February 20, 2022

Our Time is Not Our Own

Hebrews 4:1-11

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.”

—  Exodus 20:8-9

God gives us the time we have, from the beginning to the end of our lives. It is not our own.

Many people, however, have the arrogant notion that time is their own, so they should be able to spend it as they wish. They get upset if someone “wastes” their time. But time is not a commodity we get to “spend.”

God built creation with Sabbath-rest as its goal. This was not because God was exhausted after six days of creation. The rest that God commands is for us so that we can enjoy his creation and honor the one who gives us life within it. So each week we should enjoy a day of rejoicing in God’s work while setting our own work aside.

Plenty of people think that this command is inconsequential today. They believe their own work is so important that it super­sedes God’s Sabbath command. It does not. Resting and rejoicing in God remind us that we are not in control.

Some of my relatives own supermarkets in the Chicago area. Their stores are not open on Sundays. In this way they show they love God more than money. They and their employees enjoy a Sabbath-rest in honor of God. God has prospered them and will do so for all who keep his Sabbath.

Thank you, Lord, for the time you give us. Thank you too for reminding us each week that time is not our own. Bless us, we pray, in Jesus. Amen.

About the author — Kent Van Til

Kent Van Til was a missionary in Costa Rica. He taught theological ethics both there and in the USA. He is the author of four books. The most recent is a spiritual biography of his grandmother entitled, "A Name for Herself: A Dutch Immigrant's Story." Kent likes to fish, hunt, make music, and entertain his grandchildren.

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