Teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.
In Psalm 90, Moses talked about the value of time. Time is the most valuable commodity we have, and it is valuable for two reasons.
First, time is valuable because it is a limited resource. Have you ever wondered, “Why is gold so valuable?” It is valuable because it is limited. If gold were everywhere–if you could just walk down the street and pick it up–then it would not sell for over $1,000 an ounce. Gold is valuable because it is a limited commodity. And it is the same way with time.
The time God has given you is valuable because it is limited. God has assigned to each of us a birth date, and He also has assigned to each of us a death date. In His book, God has a record not only of the day of your birth, but He has written in permanent ink the day of your death–and there is not one thing you can do to change that date (Psalm 139:16). God has assigned to you a certain number of days, and they are ticking away. That is why time is so valuable. It is a limited gift from God.
Second, time is valuable because it is determinative. This is the paradox of time: even though it is limited, how we spend it determines how we will spend eternity. Even though our bodies return to dust, that does not mean death is the end of us. We are more than our physical bodies. We all possess a spirit that will live somewhere for eternity. Solomon understood that truth. In Ecclesiastes 12:1, he said, “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, ‘I have no delight in them.’” If you live long enough, your body is going to deteriorate. Solomon told us to remember God before that happens. That word “remember” means to make God central in your life before it is too late.
In Ecclesiastes 12:7, Solomon said, “The dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.” Make God central in your life now. Why? Because even after your physical body has returned to the dust, your spirit is going to be ushered into the presence of God. The writer of Hebrews said, “It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” (9:27). All of us are going to stand before God, and the most important questions at that time are going to be: Have we received the forgiveness of our sins that Christ came to provide us? And, once we were saved, how did we use the gift of time that God granted to us? Did we invest the limited years we had on earth in ourselves or in eternal matters?
The most important decision you will make in the new year is this: How are you going to use the limited, valuable gift of time that God has granted you? “Teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). That is a great resolve for the new year.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “It’s About Time” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.