BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
“But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none, those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away” (1 Corinthians 7:29-31 NKJV).
Sometimes people think that they have all the time in the world to do what they should do. This is wrong thinking, especially for ministers of the gospel and whoever is determined to fulfil the purpose of God for his life. Those who understand that the time is short will not pursue their goals casually or dabble into everything.
Consider how time flies. As I write, we are in the last month of the year 2021. Just like that! Eleven months have gone and the twelfth will soon go. What did you accomplish this year? What investment did you make into your ministry or destiny? Very soon, people will start making New Year resolutions. It will be another “Happy New Year.” And the New Year will begin without new attitudes to make the year count. And before long, the year will roll by. The time is short.
Your time on earth is short. You could live for 80, 100, or 120 years, or even more. But everything will be like yesterday. The time is short. You must be serious about life, well-focused, and prioritize your time. God will give nobody more than 24 hours in a day. It is now left for each person to determine what he does with it. The time is short. “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16 NKJV).
The time is short. The apostle Paul says, “But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none, those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away” (1 Corinthians 7:29-31 NKJV).
In this passage, Paul writes to the church that whatever is anyone’s experience, negative or positive, he should know that the time is short and, therefore, not live as a slave of any condition. Nobody should allow his comfort, possessions, or the good things of life to make him ineffective in his calling or destiny.
Also, nobody should use his negative condition, lack, difficulties, etc as an excuse for his ineffectiveness in the kingdom of God. Everyone should know the time is short. We have a short time to own and enjoy the good things of life. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36 NKJV). Our troubles are also for a short time (2 Corinthians 4:17). The time is short.
The world is passing away
Paul says that the time is short and those who use this world should not misuse it because the form of this world is passing away (1 Corinthians 7:29-31). The New Living Translation renders verse 31 thus: “Those in frequent contact with the things of the world should make good use of them without becoming attached to them, for this world and all it contains will pass away.” Nobody has all the time in the world to do everything. The time is short. You’ve got to do what you need to do, and not just anything, but what will matter in the end. The apostle John says the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:17).
The time is short both for you and the devil! But it appears the devil is more serious than most people are! He knows that he doesn’t have all the time in the world. Revelation 12:12 says, “Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time” (NKJV).
Because the devil knows the time is short for him, he is desperate, moving as fast as possible, to get many people to hellfire and destroy as many lives as possible. He is busy stealing, killing, and destroying (John 10:10a). He is fulfilling his ministry while many people are busy playing with their ministry. You must be more serious than the devil is! No room for wasting time. The time is short.
Before the evil days come
Ecclesiastes 12:1 says, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them” (KJV). Take note of the phrase “the evil days.” These are not the evil days of disasters but of the challenges of old age. The New King James Version uses the phrase “the difficult days.”
Evil or difficult days will come when you can no longer do what you used to do. The parts of your body will not be able to function well as they used to. The author of Ecclesiastes explains this in Ecclesiastes 12:1-7. This is the time when people don’t enjoy living again. They can only enjoy the memories of the good things they used the days of their youth to do or live to regret till they die for failing to do what they should have done when they could.
The time is short. Procrastination is not only the thief of time; it is the thief of destiny. Some things are better done when you are young because you still have the physical strength to do them. Whoever misses this period will regret it even if he gives his life to Jesus in his old age. He could be willing and ready to do such things but he would have no strength to do them. That does not mean God can no longer use the person. He will use him in another way. If this is your condition, hope is not lost for you. Give your life to Jesus now. It is better late than never.
What do you believe God has called you to do on earth? What is your life assignment? What work has God given you to do? The time is short to do it. You don’t have all the time in the world. Prioritize your time; devote your time to your ministry, life assignment, or destiny. Don’t let anything distract you. A time will come when you won’t be able to do it because of the aging process. Your eyes, ears, legs, hands, and other parts of your body may no longer be as vibrant as before. Don’t waste your time on useless things if you don’t want to regret your life in old age. You must work the works of Him who sent you while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work (John 9:4). The time is short.
Joshua 13:1 says, “Now Joshua was old, advanced in years. And the LORD said to him: ‘You are old, advanced in years, and there remains very much land yet to be possessed” (NKJV). Before you become old when you won’t be able to do so much, make hay while the sun shines. Possess all the land you should possess. Invest your time in the fulfilment of your ministry or destiny.
If you’re a minster of the Gospel, don’t forget that when Jesus ascended to heaven, He gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-12). Jesus didn’t give titles! He gave persons (gifts) He had chosen to work – to equip the saints for the work of ministry, to edify of the body of Christ. Are you doing this? Enough of going about with titles! You don’t have all the time in the world. The time is short.
Wake up from your slumber. You will soon be old when you won’t be agile to do some things. Romans 13:11-14 says, “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” (NKJV).
Enough of excuses and procrastination. The apostle Peter says the end of all things is at hand; therefore, be serious and watchful in your prayers (1 Peter 4:7). Use the grace God has given you. Don’t compete with anyone. The time is short. Paul says if your grace is prophecy, prophesy in proportion to your faith. If it is ministry, use it in ministering. If it is teaching, use it in teaching. If it is exhortation, use it in exhortation. If it is giving, give with liberality. If it is leading, lead with diligence. And if your grace is showing mercy, use it with cheerfulness (Romans 12:6-8). As God’s steward, He expects you to be faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2). The time is short. Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Whether the condition is favourable or unfavourable, fulfil your ministry (2 Timothy 4:1-5).
You’re not too old to fulfil your ministry or destiny. Abram departed Haran at 75 years to obey the call of God (Genesis 12:4). At 85 years, Caleb asked Moses to give him the mountain the LORD promised him 45 years earlier, a mountain inhabited by the giants, the Anakites (Joshua 14:10-12). Joshua gave Hebron to Caleb.
Your life assignment may not be like that of an apostle, prophet, evangelist, or pastor and teacher. Whatever it is, the time is short. Prayerfully discover it, devote your time to it, and fulfil it. This is the end time. Beware of worldly, sinful pleasures. As Jesus says in Luke 21:34, take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day comes on you unexpectedly. Don’t walk as an enemy of the cross; don’t set your mind on earthly things (Philippians 3:18-19). Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:1). The time is short.
What to do
1. Give your life to Jesus Christ (John 3:3, 7).
2. Become a disciple of Jesus Christ (John 12:26; Mark 1:17; Matthew 6:33).
3. Discover and pursue God’s purpose or your life. Ask God what He wants you to do (Jeremiah 1:4-5; Acts 9:6; 1 Corinthians 15:9; Galatians 1:15-16).
4. Ask for godly wisdom (James 1:5; 3:17).
5. Invest your time properly. Avoid distractions, laziness, and complacency. Shun procrastination (Ecclesiastes 1:1-8; Proverbs 6:6-9; 10:4; 14;23; 18:9; 20:13; Philippians 3:12-14).
6. Keep the right company (Proverbs 13:20; 14:7; 22:24-25; 1Corinthians 15:33; 5:11-13; 2 Corinthians 6:14-15; Psalms 1:1-5; 26:4-5; 119:115 ).
7. Beware of worldly, sinful pleasures (Luke 8:14; Hebrews 11:24-25; Titus 2:11-12).
Conclusion: God’s purpose for your life was determined in eternity past, but you don’t have eternity to fulfill it. God has fixed a time for every purpose and work (Ecclesiastes 3:17b). “Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom” (Psalm 90:12 NLT). The time is short!
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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