Keeping an eye on the clock

timeFootball is a complex game. Most of the attention is focused on the plays, the defense, the quarterback’s ability to throw a good pass. Often forgotten is the strategy of managing the clock. The game is limited to 60 minutes of playing time so part of getting a win is making sure that the team ‘owns’ the ball. Timeouts become strategic tools to “stop the clock” to allow for additional plays. “Running out the clock” keeps the ball out of the hands of the other team.

This life we are living here on earth is not infinite. Knowing that we need to keep an eye on the clock! In one of His more difficult messages to fully understand Jesus told us to be aware of the limits of our time. “Look at a fig tree. Any tree for that matter. When the leaves begin to show, one look tells you that summer is right around the corner. The same here—when you see these things happen, you know God’s kingdom is about here. Don’t brush this off: I’m not just saying this for some future generation, but for this one, too—these things will happen. Sky and earth will wear out; my words won’t wear out. “But be on your guard. Don’t let the sharp edge of your expectation get dulled by parties and drinking and shopping.

Otherwise, that Day is going to take you by complete surprise, spring on you suddenly like a trap, for it’s going to come on everyone, everywhere, at once. So, whatever you do, don’t go to sleep at the switch. Pray constantly that you will have the strength and wits to make it through everything that’s coming and end up on your feet before the Son of Man.”  (Luke 21:29-36, The Message)

What words. Don’t lose sight of the main fact by digging too deeply in to the details. Jesus tells us that time for us is not an infinite resource. This world is on God’s clock and He has declared a moment when the Kingdom will be fully realized by the coming of the Lord.  Mysterious? Yes, it is.  Christ will return in majesty, the second coming not to save but to bring all things to account before the Just Judge. That passage, however, should renew our understanding that our destiny is eternal.  The win for us is not living here forever but rather in knowing the promise of His welcome at the moment of our own entry into the Kingdom.

Despite being surrounded by changing seasons, aging people, and things that wear out or become obsolete so many of us manage to deny the reality of the clock. Somehow we convince ourselves that there will always be a tomorrow.  We need not become obsessed with mortality, nor should we be so enthralled with the promise of the Second Coming of Christ that we fail to live fully in this moment. Remember this – the best use of today will be shaped by being fully aware of the clock.

Are you ‘killing time?’ What a waste.
Are you ‘making the most of every opportunity?’  This is the way to know God’s favor.
Are you praying for the coming of the King?

Here is a word from the Word.  Lord, use these words to help us to be aware of the times and to live so that we can welcome You at a moment’s notice.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.”  (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, NIV)

__________

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

Come Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free
From our fears and sins release us
Let us find our rest in Thee
Israel’s strength and consolation
Hope of all the earth Thou art
Dear desire of every nation
Joy of every longing heart

 Born Thy people to deliver
Born a child and yet a King
Born to reign in us forever
Now Thy gracious Kingdom bring
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone
By Thine all sufficient merit
Raise us to Thy glorious throne

Charles Wesley | Rowland Hugh Prichard © Words: Public Domain

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