© 2020 Chip Kawalsingh / Harvest City Church

Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. (Ephesians 5:16, NLT)

Not so long ago most of us were choked for lack of time, but for many of us time has suddenly become plentiful! During this abundance of time, people have discovered hidden talents, started new hobbies, completed projects, and even launched businesses.

God is interested in what we do with the time we have been given. Scripture encourages us to make the best use of time, but there are still those who throw time away, investing it in things that add no value to their life, and that do nothing to extend God’s Kingdom.

We are all given the same number of hours in a day, yet some achieve much more than others. Of course, we all have different gifts and talents, but I’m sure you’d agree that we could all do more with our time.

Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:13-21, NIV)

There have probably been thousands of sermons on this parable, but I wonder how many pointed out the rich man’s misuse of his time? Yes, he was a hard worker and used his talents and gifts well, expanding his portfolio and creating wealth and job opportunities; but in doing all that he took his eyes off the big picture: God! The Lord sees riches in a different way.

The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it. (Proverbs 10:22, NKJV)

There are so many things we invest in that can lead to sorrow—businesses, stocks, investments, even people—but when we invest in the Lord’s work as our top priority, His blessings come without sorrow. Here are seven things we all can do to make better use of our time.

1. Start and end every day in prayer

Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. (Mark 1:35, NLT)

Prayer helps us to allocate our time and prioritise our day. But one of the most powerful aspects of prayer is it’s ability to transform the person praying.

‘Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.’ (Soren Kierkegaard)

When we truly meet with God, we cannot return the same. He stamps His heart on ours and removes our wickedness. We are transformed by the time we spend with Him.

2. Ask God for daily bread

Give us this day our daily bread. (Matthew 6:11, NKJV)

Bread was a powerful symbol of God’s provision for His people in the Old Testament. God is our supplier and the one who provides for all our needs. When we go before Him daily, believing that He will take care of us, His provision is only a prayer away from fulfilment.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of worry, but Jesus tells us, ‘do not worry’ (Matthew 6:25). When we engage in worry we’re really doubting God’s ability to provide for our needs. He’s the master builder of our lives, the designer and architect of our destines. No matter what you’re facing, God is more than able to provide.

3. Pursue holiness

Because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16, NKJV)

Sadly, some Christians today see the pursuit of holiness as non-essential. Rather than making disciplined life choices they constantly seek grace and forgiveness (God of the third, fourth chance…). Don’t get me wrong, grace and forgiveness are at the forefront of the Father’s heart! However, this is not a license to keep on sinning. The Bible tells us that without holiness, no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).

‘Revenge, lust, ambition, pride, and self-will are too often exalted as the gods of man’s idolatry; while holiness, peace, contentment, and humility are viewed as unworthy of a serious thought.’ (Charles Spurgeon)

Those who lie, deceive, slander, and go against God’s appointed authority all fall into the deception of the enemy (1 Corinthians 6:8-10, 1 Peter 2:13-25). You should be able to clearly see the fruit of holiness amongst those who call themselves believers. Those who lack holiness should be avoided.

4. Read a book of the Bible every week and write out your God-thoughts

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. (Joshua‬ ‭1:8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬)‬‬

Many believers have a limited understanding of Scripture. As a kid in Trinidad I used to sing a Sunday school song that went, ‘Read your Bible and pray every day and you will grow, grow, grow… Don’t read your Bible and forget to pray and you will shrink, shrink, shrink.’ It’s true!

We live in a world where information is at our fingertips. Systematically reading your Bible helps you to filter out the noise. Scripture is packed full of wisdom, understanding and, most importantly, the voice of God. When we read the Word and apply it in our daily lives it strengthens our spirit. It’s not just about information but impartation. It embeds His roadmap for life into our thinking and works as a repellent to sin (Psalms 119).

5. Try something new

Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:19, NKJV)

Change your routine: prayer walks, listening to the Word, and praying in tongues are all excellent ways to venture into something new in God. Take an online Bible class, or read a good book that will draw you closer to the Lord.

For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. (Romans 6:4, NLT)

God desires us to experience the newness of life! The old has passed. It’s a new season. Forget yesterday’s limitations and encounter God anew.

6. Speak to someone new

A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” (John 4:7, NKJV)

There’s no better feeling in the world than leading someone to Jesus, and it can start with a simple question. Jesus’ actions went against the norm of the day, crossing cultural divides, and He brought about lasting change just by asking for some water! As believers we have the power to change lives by sharing the love of Jesus.

It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. (1 Corinthians 3:7, NLT)

Sometimes we can be so consumed with life that we miss the purpose for which we were created. Leading someone to Christ is the first step to a better life. They may not respond right away, but you’ve planted a seed that has the power to grow and bring a harvest.

7. Worship (in spite of your feelings)

To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. (Isaiah 61:3, NKJV)

Worship allows God directly into our lives and our circumstances, bringing change and renewed hope. It removes the day’s heaviness and breaks the things that can weigh us down and cause depressing thoughts and a lack of fulfilment. It shatters despair and blows away the cobwebs from our minds. Whatever is going on in and around you, worship!

‘Worship is the proper response of all moral, sentient beings to God, ascribing all honor and worth to their Creator-God precisely because he is worthy, delightfully so.’ (D.A. Carson)

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. (Psalm 43:5, ESV)

We were created to worship. It’s part of our original design. When we worship, we are doing exactly what God made us to do! We become like what we worship; nothing draws us closer to God.