What Time Is It?

What Time is It?

How many times in a week do we hear the question “what time is it”? How many times do you ask it? It might be concerning going to bed at night or getting up in the morning. It might be about our meals or an appointment we have made. It could beabout what time to take our medication or about catching a plane to take a trip. It is very important for us to consider time.

Have you ever thought about the confusion that would be created if we ignored time? A little clock in a jeweler’s window stopped one day for half an hour at twenty minutes past eight. School children, noting the time, stopped to play; people hurrying to the train looked at the clock and walked more slowly; businessmen stopped to chat a little longer. All were late, because one small clock had stopped. Never had the people realized how much they had depended on the little clock until it had led them astray.

As important as that is, in this article we are not talking about physical time. We are talking about paying attention to spiritual matters. Do you know “what time it is” regarding the spiritual things of life?

We are living in a confused world where people have replaced the real thing of value with the counterfeit and artificial things of life. People have gone after things that do not matter and have left the things that do matter; Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” The problem is not with God’s clock; the problem is man is so caught up in today’s world until they don’t know what time it is, and they will not check and see.

First, we see it is time to awake;Romans 13:11-12 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now, is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armour of light.” Satan has lulled people to sleep; Ephesians 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. To be in the light of Christ we must wake up out of our sleep. The Prodigal woke up out of his sleep of sin and “came to himself.” Many need to come to themselves and awaken to their responsibilities to serve the Lord.

Second, we see it is time for men to seek the Lord; Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. It is obvious that man needs to seek the Lord. The time to seek the Lord is now. This is when onebecomes accountable-this means when a person is able to understand; Romans 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. From this passage we see that a man obeys from the “heart.” This means understanding. The Gospel is what awakens people. It is God’s power to salvation; Romans 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Satan tells us tomorrow, but the Lord says now; 2 Corinthians 6:2 For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Many are like Felix and look for a convenient time to seek the Lord; Acts 24:25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.There are some who would seek the Lord, but the time is not convenient for them. They have other things such as the world, family, or jobs that are keeping them back. We are urged to seek the Lord while He may be found; Isaiah 55:6 Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near”. It is a dangerous thing to not seek the Lord. Men often delay and the opportunity passes them by.

We are to seek the Lord after the due order; 1 Chronicles 15:13For because ye did it not at the first, the Lord our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.”  Isaiah 34:16Seek ye out of the book of the Lord, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them”. Many want to find God in some modern religion. They look for Him in a religion of convenience or one that suits their taste. The Lord of heaven can only be found in the Bible.

Third, we are to redeem the time; Colossians 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time; Ephesians 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Notice that Paul admonishes two different churches to redeem the time. Therefore, it must be an important thing. What does it mean to redeem the time? The apostle is talking about buying up moments while others seem to throw them away. He is speaking about steadily improving every present moment, so that one may in some measure regain the time that was lost. Time should be our chief commodity. We must buy it up and use every portion of it. Time is that on which our eternity depends and in time we are preparing for the kingdom of God.

We must do this with diligence because time is short; Psalm 89:47  Rememberhow short my time is: wherefore hast thou made all men in vain?  What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave?” Soon we will slip away into eternity and we must use our time wisely.

Finally, we see time is in God’s hand;Psalm 31:15 My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me. Daniel said to Belshazzar,” in whose hand thy breath is in” Daniel 5:23. The God of heaven controls the time and one day he will declare time to be no more. We must make good use of our time here on earth. Our time should be spent serving God and advancing His kingdom on earth. Do you know what time it is?

Rick Martin

teacherrmartin@gmail.com

The Problem with Loneliness

The Problem with Loneliness
During this time of self-isolation, many, including myself, have felt an overwhelming sense of loneliness. Even when surrounded by family, the inability to go about our usual way of life has left us longing for the interactions we once took for granted. It is in these moments, as I read my Bible, that I am surprised to find so many throughout scripture have felt this same way. Yet throughout each of these accounts, one point stands out: the problem with loneliness is loneliness doesn’t come from being alone; loneliness comes from thinking you are alone.
Following one of the most significant victories by any one man, we see the problem of loneliness on full display. As Elijah stands atop Mt. Carmel, outnumbered by 450 prophets of Baal, he cries out to the people “I alone am left a prophet of the Lord….” (1 Kings 18:22) Yet, as Elijah stands alone, he never forgets the one companion that still stands with him, God. And as Elijah begins to mock Baal and his prophets, he highlights a defining difference between the one true God and a false god: false gods are never there for you, but the one true God will never leave your side. It is upon this faith, Elijah prays to God to make Himself known to the people, and in a consuming fire, God reveals Himself as the one true God.
Subsequently, this victory did not have the impact Elijah expected. Having defeated the prophets of Baal in one of the most memorable showdowns ever, Elijah now finds himself being hunted instead of being celebrated. It is this fear of Jezebel, which drives Elijah to leave his servant, possibly his only earthly friend, go out into the wilderness alone, and pray that he would die. Within this moment of loneliness, God comes to Elijah to remind him that he has never been alone. God’s question: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:9) echoes God’s question, “Where are you?” to Adam in Genesis 3. These are great questions for when you are feeling lonely. Where are you? What are you doing? Have you cut yourself off from the people who love you and the God who loves you? You see, Elijah’s loneliness was not from being alone, but from thinking he was alone. As Elijah returns home with the knowledge that there are seven thousand in Israel still faithful to God (1 Kings 19:8), he immediately comes across Elisha, who would drop everything to work alongside God’s prophet Elijah. Elijah’s loneliness would soon turn into an abundance of faithful companions, not because the people weren’t there before, instead because Elijah started looking for them.
Understanding this, we can conclude that loneliness has a power over us that can immobilize even some of God’s most exceptional workers. Loneliness thrives within our minds; it is a mindset that can defeat us, if we let it. But, with a proper view of God, isolation will have no power over those who, as David did in Psalm 16:8 “set the Lord always before me….” Elijah, David, and others throughout the Bible teach us the importance of remembering the presence of God and His people in our lives, especially during the times we feel lonely.

Aaron Boone