Bible Study Guides – Our Time and Talents Belong to God

January 22, 2006 – January 28, 2006

Key Text

“He asked life of thee, [and] thou gavest [it] him, [even] length of days for ever and ever.” Psalm 21:4.

Study Help: Christ’s Object Lessons, 325–350.


“All men have been bought with this infinite price. By pouring the whole treasury of heaven into this world, by giving us in Christ all heaven, God has purchased the will, the affections, the mind, the soul, of every human being. Whether believers or unbelievers, all men are the Lord’s property. All are called to do service for Him, and for the manner in which they have met this claim, all will be required to render an account at the great judgment day.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 326.

1 How does the psalmist acknowledge our accountability for the use of our time? Psalm 90:12.

note: “Our time belongs to God. Every moment is His, and we are under the most solemn obligation to improve it to His glory. Of no talent He has given will He require a more strict account than of our time.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 342.

“Your time is God’s, and as Christians, we must use it to the glory of God. God has graciously entrusted us with twenty four hours in each day and night. This is a precious treasure by which much good can be accomplished. How are we using God’s golden opportunities? We must, as Christians, set the Lord always before us, if we would not lose precious hours in uselessness, and have nothing to show for our time. . . .

“Time is a talent committed to our trust that may be shamefully misused. Every child of God, man, woman, youth or child, should consider and appreciate the value of the moments of time.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 6, 80.

2 Who is the giver of time to mankind? Psalms 91:16; 21:4.

note: “If they [the children of Israel] would keep His commandments, God promised to give them the finest of the wheat, and bring them honey out of the rock. With long life would He satisfy them, and show them His salvation.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 289.

“The Lord has precious promises in this life for those who keep His law. He says, ‘My son, forget not My law; but let thine heart keep My commandments: for length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: so shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man.’ Proverbs 3:1–4.

“But a better than earthly reward awaits those who, basing their work on the solid Rock, build up symmetrical characters, in accordance with the living word. For them is prepared ‘a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.’ Hebrews 11:10.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 63.

3 What recognition of His ownership of our time does the Lord require of all? Exodus 20:8–10. When did God set apart the day for rest and worship? Verse 11; Genesis 2:1–3.

note: “In Eden, God set up the memorial of His work of creation, in placing His blessing upon the seventh day. The Sabbath was committed to Adam, the father and representative of the whole human family. Its observance was to be an act of grateful acknowledgment, on the part of all who should dwell upon the earth, that God was their Creator and their rightful Sovereign; that they were the work of His hands and the subjects of His authority. Thus the institution was wholly commemorative, and given to all mankind.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 48.

4 What blessing comes to those who, by Sabbath observance, recognize God’s ownership of time? Exodus 31:13. What blessings are promised to those who acknowledge the Sabbath as belonging to the Lord? Isaiah 58:13, 14.

note: “The value of the Sabbath as a means of education is beyond estimate. Whatever of ours God claims from us, He returns again, enriched, transfigured, with His own glory. The tithe that He claimed from Israel was devoted to preserving among men, in its glorious beauty, the pattern of His temple in the heavens, the token of His presence on the earth. So the portion of our time which He claims is given again to us, bearing His name and seal. . . . The Sabbath is a sign of creative and redeeming power; it points to God as the source of life and knowledge; it recalls man’s primeval glory, and thus witnesses to God’s purpose to re-create us in His own image.” Education, 250.

“The Sabbath was made for man, to be a blessing to him by calling his mind from secular labor to contemplate the goodness and glory of God. It is necessary that the people of God assemble to talk of Him, to interchange thoughts and ideas in regard to the truths contained in His word, and to devote a portion of time to appropriate prayer. But these seasons, even upon the Sabbath, should not be made tedious by their length and lack of interest. . . .

“All who love God should do what they can to make the Sabbath a delight, holy and honorable. They cannot do this by seeking their own pleasure in sinful, forbidden amusements. Yet they can do much to exalt the Sabbath in their families and make it the most interesting day of the week. We should devote time to interesting our children. A change will have a happy influence upon them. We can walk out with them in the open air; we can sit with them in the groves and in the bright sunshine, and give their restless minds something to feed upon by conversing with them upon the works of God, and can inspire them with love and reverence by calling their attention to the beautiful objects in nature.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 584, 585.

5 What instruction is given concerning the general use of our time? Romans 12:11.

note: “The value of time is beyond computation. Christ regarded every moment as precious, and it is thus that we should regard it. Life is too short to be trifled away. We have but a few days of probation in which to prepare for eternity. We have no time to waste, no time to devote to selfish pleasure, no time for the indulgence of sin. . . .

