By Clifton Angel
By the time you are able to read this article, we will be in the month of February 2018. By this, I am reminded of how time is seemingly ﬂeeting. James wrote, “For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:14). If we only have “a little time” on this earth, and we cannot deny the process of aging and decay (see Ecclesiastes 12:1–7), and we cannot deny our appointment with death (see Hebrews 9:27), what should we be doing with our time?
We know “time ﬂies when you’re having fun” (and if you’re a frog, “time is fun when you’re having ﬂies”). Some say, “Life is short; live it up.” Some exclaim, “YOLO!” (meaning, “you only live once”). And each of the latter is about fulﬁlling your own lusts and desires with no acknowledgement of God as the supplier of one’s life and time. The truth is, time is ﬂying whether we’re having fun or not. The truth is, life on earth is short. The truth is, you do only live once on earth. Furthermore, the truth is, we only have this one short life to prepare for eternity hereafter. Therefore, instead of using all of our time fulﬁlling our own desires, we need to be “redeeming the time, because the days are evil [meaning, we are decaying and dying]” (Ephesians 5:16). “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Why, James, have you written to us about the ﬂeeting of our lives? 1. Because “ye know not what shall be on the morrow” (James 4:14). 2. Because “to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). The latter verse is not about sin in general. It is about the sin of procrastination. It is about the sin of the unwise use of time. It is about the sin of using our time for ungodliness. We are ... blessed to have “a little time” on earth. God is the designer, provider, and sustainer of this time. Are we using it to serve Him? “Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:9–10).
- Clifton Angel preaches for the Coldwater Church of Christ in Coldwater, MS. He may be contacted through that congregation's website: http://www.coldwatercofc.com/