(February 10, 2020) Robert and Maureen McQuillan encourage making the best of our ‘time’…
With Australia still going through its bushfire disasters and coronavirus, this latest concerning virus … and other bad news from around the world catching our attention each night on TV news, some are wondering if time is running out for humankind and planet Earth, if ‘the end’ is indeed nigh.
Despite doomsday bad news harbingers the truth is that no one knows the exact time of Christ’s return! So many so-called prophets have been proved wrong and dates keep being reworked. Oh Jesus will return… but there is still so much to do relating to getting the good news out into a world of lost souls!
And there’s a quote in itself about time… ‘The clock is ticking and time is running out.’ One can think of several other well-known quotations about time… Google indicates that it can give us at least 8544!
Scripture has several too… for example Ecclesiastes 3:1 GNB, ‘Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses.’
God’s ‘big clock’
God’s time… Genesis 1:3-5 GNB tells us ‘God commanded, “Let there be light” – and light appeared. God was pleased with what he saw. Then he separated the light from the darkness, and he named the light “Day” and the darkness “Night.” Evening passed and morning came – that was the first day.’
Time had begun. Scripture indicates that, as with all he created, God was indeed pleased with his creation of time. History records that later the ancient Egyptians came up with the 24-hour day concept of time. What we call ‘time’ is something that has always been regarded by the wise as precious and that too many people have a habit, a bad habit, of wasting it. We must make good use of our gift of time!
Tempus fugit – ‘time is on the wing’ or ‘time flies’ is a reality! Amazingly it’s 18 months since we left Geelong region to move to the Melbourne suburb of Doreen… and now just seven months since we moved into our new home. We’ve been so busy that it’s almost hard to credit that the time has passed so quickly! And we certainly haven’t been wasting any precious time; we’ve made new contacts and been active in blessing people and sharing kingdom matters and principles… and become involved in a great Spirit-filled Bapto church.
And… overcoming some hiccups, some challenges along the way!
In these recent moves of ours it’s all been a matter of timing… God’s timing and our trusting him. Our previous home sold at the right time, in faith we took on an unseen (but proving ideal) rental at the right time, our new block became ‘coincidently’ titled at the right time… and out-of-the-blue I (Robert) was booked into Royal Melbourne Hospital for a sorely needed spinal cord op with a newfound friend taking me there… all at the same right time! Later completion of our new home, moving from the rental and settling in smoothly all happened at God’s right timing too.
For several reasons any other time would have been a disaster! Everything was in God’s good timing, his big clock timing! We simply continued to trust him in faith ‘even in the dark’ and even as the clock ominously ticked tocked away.
Reality: There’s always a right moment in God’s timing for all who trust him
- Abraham and Sarah – becoming parents (Genesis 21:2)
- Joseph – honoured from slave to overseer, then Pharaoh’s 2IC (Gen. 39:5, 41:41)
- Moses – instituiting the first Passover (Exodus 12:1-10)
- Israel – moving ahead into freedom and the promised land (Exodus 12:51)
- David – finally crowned king of all Israel (2 Samuel 5:1-4)
- Nehemiah – appointed as governor (Nehemiah 5:4)
- Esther – realisation of her kingdom calling and value (Esther 4:14)
- Jesus – his incarnational birth (Luke 2:6)
- Jesus – commenceing his preaching ministry (Matthew 4:17)
- Jesus – exercising his miracle working power (John 2:1-11)
- Jesus – being glorified (John 12:23)
- Jesus – beginning of his road to Calvary (Matthew 26:45)
- The Holy Spirit – falling on all believing servants of God (Acts 2:18)
That’s just a few of the extensive scripture list recounting ‘times’ or ‘hours’ (depending on which translatiion one reads) that were so appropriate for God to move as only he can… miraculously, divinely, amazingly, purposely, lovingly. God certainly has his big clock!
Oxford Dictionary describes time as ‘The continued progress of existence as affecting people and things.’
When we accept Jesus as Saviour, Lord and friend, we are not whisked away to that pie-in-the-sky venue referred to as ‘heaven and home’!
No… we exist, we are destined to remain here on planet Earth to be Jesus’ followers, his disciples, to discover and live the Christian life and to take every opportunity to share our faith and influence others.
And we are all allotted a definite time, a certain but unknown span of years, to do so! May we not waste time but, as the Oxford indicates, affect others. May our actions, speech, godly positiveness, and active believing faith influence others, both Christian and the unchurched.
A thought comes to mind here … Christians often talk about God’s timing as never late, never early but always on time, the right time. We remember when the talk was that God was the God of the eleventh hour… the ‘just in time God.’ Eleventh hour indicated that Christians felt he often didn’t turn up until the very last minute… but that he did turn up as we trusted him!
Some years back we began to point out that God was no longer the God of the proverbial eleventh hour but of one or two o’clock the next morning! In other words, sometimes it seems that God is teaching us to go on trusting him when it seems we have run out of time, that the last minute has vanished.
The point is… even if it seems that God is slow if we know we have heard from him, we should go on trusting him! Let’s take on-board the principle of 2 Peter 3:8-9: ‘You must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think.’
It’s all about the faith factor… Hebrew 11:1 says, ‘Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.’
Again, let’s not waste time!
Vindicated for a purpose
In that old classic film noir movie The Big Clock, actor Ray Milland is fast running out of time to vindicate himself before it’s too late and he’s…
Praise God that Jesus has already vindicated us through his Calvary sacrifice time. But let’s remember that there is yet another ‘time’ linked with Jesus – his return! God’s big clock continues to tick.
Yes Jesus’ return could happen ‘anytime’ and in these dark days some would claim that time is very imminent. The truth is that despite false prophecies and ever-changing return date declarations by so-called prophets no one but no one knows! (Last year’s prediction didn’t happen; the latest ‘prophesied’ date is now 2025!)
Jesus himself clearly stated in Matthew 24:42, ‘So keep watch. You do not know on what day your Lord will come.’ Yes we can enjoy God’s gift of life, live it to the full! God wants us to, especially in this free and wonderful southland of the Holy Spirit! We certainly are – despite whatever new challenges come along!
But we must all remember that we are all here on kingdom assignment for Jesus!
What’s yours? Let’s all be like the person Jesus desires and described in Matthew 24:46Mge: ‘Someone the Master can drop in on unannounced and always find him doing his job. A God-blessed man or woman, I tell you.’