Time/Timing

<<season; scheduling>>

This word has several different uses in Scripture. Jesus, who was fully attuned to His Father said, “The time has come to repent and believe...It isn’t my time yet for miracles...the right time for Me has not yet come”, while later, “My time has [now] come”. He clearly understood and knew what was appropriate for specific times and various stages of life – both His own and other peoples (Mt 26:18; Mk 1:15; Jn 2:4, 7:6,30).

1/. A period of time. “My times are in your hands” – my lifespan and place in history are determined by God (Ps 31:15, 139:16; Act 17:26). The words, “Who knows, God might have placed you is this position for such a period in history as this?” were spoken to Esther, who responded and fulfilled a pivotal role in saving the Jews from annihilation, when she co-operated with God’s purposes (Est 4:14).  Do I value my life and what God has been preparing me to do, with the emphasis not so much on the length of my life but rather my response to the events that happen to me and what I do with the gift of time?

Now is the time of God’s favour, salvation is available so receive it (Isa 55:6; 2 Cor 6:2). The Bible says, “There will be terrible times in the last days…” (2 Tim 3:1-5). It is important to understand the times we live in and, as time is short, to act wisely (1 Chr 12:32; 1 Cor 7:29; Eph 5:15,16; Col 4:5).

2/. A specific time. There is a proper, “appointed time” for everything on God’s calendar (Eccl 3:1-8, 8:5,6; Hab 2:3). By His authority God has set some definite times and dates –  such as Jesus coming to redeem us (Act 1:7; Rom 5:6; Gal 4:4). Be prepared for when Jesus will return. He will come when people least expect Him (Mt 24:42-44; 1 Thes 5:1-3). Soon, when the times have reached their fulfillment (the appointed time that only God knows) the end of the world (as we know it) will come (Dan 8:19; Mk 13:32,33; Eph 1:10). God knows the best time to intervene and act, working out everything according to His timetable not ours (Ps 90:2; 2 Pet 3:8). His perspective is different to ours and we need to be patient, not being pressured into making major choices by time restraints as hasty decisions are often regretted – for a long time! 

3/. The present time. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a future hope, and today is a gift of 24 hours, given to us.  Do we use this God-given resource wisely, as good stewards, ensuring our life counts or do we fritter time away on worthless activities? Wasted time, like spurned opportunities can’t be reclaimed so we should ask am I using my time wisely as this moment will never come again. Like the wise and foolish bridesmaids, will we be ready for when ‘our time comes’ or caught unprepared and so miss the window of opportunity provided (Prov 10:5; Mt 25:1-13).

4/. A time of waiting. God is not slack concerning His promises though the vision (or what you believe is from God) seems slow in coming (2 Pet 3:9). Jesus delayed responding to go and heal His friend Lazarus so that, through the greater miracle of raising a four-day-old corpse, many came to faith in Him (Jn 11:1-45). Similarly, we not only need to know what to do but also the right time to do it.

The time delay between a promise and its fulfillment requires faith. Between the call and its actual fulfilment is the time for establishing robust foundations and preparing to do the work. We need to believe our Father and trust Him to lead us in the right direction. Beneficial things take time, often much more than we would like. Persistence and determination to keep focused help us determine if something is just a passing ‘idea’ or a passion of the heart.

5/. A time of healing. During a period of intense grief due to the death of a loved one, major illness or a serious financial setback allow yourself restoring time to process the emotional sorrow and adjust to the new situation. Receive the loving support from others and particularly the Lord who is our eternal refuge (Deut 33:27).

Time management

If you want more time, prioritize your responsibilities, do what is essential and gain time by eliminating something of lesser value. Wasted time results in a wasted life. Time management is important, however we need to sort out our aspirations as it is pointless going efficiently in the wrong direction!

     If you struggle in this area re-examine                            your schedules and priorities

Being goal focused rather than governed by a time limit is most desirable. “Go after it until [you] find it” (Lk 15:4). Seldom in our lives is there an ideal time when all the factors are favourable yet there comes a point of commitment to the task (Eccl 11:4). The desire should motivate us to continue regardless of the time and effort required or the obstacles that are in the way (Lk 18:1-8).

Measurement of time

In Scripture, the 12 hours of day were reckoned from sunrise to sunset, thus the 6th hour is noon. Obviously, the time of sunrise and sunset varied throughout the year, and with no accurate means of gauging time, those indicated are generalizations. The old Jewish concept of a day differed in two aspects from our modern understanding. For them a day began in the evening (“evening and morning” as in Gen 1), and part of a day was counted as a full day. Thus, the three days Jesus was in the tomb were from late afternoon on Friday, all day Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath) and the first few hours of Sunday. This understanding clarifies the record of Jesus being crucified the day before the Sabbath and then rising on the third day (Mt 16:21; Mk 15:42; Lk 9:22).

World history is measured from Christ’s birth and is designated as either BC (Before Christ) or AD (in the year of our Lord). The Jewish calendar is based on the lunar (moon) month of 29½ days. As twelve lunar months are about 11 days short of the solar year, an extra month is added every few years so the festivals stay in the correct season in relation to the solar year (the time taken by the earth to make a revolution around the sun). The Jewish calendar is dated from when they consider the creation of the earth occurred, some 3760 years before the Christian era. Thus to calculate a date in the Jewish reckoning add that figure to the Gregorian (solar based) calendar which is the most widely used and recognised system.

See also: AD, BC, day, delay, end times, eternal/eternity, hour, patience, priority, seasons, time with God, waiting.


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