Gleanings from Jonathan Edward’s sermon “The Preciousness of Time and the Importance of Redeeming It” made by Donald S. Whitney.
1. Use Time wisely “Because the Days Are Evil”
Ephesians 5:15-16 – “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”
2. Wise Use of Time is the Preparation for Eternity
Whitney warns, “During time (that is, in this life) you must prepare for eternity, for there will be no second chance to prepare once you have crossed eternity’s timeless threshold.”
As the general shouts, “Brothers, what we do in life… echoes in eternity.”
3. Time is Short
James 4:14 – “You are a midst that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
4. Time is Passing
1 John 2:17 – “The worlds and its desires are passing away.”
Whitney writes, “We speak of saving time, buying time, making up time, and so on, but those are illusions, for time is always passing. We should use our time wisely, but even the best use of time cannot put pages back on the calendar.”
5. The Remaining Time Is Uncertain
Proverbs 27:1 – “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.”
Whitney warns, “There are thousands who entered eternity today, including thousands who were younger than you, who yesterday had no idea that today was their last day. Had they known that, their use of time would have become far more important to them.”
6. Time Lost Cannot Be Regained
John 9:4 – We have the day for work but a night is coming when no one can work.
Whitney says, “If you misuse the time God offers to you, He never offers that time again.”
7. You Are Accountable to God for Your Time
Romans 14:12 & 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 – We will all give an account for how we use our time.
Edwards resolved to live each day as if at the end of that day he had to give an account to God of how he used his time.
8. Time Is So Easily Lost
Proverbs 24:33-34 –A little wasted time here, a little there and soon all will be gone.
Whitney reminds, “You don’t have to do anything to lose time.”
9. We Value Time at Death
Proverbs 5:11-13 – Regret comes at the end of a wasted life.
Edwards determined, “Resolved, that I will live so, as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.”
10. Time’s Value in Eternity
Luke 16:19-30 – The parable of the rich man and Lazarus.
Richard Baxter asks, “Does it not tear their very hearts for ever, to think how madly they consumed their lives, and wasted the only time that was given them to prepare for their salvation? Do those in hell now think them wise that are idling or playing away their time on earth?”
-Donald S. Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, (NavPress, 1991), 125-133.