Number Our Days


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Just as we have to know where our money is going, we have to know where our time is going. The online magazine, Entrepreneur, suggested one way of numbering our days.
Carry a schedule and record all your thoughts, conversations and activities for a week. This will help you understand how much you can get done during the course of a day and where your precious moments are going. You'll see how much time is actually spent producing results and how much time is wasted on unproductive thoughts, conversations and actions. [1]
Then, we have to “[p]lan to spend at least 50 percent of [our] time engaged in the thoughts, activities and conversations that produce most of [our] results.” [2] The goal is not to distribute time evenly among all those activities. The goal is to focus on what’s the best use of time. “Also remember that odds are good that 20 percent of your thoughts, conversations and activities produce 80 percent of your results.” [3]

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But more than focusing on productivity, we have to focus first and foremost on our mortality. Moses prayed, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12) The New Living Translation reads this way, “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.” King David prayed the same thing.
O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! (Psalm 39:4-5. Emphasis added.)
Thus, to number our days is to see that life is short. When we see “the brevity of life,” then we know that we have to make the most of it. That’s when we “get a heart of wisdom.” Only when we see our mortality that we will have productivity. 

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Without seeing first that we have limited time, we would not work on making it productive. If we don’t see that we have a short time here on earth, we would be tempted to procrastinate or to put off for tomorrow what we can do today. The shortness of our time makes it more urgent and important for us to make the most of it. That’s also the basis of Paul’s command, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16, emphasis added.) The Message version translated that phrase this way: “These are desperate times!” A wise person will make the best use of time. A foolish person will waste it.

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We are to live focused lives, not merely balanced lives. We are to focus on what will matter there in eternity, not just on what will matter here on earth. After talking about living carefully, the apostle Paul concluded: “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (v. 17) The will of God as revealed in the word of God will tell us what really matters in life.
Having sovereignly bounded our lives with eternity, God knows both the beginning and end of our time on earth. As believers we can achieve our potential in His service only as we maximize the time He has given us. [4]
“Making the Most” Step

Reflect on the time you really felt that life is short like when you almost had a fatal accident or you (or a loved one) had a serious sickness. How did your life change since that experience? Share the lessons you learned with your children.

NOTE: This is Day Three of the devotional guide (Volume 1, Issue 7) of our church, Filinvest Community Christian Fellowship, for the message on Pass It On! (Part 2)” last April 12.  

[1] Joe Mathews, Don Debolt and Deb Percival (2011, May 2), “How to Manage Time With 10 Tips That Work,” Enterpreneur, retrieved from http://www.entrepreneur.com/.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] John MacArthur, Jr., The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Ephesians (Philippines: Christ for Greater Manila, 1989), 221.


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