Perspective on our Time & our Resources

Every day God gives to each one of us two wonderful gifts that we are free to spend any way we choose. 

1: Each day God gives to us the gift of 86,400 seconds.  We cannot save them.  We cannot transfer them into some other account.  All we can do is waste them or spend them. 

James 4:14 warns us that we are “a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” 

We know that we have 86,400 seconds each day, but none of us knows how many days we will have, so each day is to be lived wisely.  Each day should be respected as a precious gift from God. 

What should we do with the 86,400 seconds that we are gifted each day?

One day an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students.  He pulled out a one gallon, wide-mouth Mason jar and set it on a table in front of him.  Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar.  When the jar was filled to the top with the rocks, he asked, “Is this jar full?”

The students answered, “Yes.”

But the teacher reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel.  He dumped some gravel in and shook the jar, then poured some more in.  After several such fillings, he asked the class whether the jar was full now. 

Cautious after their previous mistake, the students were unsure how to answer.  They watched for the teacher’s next move.  He took a pitcher and poured water in until the jar was filled to the brim.  Then he turned to the students and explained, “This illustration points us to the truth that if we start with the “big rocks” in life, all the lesser matters can be fit in around them.”  Then he told them, “The “big rocks” in your life are such things as time with your loved ones, your faith, your education, your dreams, a worthy cause, teaching or mentoring others.  Remember to put these “big rocks” in first or you’ll never get them in at all.”

2: Each day God gives to us resources (possessions and money) to use.  None of us is guaranteed a set amount of time on earth, and none of us is guaranteed a set amount of resources at our disposal each day.  But each of us is accountable for what we do with each day’s resources. 

Followers of Christ need to keep in mind that our time and our resources are gifts to us from God and are to be put to use in ways that bring honor to God. 

James 5:4-6 warns us, “Listen!  The wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.  You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.  You have condemned and murdered the righteous one, who does not resist you.”  We will be accountable to God for how we use the resources he has entrusted to us. 

 John Wesley cautions, “But as riches increase, so will pride, anger, and love of the world in all its branches.  What way then can we take that our money may not sink us to the nethermost hell?  There is one way, and there is no other under heaven.  If those who ‘gain all they can,’ and ‘save all they can,’ will likewise ‘give all they can,’ then the more they gain, the more they will grow in grace, and the more treasure they will lay up in heaven.”

Each day, God gives us gifts of time and resources.  May we use “our” time and “our” resources in ways that honor God and in ways that bring love and good into the world he cares for.

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