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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Time and the Kingdom

The Kingdom comes in time, through us.

Guardian of Time (3)

“For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2.16

The mind of Christ
To make the best use of the time of our lives, we need to see our time through the mind of Him Who creates, bestows, and upholds it. A sound mind where time is concerned will shape a pure heart and help us nurture a good conscience as the guardian of our time.

But we need to know God’s purpose for giving us time. That is, what does God intend we should do with this most precious gift? What will our time look like when our use of it reflects the mind of the Lord?

We may protest, “But who can know the mind of the Lord”?

However, Paul reminds us that, if we are believers in Jesus Christ, we have the mind of Christ, the very Word of God, the same Word Who is creating and bestowing and upholding all the time of our lives. We have the mind of Christ!

But if the mind of Christ in us is like one of those taken-for-granted antiques gathering dust in our attic – interesting, but unappreciated and seldom used – it won’t do us much good. We must be renewed daily in the mind of Christ if we want to understand the world – and time – as Jesus does (Rom. 12.1, 2; Eph. 4.17-24).

When we’re thinking like Jesus about everything in our lives and world, our sound mind will provide the perspective and understanding we need to nurture a pure heart, a good conscience, and a strong soul.

Time as Jesus sees it
How does Jesus Christ see the time He gives us each moment of our lives? What is His purpose in giving us this great gift? What does He think about how we should use His time? We want to be good servants and stewards of our time, so that we want to make a proper return to the Lord Who invests His time in us, and thus fulfill our calling to the Kingdom and glory of God (1 Thess. 2.12). The better we understand what Jesus intends in giving us the time of our lives, the better we will be able to make good use of it according to His purposes and will.

According to Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15 – echoing Psalm 110 – Jesus Christ is presently employed at the right hand of God the Father working to augment, improve, and advance His rule on earth as it is in heaven. Time to Jesus is the arena for Kingdom progress and flourishing.

He sends out His Word to uphold the cosmos, gives His Spirit to bring new life to those who believe the Gospel, endows His followers with gifts and fruit, calls them to places of service, sends His angels to guard and assist them in their endeavors, and puts His enemies under His feet as He builds His Church and thus fills the world with His Presence (Eph. 1.15-23).

So it must be the case that, in giving us successive moments of time, Jesus intends us to receive and use our time according to Hispurposes in seeking and advancing His rule of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14.17, 18). He has told us that seeking His Kingdom and righteousness is to be the defining priority of our lives (Matt. 6.33), and this would entail the way we use our time. When the Kingdom and glory of God are the highest objective in our conscience, how we use our time will reflect that in everything we do.

Time for the Kingdom!
When we thus see our time through the mind of Christ, we understand that time is a resource for seeking and advancing the rule of Jesus Christ on earth as it is in heaven, so that righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit increase and abound in and through us, expressed as love for God and our neighbors and filling up all the time of our lives.

We can’t say this enough: We are making the most of the time (Eph. 5.15-17) Jesus gives us, when the time of our lives is invested in establishing and enlarging the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

There are no moments in our lives that are given to us for any purpose other than seeking the Kingdom of God. This does not mean that every moment of our lives must be given over to doing “church work.” Since Christ is Lord of all – every aspect of human life and interest – we are using our time best when we’re employing it to further the presence of His Kingdom, regardless of what we may be doing (Col. 3.23, 24).

Even if all we’re doing is eating and drinking, or relaxing and enjoying a moment of well-deserved rest, we can do so in such a way as to refract the reality of the Kingdom of God and the love of Jesus Christ into the ordinary events of everyday life (1 Cor. 10.31; Mk. 6.34).                                                

But this doesn’t just happen. To live out the mind of Christ in the time of our lives we must diligently study the Word of Christ, thinking through everything He teaches, so that we take every thought and every moment captive for King Jesus and make our thoughts and time obey His good and perfect purposes (2 Cor. 10.3-5). Thus the mind engages the heart and readies the conscience for its important function as guardian of the time of our lives.

As we become more conscientious of the time of our lives, we can expect to feel assured or convicted in our souls about the use we make of our time, as our conscience directs us by the Word of the Lord into the wisdom of God (Rom. 2.14, 15).

For reflection
1.  What does it mean to have the mind of Christ? How would you suggest encouraging a fellow believer to make better use of the mind of Christ?

2.  Can we expect our conscience to function as guardian of our time if we are not thinking with the mind of Christ? Explain.

3.  What is your approach to improving your use and awareness of the mind of Christ?

Next steps – Conversation: What is your approach to seeking the Kingdom and righteousness of God? How much of your time does this involve each day? What are you doing with the rest of the time? Talk with a Christian friend about these questions.

T. M. Moore

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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