The most common gift that God ever gave any human is time. The word common includes all humans on Earth. The only thing that we are given that is common to everyone is time. All of us have different heights, weights, colours of pigmentation, economic status, families, ethnic backgrounds and cultures. All humans share the same common commodity which is time. Time plays a very important role. Because what you are, and what you become depend on how you use your time. Time works for everyone. The billionaire and the beggar both have 24 hours every day. The old and the young, the black and the white, the Indian and the Asian, are all given the same amount of time every day.
Time cannot be stopped but humans can control it. You cannot stop a day. You cannot stop an hour. Time has no respect for you. But you can control how it will be used. This means that even though time is unstoppable, it is controllable. And what you do with it determines who you become. Time is life and life is time.
And every time a year passes, you are measuring time. Because a year is the passing of time in our cultures. And an opportunity to redefine your priorities is why new year’s come. Firstly, a new year is an opportunity to refine your purpose. Secondly, a new year is an opportunity to redefine your life’s vision. To see if you are still on course, or if you need to adjust. Thirdly, a new year is an opportunity to re-establish worthwhile goals. The term “worthwhile” is because some of our goals may not be worth pursuing anymore. Fourthly, a new year is an opportunity for you to bury the past and move into a new future.
The word “New” on New Year’s Day means that there was an old one somewhere. In other words, time can be a blessing or a curse. Depending on how you manage it.
The truth about time is time is life. We measure life in terms of time. We define life by time. Life is measured by time because life is determined by what we do with time. Life is lived out in time. Life is qualified by time. Life is also the passing of time. What have you become is dependent on how you use time. Life is also stopped by time. When you die, time stops. When you die, you move out of time into what is called eternity. In essence, death is life leaving time. Time is temporary, but life is eternal. We were put in time to live a portion of life.
What is time? Time is an interruption in eternity. Time is also defined as a small measure of eternity. Time is a piece of eternity. Time is a slice of forever with a beginning and an end. Time is the limited period during which an action or a process exists or takes place. In other words, time is a measure of space. Time itself has its own power.
Ecclesiastes 3:10-11 have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
The word beautiful in the above verse is the Hebrew word that means mature. Which means that God matures everything in its time. So, there’s a time for maturity. In other words, God created time, but he doesn’t live in it. Therefore, when God speaks to us, we have to be careful. God lives forever, but he placed us in time. He designed time to make life easier for us. God created time to give a piece of eternity a measure. God created time for us to live in it so that we could experience relief from eternity. If you live in eternity, it’s a tough place to live. Because if you make a mistake in eternity, it’s an eternal mistake so time is a relief.
We see in Genesis 1:14 that God created time. Genesis 1:14 God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs and seasons, and days and years. So, God created time by literally designing the universe to keep time. Many scientists interpret the universe as a big clock, and they say that someone must have wound it up. They try to explain that there must have been a creator because the universe is running with such precision that the planets not only revolve around stars, but they don’t clash with each other. Someone seemed to have set this in motion. And God has designed all of that so that they can be measured for days and years. In other words, God says in Genesis 1 verse 18, that this is good.
What’s the purpose of time? First of all, time was given to us to take us out of eternity. Secondly, time was given to us to protect us from forever. If you had a pain in your back in eternity, it would be an eternal pain. Time has a beginning and an end. Time is also given to us to measure the existence of life, to define life, and to measure the quality of life. Time is given to us to account for our lives, and to define the distance between our beginning and our end. Time is given to us to live life in doses. Time is given to us to measure the purpose of our life. Why do we live?
But time has some limitations. This verse is worth remembering if you’re still breathing. Job 14:5-6 A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed. 6 So look away from him and let him alone, till he has put in his time like a hired laborer. In summary, God is saying, look, when I brought you on this earth, I hired you to do something, and I appointed a specific period for you to do it in, and you can’t exceed that. God has set limits that you cannot exceed.
Time is determined. Psalm 39:4 “Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.
Lord, make me know mine end and the measure of my days. Lord, let me know my destiny. Let me know what I’m supposed to do with my life. Psalm 90:12 Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. In other words, let me know how long and how much I have to do, so I can use my days effectively. Ecclesiastes 8:6 For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a person may be weighed down by misery. This is a deep verse. In other words, there’s a proper way and time to do everything. Time is so powerful in the hand of God. Time is measured in seconds. We are amazed sometimes at how fast time can leave us. And we measure time in minutes and hours and days and decades and centuries. But time measures life also in yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Whatever happened in the past separates you from the future. Time measures life in the past, present, and future. Time separates your past from your present and your future. Time measures life in seasons: winter, summer, autumn, and spring. Time protects us from living in a permanent condition. Time can resolve our problems – our hurts, our grief and our pains. With time things change. Time gives you the time to change relationships. Time can sort things out. Time changes everything. Nothing is permanent in time.
