Time

clock-272483_640Genesis 1:1: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

God is eternal, beyond comprehension, since human comprehension has in it the paradigm of chronology and increment.

God is not limited by time, nor confined by it, since he created it. The bible says that time and chance happen to us all (Ecclesiastes 9:11). That means time is a component of human life. Moses even prayed: teach us to number our days so that we might apply our heart to wisdom (Psalm 90:12). Applying our heart to wisdom, is about knowing what to do per time to get the right result. The sons of Issachar were described as those who understand the times, knowing what Israel should do per time (1Chronicles 12:32).

David was a man who was in the habit of asking God for what to do. When an army came to route his place when he and his men were not around, carrying away their properties and wives and children, rather than panic he asked God what to do (1Samuel 30:8). The result was nothing short of miraculous. He experience the restoration of all things.

Job had a similar experience. At a time it was as if his life has gone down the drain, but at the end he had restored to him double what he lost (Job 42). The bible says God restored double to him after he prayed for his friend.

Maybe the best thing for you to do with your time is see how you can pour into others. How you can be of benefit to them. Rather than be worried about yourself, why not immerse yourself into prayer for others?

Paul wrote that we need to redeem the time, because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:15-16). Even God, when he became man as Jesus, he had to conform to the dictates of time. He said: I must work the work of him who sent me, while it is day, the night comes when no man can work (John 9:1-5).

When God set man in the garden, he was to spend his time working, taking charge of and developing the garden to his full potential (Genesis 2:15). There is the garden of your life, your family and ministry that you have been give the custody of, to maximise, to make the best of it over a period of time. You have no excuse, because with wise work and hard work you are definitely going to make a success of it. There is wise work and hard work.

Paul when has comparing his ministry with that of other apostles said that he laboured more than them all. And the effect of his ministry is still being felt till today (1Corinthians 15:10).

However in the book of Ecclesiastes, we read that it is not just about hard work, but there is something called smart work. We read that that the labour of fools wearies them because they do not know how to get to the city (Ecclesiastes 10:15); and if the cutting instrument is sharpened then less energy is used to cut down the tree. Wisdom, the bible says, is profitable when we allow it to direct us (Ecclesiastes 10:10) because it is not good enough to pass time, but using time smartly to better ourselves and our world.

The incarnation represents God’s smart work and hard work in time to save us from our sins, to bring salvation. That was God limiting himself to time, as the word became flesh and dwelled among us (John 1:15, 12-14, 17-18). It was one of the greatest wonders of all time, heralding what will soon happen to the believers on our inside in time, as they become born again by the incorruptible seed of the word of God (1Peter 1:21).

It was hard work because it involved the painful death on the cross, and it was smart work, because by that one sacrifice God sanctified forever those who believe (Hebrews 10:12, 14).

That God became man is not logical, it is not within the mental power of man to grasp. How can time and eternity coalesce? It confuses and mesmerises men. It is offensive to many and on that point may have shut the door of the gospel to themselves.

The incarnation of Jesus was prophecy (Isaiah 7:14) and miracle manifest. When Gabriel was talking to Mary about her supernal conception of Jesus (Luke 1:26-38), he said the power of the highest will overshadow her and she will give birth to Jesus, the Messiah. That was an information that she can handle. She could not handle the fact that Jesus was God.

But as revelation progressed, Paul would later write boldly: this is the mystery of godliness God was manifested in the flesh (1Timothy 3:16).

John also wrote so that we do not get it twisted that in the beginning was the Word who was God and that he is the one who was manifested in the flesh and when we believe in him we will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). And he established later in his epistle that when the identity of the son of God is called to question their can be no salvation.

For there to be a new beginning for humanity after the sinful mishap of Adam, there must be the word which is light going forth, and it did in the incarnation of Jesus.

In the first verse of the bible we saw God saying to the worn-down earth: let there be light (Genesis 1:1-3). And when John was introducing Jesus he said that he is life, in a connection back to the creation of the world, when God caused living things to manifest. And John also said of Jesus: in him was life and the life was the light of men, and the light shines in darkness, which could not comprehend it.

The presence of darkness in the second verse of the bible necessitated the divine declaration: “let there be light” at the beginning.

Darkness was the prevailing situation but it did not prevail for long as God created a new order of light and life. While the situation in the first chapter was largely physical, with the coming of Jesus as light and life, the problem was largely spiritual. The accurate knowledge of God was far from humanity. With spiritual darkness we could not accurately see God and the god of this world, Satan, has blinded the minds of those who do not believe (2Corinthians 4:4).

And we are not changed except we believe. The devil was able to mess up the new beginning that God set up in the first chapters of the bible, when he got man to disbelieve the word of God, but now in the new order of things, we are restored when we believe Jesus the Word of God.

The bible says that in time past, God revealed himself to the father through the prophets, but the light they received was limited, the life they expressed was limited, but in Jesus the limitation in the experience of God was removed (Hebrews 1:1-3).

Jesus told a church in the book of revelation that they should go back to the first works in repentance (Revelation 2:1-5), because they are loved has waxed cold, as a measure of repentance they are supposed to go back to the first works, as it were, turn back the hand of time, go back to what they used to do at the beginning of their relationship with God, then they will experience God anew. This is because loving God is not some esoteric idea, it is exposed in what you do with your time (1John 2:15-17).

In comparing Mary and Martha, Jesus said that Mary by sitting down at his feet had made the better choice in the use of her time, rather than what Martha was doing. Martha was engaged in many activities for Jesus, but not listening to Jesus (Luke 10:38-42).

One major sign that you love God is that you listen to him and not just what you do for him. Even Jesus had to have a listening ear. In a prophetic work concerning him, he said, sacrifice and offering you do not desire, but my ears you have opened (Psalm 40:6).

Isaiah wrote that God wakes him morning by morning to hear as the learned, so that he may know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary (Isaiah 50:4). He was not permitted to speak if he had not heard from God, he was not permitted to express anything except the divine opinion and perspective.

Even when it comes to fasting, it is about the will and ways of God, not just about feeling and obligation. God told Isaiah the kind of fasting he wants, the one that is according to his will. It is not just about what you do, it is also about why you do it, hence the need to be receptive to God all the time (Isaiah 53).

When God made man the first person he listened to was God. Then everything was well with man, he had peace, pleasure and power. But when he listened to his wife, who had listened to the serpent, against the will of God (just as Saul listened to his soldiers instead of the one who gave him an assignment) and he became invaded with fear, lack, struggle and weakness.

Listening to God bring peace (curing us of fear), being what he ministers to our heart. When there was turbulence in the seas as Jesus was coming with his disciples on a boat (Mark 4:39), he said peace be still. He calls us to come near to him to learn from him, since his burden is light and his yoke is easy and we will find rest for our soul (Matthew 11:28-30). And part of carrying his yoke is to listen to him.

Listening to God also brings pleasure. The bible says that in the presence of God, where we get to listen to him, there is fullness of God and in his right hand pleasures forever more (Psalm 16:11). In the presence of God we are under the shadow of his wings for protection (Psalm 91). Peter listened to Jesus in his fishing business and he experience abundance (Luke 5:1-6).

Listening to God is power. It is by hearing and doing what the father does that Jesus expressed so much power in his lifetime (John 8:38).

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