“Every moment is freighted with eternal consequences. We are to stand as minute men, ready for service at a moment’s notice. The opportunity that is now ours to speak to some needy soul the word of life may never offer again. God may say to that one, ‘This night thy soul shall be required of thee,’ and through our neglect he may not be ready. (Luke 12:20.) In the great judgment day, how shall we render our account to God?” Christ’s Object Lessons, 342, 343.

“The preciousness of life is to be appreciated because this life belongs to the Master. . . . There are in the providence of God particular periods when we must arise in response to the call of God, and make use of our time, our intellect, our whole being, body, soul, and spirit, fulfilling to the utmost of our ability the requirements of God.” Pamphlet 135, 10.

6 What lesson did Christ seek to teach His friends in Bethany? Luke 10:38–42.

note: “Life is too solemn to be absorbed in temporal and earthly matters, in a treadmill of care and anxiety for the things that are but an atom in comparison with the things of eternal interest. Yet God has called us to serve Him in the temporal affairs of life. Diligence in this work is as much a part of true religion as is devotion.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 343.

7 What admonition is especially given to the people of these last days? Ephesians 5:16.

note: “We are admonished to redeem the time. But time squandered can never be recovered. We cannot call back even one moment. The only way in which we can redeem our time is by making the most of that which remains, by being co-workers with God in His great plan of redemption.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 342.

8 By what parable does Jesus teach our accountability to God for every mental and physical attainment? Matthew 25:14, 15.

note: “The talents that Christ entrusts to His church represent especially the gifts and blessings imparted by the Holy Spirit. . . .

“The special gifts of the Spirit are not the only talents represented in the parable. It includes all gifts and endowments, whether original or acquired, natural or spiritual. All are to be employed in Christ’s service. In becoming His disciples, we surrender ourselves to Him with all that we are and have. These gifts He returns to us purified and ennobled, to be used for His glory in blessing our fellow men.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 327, 328.

9 What course did the three servants mentioned in Question 8 pursue? On the lord’s return, what accounting was required? What rewards were given to the faithful? What punishment to the negligent? Matthew 25:16–30.

note: “We shall individually be held responsible for doing one jot less than we have ability to do. The Lord measures with exactness every possibility for service. The unused capabilities are as much brought into account as are those that are improved. For all that we might become through the right use of our talents God holds us responsible. We shall be judged according to what we ought to have done, but did not accomplish because we did not use our powers to glorify God. Even if we do not lose our souls, we shall realize in eternity the result of our unused talents. For all the knowledge and ability that we might have gained and did not, there will be an eternal loss.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 363.

10 How completely will true love to God absorb our faculties? How will this love be manifested? Mark 12:30.

note: “Every man is required to do the work assigned him of God. We should be willing to render small services, doing the things that are to be done, which someone must do, improving the little opportunities. If these are the only opportunities we should still work faithfully. He who wastes hours, days, and weeks, because he is unwilling to do the work that offers, humble though it may be, will be called to render an account to God for his misspent time. . . . He is the Lord’s servant. He is not to waste his time.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 181.

11 What reward awaits the loyal servant who consecrates all to his Lord? Matthew 25:31–34.

note: “Heaven is worth everything to us. We must not run any risk in this matter. We must take no venture here. We must know that our steps are ordered by the Lord. May God help us in the great work of overcoming. He has crowns for those that overcome. He has white robes for the righteous. He has an eternal world of glory for those who seek for glory, honor, and immortality. Everyone who enters the city of God will enter it as a conqueror. He will not enter it as a condemned criminal, but as a son of God. And the welcome given to everyone who enters there will be, ‘Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’ Matthew 25:34.” Temperance, 114.

“The atonement of Christ makes all who will be saved His own chosen. All that stand as Christ’s faithful soldiers will consecrate themselves and all their small and their large possessions to the Lord, to advance His work in this world. Their humble homes, and necessary equipments for business will be used as lent of God. Surplus property will be disposed of for Him.” The Gospel Herald, December 1, 1901.

12 By what service will this loyalty of God’s children have been shown? Matthew 25:35–40.

note: “His followers are not to feel themselves detached from the perishing world around them. They are a part of the great web of humanity, and heaven looks upon them as brothers to sinners as well as to saints.” The Ministry of Healing, 104.

“He who becomes a child of God should henceforth look upon himself as a link in the chain let down to save the world, one with Christ in His plan of mercy, going forth with Him to seek and save the lost. . . .

“We need not go to Nazareth, to Capernaum, or to Bethany, in order to walk in the steps of Jesus. We shall find His footprints beside the sickbed, in the hovels of poverty, in the crowded alleys of the great cities, and in every place where there are human hearts in need of consolation.

“We are to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and comfort the suffering and afflicted. We are to minister to the despairing, and to inspire hope in the hopeless.” Ibid., 105, 106.