Bible Reading: John 7:1-31
When I was young it seemed like some days went on forever…especially if I was in school. But now that I am…well, let’s just say that I am not as young as I used to be…I am actually aware that I have already lived most of my life. Time. Suddenly I am much more aware of how I use my time than ever before.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
Which of the two following questions is the easiest to answer?
- What time is it?
- What is time?
If you picked #1., you are right. I can answer question #1., by looking at my watch. However, people have been trying to answer #2., for thousands of years. Here are some short definitions of time that people have given…
- what clocks measure (physicists Albert Einstein, Donald Ivey, and others…Ultra-precise atomic clocks can measure time accurately to about 10−15 seconds, which corresponds to about a 1-second error in approximately 30 million years.)
- what prevents everything from happening at once (physicist John Wheeler and others)
- a linear continuum of instants (philosopher Adolf Grünbaum)
- a certain period during which something is done (Medical Dictionary)
- a continuum that lacks spatial dimensions (Encyclopedia Britannica)
Here is how some dictionaries define time:
- the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present and future regarded as a whole (Oxford Dictionary)
- the measured or measurable period during which an action, process or condition exists or continues (Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary)
- the continuous passage of existence in which events pass from a state of potentiality in the future, through the present, to a state of finality in the past (World English Dictionary)
- a continuous, measurable quantity in which events occur in a sequence proceeding from the past through the present to the future (Science Dictionary)
- the measured or measurable period during which an action, process or condition exists or continues (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
- the dimension of the physical universe that orders the sequence of events at a given place (McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology)
- a non-spatial system in which events appear to happen in irreversible succession (WordSmyth Dictionary)
- the inevitable progression into the future with the passing of present events into the past (Wiktionary)
- the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole (Google)
- a dimension in which events can be ordered from the past through the present into the future, and also the measure of durations of events and the intervals between them (Wikipedia).
Why is it so hard to define time? A couple of reasons. First, time is a concept. There is no physical, tangible material that we can gauge using our 5 senses (example: we can touch a baseball and compare how heavy it is compared to other things and then develop a system of weight). Second, the word “time” is used in many different ways. For instance, we say…
- “Time stood still.”
- “Excuse me, do you have the time.”
- “It took a very long time.”
- “Teenage years are a difficult time.”
- “This is not the first time this has happened.”
- “It’s time for dinner.”
- “I don’t have time right now.”
- “Clap in time to the music.”
- “I had a good time last night.”
- “He completed the race in record time.”
- “Things were different in my time.”
- “He should be doing time for such a crime.”
Wow, this devotional is taking a lot of time…but then, it is timely…I wish someone would have written it in my time…uh, oh, it’s break time. You get the point, right?
However we define it…we realize that time is important for at least two reasons:
- It is helpful for all of us to use the same method to gauge the passing and use of days and nights (example: we show up for work at the same time, we boil an egg for the same amount of time).
- We only have a limited amount of it (so we are careful how we use it).
Jesus understood the importance of time. In fact, He understood the importance of “timing”…that means that it is important when something happens, that it happen at a specific time. For example:
- A baseball player understands that timing is important when he swings the bat to hit the ball.
- A car driver understands that timing is important when he starts to stop his car in order to not run into another car.
On several occasions, Jesus said something like…
- “My time is not yet at hand…”
- “My time has not yet fully come.”
- “My hour has not yet come.”
Each of those is a reference to “timing”…something happening at a specific time.
When Jesus said those things…He was talking about people fully realizing exactly Who it was that He claimed to be…God. If you read about the life of Jesus in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), especially about the 3 years of His ministry, you will see that He did not immediately make it known to everyone that He claimed to be God. In fact, on numerous occasions, He actually told demons to be quiet because they were using words and names about Him that identified Who He was. Slowly, particularly towards the end of His ministry, Jesus began to make it known more completely and more definitely that He claimed to be God. Why did He do that? Why didn’t He just come right out when He first began His ministry and say, “I am God!” Because it was that very claim that got Him killed. The Jewish leaders used His claim to be God as the evidence for blasphemy to have Him crucified. If He had told everyone that He was God at the first of His ministry…they would have immediately crucified Him and He would never have had opportunity to provide the proof for His claim. And what was His proof? His words (teaching and preaching). His miracles (signs). What the Bible said about Him (as the Messiah). Jesus knew that He had to time His claim to be God very, very carefully…if He expected to have the opportunity to provide the proof. So, on numerous occasions during His ministry, people tried to get Him to do things, or say things, but He wouldn’t…because it was not yet time. And there is another very important fact to keep in mind about Jesus and His time. Sometimes people tried to do things to Him (like arrest Him), but God the Father did not allow it…because it was not yet time. That tells us that God is in control…even if we don’t see Him at work.
What does this mean for us? Well, it means that God is aware of when, and where, and how things happen…and what effect they have on our lives. And, it means that God will not allow something to happen that does not fit into His plan for our life.
That is an amazing thought, to me. It is a comforting thought, to me. God knows the times and the timing of my life. He is aware of every year, month, week, day, hour, minute, and second of my life. His ability to determine what time it is, what is going on in my life, is more precise than that atomic clock. And get this (this is going to blow your mind)…God not only knows what time it is…God controls time…God controls what happens during that time…and God is unaffected by time. It is about time that we realize that.
So, here is a good question and answer for you: What time is it? It is time for you to trust God with your life. Make the most of the time that God has given you. Don’t waste any more time. The clock is ticking.
Love you more than bunches and bunches,