God has made us stewards not only of the money and health He has given us, but of our time. Today's lesson is about this stewardship of time.
- What illustration does the Bible use to show the brief nature of our earthly life?
James 4:14 [The Further-study verse is Isa. 40:6-8]
- Unless we are saved, we shall live only a short time. Thus, what should be our chief purpose in life?
1 Tim. 6:11, 12 [Note: Our major goal in life is to be saved and to help others be saved. Everything else is secondary. Ps. 37:9-11, 20, 3538; Matt. 16:24-26]
- What activities occupied the people before the flood?
- Were they concerned about their own salvation or the salvation of others?
Matt. 24:37, 38 [Gen. 6:5]
- After being converted, what use did Paul make of His time on earth?
Phil. 3:13, 14 [2 Tim. 4:7, 8]
- Since most of us have already wasted much of the time allotted to us, as did the antediluvians, what should we do now?
Eph. 5:15-20 [Col. 4:5]
- What does Jesus say about wasting time in worldly cares and activities in these last days?
Luke 21:34-36 [Note: "Only those who have been diligent students of the Scriptures and who have received the love of the truth will be shielded from the powerful delusion that takes the world captive .... Satan will, if possible . . ., so arrange affairs as to hedge up their way, entangle them with earthly treasures, cause them to carry a heavy, wearisome burden, that their hearts may be overcharged with the cares of this life and the day of trial may come upon them as a thief."--The Great Controversy, p. 625. 2 Tim. 3:1, 4b]
- In view of the above, what relationship should we maintain with worldly activities that merely consume our time or, worse yet, develop a taste for the common and trivial?
Eph. 5:8-11 [Note: "Card playing should be prohibited.... Evil angels are familiar guests in these places. There is nothing in such amusements beneficial to soul or body."--Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 652. What do you think about dancing and gambling? 2 Tim. 2:22; Ibid., vol. 1, p. 514]
- On what kind of subjects should we focus our time and thoughts?
Phil. 4:8 [Note: In general, movies not only consume time, they lead to sinful, lustful thoughts, and should likewise be discarded by Christians. Most television programs do not even meet Paul's first requirement--"whatever things are true." Most, like novels, are fictitious. 2 Cor. 3:18]
- How compatible is Christianity with worldly activities and friendships?
2 Cor. 6:14, 17, 18; 7:1 [1 John 2:15-17; James 4:4; 3:11-13]
- What did Jesus say about the man who was saved from sin but did not then spend his time wisely in doing good?
Luke 11:24-26 [Note: If we would fill our minds with Bible truths and Christian songs instead of television and rock music, our Christian experience would grow. Our thoughts and our time need to be preoccupied with Christ so that Satan may find no entrance. Rom. 6:18, 19, 22; Rev. 3:20; Matt. 12:30]
- What is one activity in which we can profitably participate?
Matt. 18:20 [Note: "Those who are really seeking for communion with God will be seen at the prayer meeting."--Steps to Christ, p. 98. Acts 2:44-47]
- To help us realize that our time belongs to God, He has reserved a special portion of time for Himself. What should we do on the Sabbath?
Isa. 58:13, 14 [Note: The Sabbath is not to be spent in idleness, but in attending church, visiting the sick, exploring God's nature, studying the Bible, praying, and enjoying Christian fellowship. Matt. 12:12]
- What Sabbath activity becomes even more important as we near the time for Christ to return?
Heb. 10:24, 25 [Lev. 23:3; Luke 4:16]
- What weekday activities are inappropriate during the holy hours of the Sabbath?
Neh. 13:15-18 [Note: Buying and selling, engaging in sports, watching television, washing cars, cleaning the house, etc., are our own works. Even our Sabbath meals, God says, should be prepared as much as possible before the Sabbath begins so that we can spend our time with Him. Ex. 16:23; Isa. 58:13, 14]
- Satan works tirelessly to get us to put off spending time with Jesus. What does Paul warn about this fatal delay?
Heb. 3:12-15 [Acts 24:25]
We are each the product of the way we spend our time. If we spend our time with Jesus we will become more like Him, but if we spend it with the world and in worldly activities we will become like it. Let us spend the first part of each day with Jesus, and then keep Him with us throughout the day as we travel, work, play, or socialize. Our sojourn in this world is short.
Will you just now vow to please Jesus by being a faithful steward of your time?