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
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]
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, 35-38; Matt. 16:24-26]
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]
being converted, what use did Paul make of His time on earth? Phil.
3:13, 14 [2 Tim. 4:7, 8]
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
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]
7. 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]
8. 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.
9. 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]
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.
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]
12. 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.
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]
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]
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
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?
3 (Lessons 21-30): Becoming Part of Christ's Remnant People