If we were sitting at the breakfast table sipping a cup of coffee and preparing to butter a piece of toast, and smelling smoke, looked up to see the kitchen curtains near the stove in flames, what would be the best use of our time? (1) Butter the toast and finish the cup of coffee, or (2) do something about the rapidly spreading fire? Whether we run towards the fire with a pot of water or grab the phone and call the Fire Department, no one would maintain that a better use of our time would be to butter the toast.

Every day we make decisions as to the best use of our time and few of them are as absurdly easy as this one, yet many times these decisions have an even greater effect on our lives than the decision to put out the flame. In the one instance we may save our home from the fire, but in our everyday life we make decisions that will save not a home, but our life from eternal destruction.

In the final analysis, those who will be saved when Christ comes will be those who made the wise decisions as to how they spent their time each day. There is only one way in which we are equal, and that is in regard to time. We each have 24 hours to spend every day. None of us have more, none have less, and it is impossible to save up the time of one day to be used later. Each day all 24 hours are spent, wisely or foolishly, but spent nonetheless.

How we spend this time determines our success or failure, our happiness, our misery, and finally our acceptance or rejection by Christ at his judgment seat.

Since the way we spend our time is important, let us use our best judgment in deciding how it will be spent. The first thing we should do is plan what we want to accomplish each day. With no plan how can we hope to spend our time wisely? We need to make lists of the things we determine are important and certainly our daily list should always include Bible readings and prayer. If we come to the end of the day and have had no time to read from God’s book, then we have made some foolish decisions as to the best use of our time that will be as destructive as buttering our toast while our house burns.

One way to check up on ourselves to see if we are making the best use of our time is to simply ask the question, ‘What is the best use of my time right now?’ over and over during the day. Many times we will have to admit that at that moment we could make better use of our time than we are doing.

We should ask this question when we are torn between two projects, when we run out of steam, or when we seem to be bogged down and making little headway.

If we ask this question as we are driving to the morning meeting we can certainly answer yes, but since it is also possible to think and drive at the same time we might use this driving time to think of the blessing that is ours to be able to attend the memorial service. As we drive along we could sing a hymn, or even say a prayer to help prepare our mind for the meeting. By asking the question, we have actually improved on the immediate use of our time even while we are on our way to the meeting.

If we will form the habit of making lists of the important things we want to accomplish each day, and then ask ourselves over and over throughout the day, ‘What is the best use of my time right now?’ we will find that we will accomplish much more with less effort.

Solomon wisely instructed us that “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”. Let us then redeem the time by taking to heart the words of our hymn, “Life is the time to serve the Lord, to do His will, to learn His word”.