November 2021 Elders Report by Desmond VanHouten

Twice a year, we are forced to think about time as we try to remember whether we need to set our clocks forward or backward. In just a few short days we will need to set our clocks back 1 hour to payback the hour that was borrowed back in March. While society attempts to manipulate time, it is always good to remember how precious our days are. I believe that time is one of the most valuable resources that God gives to everyone. On any given day we are all given the same number of hours, regardless of who we are or how we try to define ourselves. What differentiates time from other resources God provides (money & relationships) is that it cannot be saved (time wasted is time spent) and you cannot work harder to earn more. All we can do is be careful with what we have and be mindful of how it is spent. Fortunately, we aren’t left on our own to figure out how to be wise with time, but the Bible provides great wisdom for how God wants us to use His resources.
Recognize Life on Earth is Brief Compared to Eternity in Heaven
Psalm 39:4-5 Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Psalm 90:12 Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom
As the Bible points out, the days in our earthly life are brief when compared to eternity in Heaven. With the brevity of life, we need to be diligent to spend the time we have on earth wisely. We should spend time on earthly pleasures that glorify God: spending time with our family, showing love to our neighbors, telling others how Jesus has changed our lives and made us a new creation, volunteering to serve where God has designed us to serve. While life is brief and we called to serve, God also demonstrated the importance of resting and refocusing with his example during the creation. God was diligent and created the earth and everything on it in 6 days but took time to rest on the 7th day. Since we were created in God’s image, it is important to remember to work hard and to also take the necessary time to rest.
Make the Most of Every Opportunity
Ephesians 5:15 – 17 Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
In Ephesians 5, Paul encourages all believers to be like God and love others as Christ loves us. He then warns believers to be careful with how we live. God wants us to live our lives reflecting the light of God and pleasing the Lord and not living for our fleshly desires. In verses 15-17, Christians are encouraged to make the most of every opportunity we are given, i.e., spending our time wisely and being diligent with every opportunity God presents to us. In the August and September ACEFC newsletter articles by Tim and Andy, they both expressed the importance of sharing the gospel message with those around us at every opportunity that we can.
Trust in God to Help Establish Your Plans and Guide Your Time Usage
Proverbs 3:9 Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops
Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans
Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails
As with money, God wants us to give some of His resources back to Him. As believers, we should spend time in prayer thanking God for what He has provided and gaining clarity for how He wants us to live our days and lives. Through prayer time, we align our hearts to God. With our focus on God, we will be more likely to use our time wisely and be attuned to the plans that God has for us.


A few questions to reflect on:
Do I prioritize my time on areas of life that glorify God?
Have I been making the most of every opportunity that God has provided?
Where am I spending time that may not be the wisest?
Do I allow God to direct the use of my time?

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