Time management: Making the most of the seconds we have left

clocksTick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

My grandparents collected clocks and their house was filled with the sounds of those ticking clocks.  They had all kinds of clocks from wall clocks to a grandfather clock. I spent the night there a few times and it was difficult to adjust to that sound — especially when they would start to chime on the hours.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

Seconds turn into minutes, minutes into hours, hours into days, days into months, months into years, years into a lifetime.  The seconds click off the clock.  It doesn’t matter whether you watch the clock or whether you ignore the clock.  The seconds are still drifting by.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

I have to be very honest.  I’m thinking a lot about the clock now.  I know that I’m close to reaching (maybe already have) the halfway point in my life.  I know that I’m entering the backside of the clock.  When I do the math, it tells me that I’m at the place where the clock is counting down. Second by second.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

Maybe you’re hearing that clock as well.  You see the time on your clock winding down.  Maybe, it’s because of what you’ve been through or what you see you’re going to face.  Maybe it’s because up until this moment, those seconds have been lived your way, your style and you’re struggling to see a future in it.  Maybe you’ve heard some medical news that has those ticks ahead seeming even more important.  Maybe you also see yourself as the one on the backside of the clock.  Or, possibly, you see that some of the situations and predicaments that you’ve experienced have taken away valuable time from that clock that is your life.  And it’s still counting down.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

If we know that time is short, that the clock is ticking and that we, generally, do not know when that clock is going to stop, we must have a sense of urgency.  With that in mind, I want to share with you the most urgent, most life-changing and transforming message that I know, that I have lived, that I am living and that I am placing all of my hope in.

I know the build up is huge, but our clock is ticking and there’s something urgent to consider.

First, we have a problem.  I know that what I’m about to share is not the most popular of messages these days.  Yet, it is one we need to hear.  We have a problem and that problem is sin.  Sin, in the context of the Bible, is defined as missing the mark.  You can think of lining up to take a shot and your aim is even a degree off.  You miss the mark.

That same thing happens in our life with God.  There’s an image, a target of how God intended for us to be and, when sin entered the picture, we missed the mark. It’s sin and we all do it.

In Romans 3:23, we read, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”  

We can also sin about the way that we see our sin.  One way is by comparison and it goes something like this:  I know I have my own shortcomings, but have you heard about what he did last week.  Now, that’s a real sinner.  By the way, there is no passage in scripture that says you get off the hook for your sins if you find someone else in a worse state to compare yourself to.  It doesn’t happen.

The second one is a sin of vanity.  It might sound something like this: If you knew what I did, you wouldn’t want me in that church.  If I walk in, I’m going to burst into flames.  I would really like to find out more about that Jesus thing, but I need to get myself cleaned up first.

So, I’m going to say it to you and for you.  You are a sinner, yes, and you might’ve really done some things you aren’t proud of.  But you aren’t such a good sinner that you’ve sinned in a truly unique way and you certainly haven’t sinned in such a way that God is like, “Wow, I’ve seen some sin but that one is new to me.”

So, yes, you sin, you have sinned, you will sin. Some of you probably sinned on the way to church this morning.  Sin is the problem and it is everyone’s problem.

That leads us to the second part of the formula: We can’t solve our own problem.

The world teaches us that we can make it on our own.  We can be Lone Rangers, lone wolves, or “an army of one.”  The world teaches that everything we need is within reach.  We can buy it or earn it.  Or, we, simply, deserve it.

The world is wrong.  We can’t do this one on our own.

In Romans 6:23, we read, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  

For the moment, let’s concentrate on the first part of that verse:  “For the wages of sin is death.”  Wages are something that you earn.  In terms of the working world, wages are what you bring home in pay.  Paul, in writing Romans, says, what you have earned, what you deserve, for sin is death.  No matter how hard you try, you can’t earn your way out of the sin problem.

Our sins, even one sin, creates a chasm between us and God that is impossible for us to bridge.  But the Good News, the Great News of God is that you don’t have to.

Therefore, Jesus is the answer to our sin problem.

You have a problem called sin that you can’t fix.  And then there’s Jesus who fixes it for you.  When there is a divide between you and God, the only way to bridge that divide is for God to take action.  Nothing you could do would get it there.  It had to be God who does that by Jesus.  Jesus is God incarnate, in the flesh.  He walked among us, he taught us, he showed us what God is like.  Then, he died for us.  And the key part of that is “for us.”  Jesus proves that God is “for us” because in the resurrection of Jesus, death was defeated and your sin problem was solved.

Scripture is filled with references to the solving of this sin problem.

  • For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son so that whosever believeth in him will not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16
  • “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23
  • Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 6:14

In fact, Scripture is really divided into three big sections.  There is the period after the fall and the first sin that shows us over and over again why we need a savior and can’t do it on our own.  There’s the reset that comes with the arrival of Jesus and his death and resurrection.  Then there’s the after where we learn what the resurrection means and how we apply it to our own lives.

We can talk about this all day but the ticking clock says we need to do more than just talk about it.  We need to take action, we need to address this issue in our life and we need to experience Jesus, the ultimate solution to our problem.

I know that it is hard to admit to ourselves that we sin. I get it. I’ve lived through it and I’ve watched others live through it. And I need to say this because I know you might be struggling with it in this moment.  And, you hear that clock.

You have said that things are going to be better. Then, you fall back into the same place.  You are so afraid at this moment that someone else is going to find out that who you really are doesn’t match up with the front you’re putting up for everyone else,  And you hear the clock.

You are caught in a tug-of-war between living and an addiction. You say it’s over, but the pressure turns up on you, and the urges are there to crawl back to the bottle, back to the pills. And, the clock is ticking.

Maybe you’ve been hurt by the church and you are struggling to separate the church and God in your life. You’re living with doubts and questions. You want something else and you know your clock is ticking.

Maybe, you are dragging so much emotional baggage, so much guilt, shame and regret from something in your past.  You think you have to punish yourself by clinging to it. Yet, the clock is still ticking.

There are so many things you could be experiencing, so many things going through your mind and your heart. So many ways your spirit could’ve been crushed. And you know the clock is ticking and it only adds to your anxiety.

Sin is a problem we all have and a problem we can’t fix. But something will happen if you are willing to take the first step. Jesus runs to meet you.

And I wonder what could happen today, in this second, this minute, this hour, if we were willing to take all of that we carry and take the first step toward Jesus. How could that change the time left on our clocks?

The clock is ticking and it’s ticking for everyone.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. 

How are you going to address your sin problem before the clock runs out?


Reignite My Story is based on fact that every life story can be reset, renewed and redeemed.  For more life lessons, visit www.reignitemystory.com. For more, like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter at @reignitemystory.  You may also send email to reignitemystory@gmail.com.

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