will never be able to get back the time that has already passed. But I can make the most of the time I have. I will spend time with my God, family, and friends. I will pursue my God-given passions. And I will make this world better.
In this “Make It Better” ministry year, I encourage you to do the same. Making the most of the time you have is a choice. It’s a choice to live your life intentionally and to make this world better. Choose wisely.
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