Time is the only commodity on earth given equally to every human being. Time is therefore the only commodity every human possesses. We don’t possess the same amount of money. We possess the same amount of time. So, the key to life is what you become in life is determined by how you use the time you have. And that’s why we use terms like spending time. Time is a currency. Every human has the same amount every day. And time, like currency, must be spent. And here’s the problem. Time is used to buy life. So, whatever you are, you spend your time buying it. Even if you’re broke, you use your time to become broke. If you’re fat that means you use your time eating the wrong thing. You use your time not jogging. Time determines everything. If your marriage is under stress, it’s because you haven’t used your time in your marriage properly. Time is so powerful that whatever you invest your time in you become. Treat time just like you treat money. Time can be stolen. Time can be misplaced. Time can be shortened. Time can be wasted. Time can be misused. Time can be abused. Time can be put to good use. Time can also be lost. You can lose it. Just like money. Time can be squandered just like money. How you spend it didn’t take you closer to your goals, didn’t take you closer to your vision, didn’t accomplish the things you wanted, and you spent it and squandered it on stuff that didn’t count. Time is more important than money. That’s why the businessman says time is money. Time can be depreciated just like money. Time can also be devalued. Every hour is important. What are you spending your time on? You can reduce the value of your life by the things you spend your time with, who you spend your time with, where you spend your time all day. The time can also be revalued. You can actually increase the value of your time by choosing what you do with it.
You can become a victim of time. You can never stop time. You can also never control it. You can’t resist it. You can’t compromise with time. Time doesn’t adjust for you or anything. You can never buy time. You can’t buy time. You can never slow time down. You can never speed up time. Until then, you are stuck in time. You are a victim of time. And therefore, all you have to do to make time for your friend is to manage it. You can measure time in life. Psalm 90:10 Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. The average age of a human, God says, would be between 70 and 80.
What do you do with time? First, you can manage it. Secondly, you can use it. Thirdly, you can invest it. Fourthly, you can convert it. In other words, you can use time to develop build and construct things. You can turn your life into value by the way you use your time. You can use time to fulfill your divine purpose. Time itself is given to you as a gift from God. Ephesians 5: 14-16 says, This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” 15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Redeeming the time means maximizing every minute of your life. You are a product of how you use your time. Your life is how you use your time. Look at the next verse, he says what? Therefore, be not foolish, but understand what the will of God is. And be not what? Drunken with wine, where there is, there’s riot, and be filled with the Holy Spirit, he says. Redeeming the time. Using it properly. Making sure that you invest it in a way that benefits you.
The word “deem” actually means to own something. To redeem something means to own it again. So when the Bible says redeem time, it means you had some time that you messed up. You lost it. You threw it away. He says now spend the next year making up for what you lost. That might mean you may just stay a little later. Cut off some friendships. Shut down some clubs you were part of. Change relationships with some of these organizations that are not taking you anywhere. Take an evening class. To redeem means that you can’t have a normal life anymore. Cause you lost some time you got to make up for it. To redeem time means you have to work a little harder. To redeem time means that you have to be more focused and more disciplined. To redeem time means that you may need to throw off some things that were so nice and pleasurable to do some important things. Redeem the time. It means to recontrol time. It means to repossess and reclaim time. It means to fulfill the pledge that God promised you to fulfill. To redeem time means to convert time now into value. To redeem time means to fulfill or pay an outstanding debt. To redeem means to pay the debt that you owe. Not just to God, but to your life. If you wasted five years, you have a debt to yourself. You have to pay yourself back the time you lost. Everybody trying to get your time. And half of them don’t deserve it. You have to assess who you will give your time to. People will abuse your time. To take ownership and control of your time. That’s what it means to redeem time. To convert into an opportunity to fulfill your purpose. That’s how you redeem time. In other words, you design your days to create value in your life. And the way you control time is by planning. You have to plan your day, or your day will be planned by somebody else. Time, like all commodities, must be managed. Time must be protected. It must have a focus. It must have a purpose. It must have a vision. It must be measurable in results.
Here’s how to redeem your time:
- Document a plan. Put a plan for what you want to accomplish in the year you are in. Put it on paper.
- Establish your priorities based on that plan.
- Pursue your passion only. Identify your passion and go after it, because so many people will distract you. You better stay with your passion. Not every invitation is a blessing. Not every opportunity is a blessing. The devil’s greatest weapon to a disciplined woman and man is distraction, not sin. The devil knows you’re too smart to commit sin. So, he does something more dangerous. He distracts you from doing things that you are not supposed to be doing, even though they’re good. Matter of fact, the enemy of doing the right is doing a good thing. And not everything good is right.
- Protect your plans and your priorities. You will be attacked by so many opportunities. You must protect your time and your priorities from other people’s interests.
- Identify your value. In other words, identify what’s valuable to you. If you don’t do that, you’re going to waste time.
- Make decisions based on your destiny. If you know where you want to go, then design your decisions accordingly.
- Inventory your associations. Spend the first day of this new year just making a list of all the people you’re associated with, all the organizations you’re associated with, all the places you’re associated with, and see how many of them are taking you to your vision. You’ll be shocked who is wasting your time.
- Review your investments. Question, what are you investing your time in?
If you want to redeem your time, stop trying to make everybody happy. You cannot make everybody happy. Half of the folks smiling at you don’t like you. Get over it. And the rest of them, they only putting up with you. Stop trying to get everybody’s approval. Everyone will not like what you do. They don’t even want to do what you do. Forget the past, design and pursue the future. Become an architect of your life. Anything that happens should be in association with where you want to go in life. You have been wasting enough time. It’s over. Do something. Get back on track. Control your future by making a plan. Forget about what you didn’t accomplish.
Paraphrased content from the sermon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwt9fSj8OYo
“Redeeming the Time – by Dr. Myles Munroe