In the late 1960’s a Rock band by the name of Chicago had a hit song containing this line, “Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care about time?”
For people in many countries in the world, today’s date, December 31, marks the end of a year. Midnight at the end of this day is recognized as the beginning of the new year, 2019. There will be various traditional gatherings where people like to “bring in the New Year together.” Here in the U.S. the first day of the year is a national holiday and many businesses and institutions will be closed. So I guess people to really care somewhat about time.
Robert Lamm, the author of the song by Chicago seemed to be asking a deeper question. Listen to these lines:
“People runnin’ everywhere
Don’t know where to go
Don’t know where I am
Can’t see past the next step
Don’t have time to think past the last mile
Have no time to look around
Just run around, run around and think why …..”
Times and seasons are really important to us. Maybe the actual date on the calendar isn’t as important as our need to stop and reflect on the passing of time, what we have done and intend to do with the time that has been given unto us. A Biblical Psalm that is attributed to the great prophet Moses brings this request to God:
He says, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12).
Those who love and worship their Father and Creator God have the potential of receiving valuable wisdom from Him concerning the time they have been given on this earth. They need not run everywhere, not knowing where to go, or where they are. They can, to some degree actually see past the next step, for their steps are directed by the Lord. They can look back and see His Hand upon their lives. And because they know a glorious future in Him awaits them, they can fully live in the present.
For over two thousand years now, Christians have been looking for a great event in the history of the world. This event has to do with the culmination of all that God has been planning and bringing forth from the beginning of time. It has to do with the full, final and complete revelation of Jesus Christ to all of humanity. We have searched the prophecies of the Bible with great enthusiasm to determine just when He will appear, and what will actually transpire at that time. The many divergent interpretations of these prophecies from the most devout and dedicated scholars from various times and backgrounds can be confusing. Lately I have come to the understanding that God Himself has hidden some of the details from us for some good reason, which we will eventually learn.
At the same time, I believe that He plans to make more of these details known to this generation. We must have open hearts and minds to hear from Him, and be diligent as were the wise Orientals who followed His star to Bethlehem. Certainly we can become too preoccupied with “the signs of the times,” or the “end times.” But Jesus Himself complained to the people of His day for being unaware of the significance of the day they were in. They should have observed the signs pointing to His arrival and of His Kingdom breaking forth upon the scene.
Where is our country heading? What is God doing among His people? Are we following Him or are we hoping He will endorse the plans we have made? Is the Church of Jesus Christ becoming too inwardly focused? Do we have a vision for His greater purpose which can give more meaning to our everyday challenges and activities? Or is it all about me? My needs. My happiness?
Some of the most powerful words ever spoken will lead us all to the true happiness that God desires for every one of us.
“And he (Jesus) said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?”
In our day we are seeing an intense and deliberate attack on the very Word of God that can make us aware of the times in which we live. Those who hold His Word in their hearts will be able to discern between all the confusing voices and to detect His Voice above them all. They will know how to prepare themselves for the immediate future as well as for eternity. Unlike the “blind leading the blind,” they see a bright and glorious path set before them.
“Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.
But the path of the just is as the shining light , that Shines more and more unto the perfect day.”
Impending doom is a reality for those who walk in darkness, and reject the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But there is always hope that the fire that He has lit within our hearts will continue to grow and glow out into the darkness of this fallen world. Let us pray with Paul the apostle that the eyes of our understanding will be opened to a greater vision of Him and His purpose for His Church. (Ephesians 1:16-22). This will no doubt inspire us to see beyond ourselves and to participate in His great love for all.
Lord, help us to accurately discern the signs of these times. Give us a greater zeal in our hearts for Your Heart, Your desire for Your people and all of humanity. Help us to truly know what time it is in your redemptive calendar, and to respond accordingly.
In Jesus Name, Amen.