W5D6 - Time Management

"But do not forget this one thing, dear friends:
With the Lord a day is like a thousand years,
and a thousand years are like a day" - 2 Peter 3:8.

If a day is like a 1,000 years, then an hour would be like 46 years and a minute like nine months. So if the Lord says He'ill be there in just a minute, it may take longer than you think! Yet the opposite is also true; something that you thought would take nine months can happen or require much less time than you anticipated. Leaders know how to have faith for time. They don't procrastinate for fear they don't have enough time to do something well or at all. Leaders also know how to invest time in a long-range goal, putting off immediate gratification for long-term gain.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Time is the most precious possession for any leader. Therefore, it is important to know where your time is going, just like your money. Below is a time inventory sheet. Pick three days next week (or start today) to keep track of your time in half-hour segments. At the end of the three days, add it all up to see where you can make adjustments to how you are spending your time. You can do it longer than three days but make sure you don't procrastinate!

Download Time Inventory Log


Pearl 362: Priorities-Driven

TOPIC: Time and Priorities

"As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue,
and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them
from the Scriptures" - Acts 17:2.

Paul worked full-time to meet the needs of his team, but then he spent his off day fulfilling his purpose of taking the gospel to the Gentiles. He started that purpose process in each city by starting out visiting the synagogues where he would find interested Jews and Gentiles. Paul followed his priorities carefully and did not use his free time to do nothing, but used it to fulfill his purpose. Have you identified your priorities? Are you following them by devoting your time to them in order of importance? Do you have faith that if you follow your priorities and do what you want, God will multiply your efforts?

Lord, it seems that every day time slips away before I can get to the most important things. Some of those things have languished for years in my heart, but no more. Today I will identify my priorities and then, with Your help, discover how I can faithfully follow those priorities in my daily use of time.


Pearl 357: Spending Time

TOPIC: Time and Values

"You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions" - Acts 20:34.

Paul had a life and ministry value not to be a financial burden on his converts so the gospel would not be criticized or connected to traveling teachers who worked for pay and were common in his day. (Plus, no rabbi every taught God's word in return for money.) He did not just talk or think about that value. That value impacted his time and determined how he was going to spend the hours in his day. Paul did not work first and foremost to make money; he worked to express his values and to support and further his apostolic mission. How are you spending your time? Is your time management values-driven, or do you sell yourself to the loudest, most urgent or lucrative bidder? Why do you work and do what you do? Is it simply to make money? If so, then money is your highest value. Is that how you want it to spend your time or live your life?

Lord, I often say 'it's not about the money,' but then proceed to invest my precious time like it's all about the money. I know I need money, but I need purpose even more and therefore I must learn to spend my time to support my purpose, not my eating habits. I need to change my thinking where my time is concerned. Help me!


Pearl 352: No Shortcuts

TOPIC: Time and Values

"A faithful person will be richly blessed,
    but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished" - Proverbs 28:20.

When you discuss one who is faithful, it in part pertains to how they use their time. In this case, if you use your time to find shortcuts to success or productivity, you will certainly fail. If you identify your life values and devote your time to those day in and day out, year in and year out, you will find the kind of fulfillment and success you are seeking. Have you spelled out the values that govern your life? Are you being faithful or true to your values through good use of your time? Are you looking for shortcuts for how to get where you want to go when there are none?

Lord, I want to be known as a faithful person. I know that involves how I use my money, how well I follow through on commitments and how I use my time. I know what's important to me, now I must invest my time on those things to see them come to pass. Deliver me from seekign shortcuts to this lifelong process.


Pearl 344: A Trip

TOPIC: Time and Travel

"Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, 'Who do people say I am?'” - Mark 8:27.

When God wants to speak to you, He often takes you on a trip. When you are out of your usual daily routine and comfort zone, you are more open to the things around you - and to the Lord. This is what was happening in today's verse. Jesus took the disciples far away from the hustle and bustle of Galilee and Jerusalem to a remote area to talk to them about who He was and to discuss His future suffering. It was on this trip that Peter found his purpose and the disciples discovered Jesus in a whole new way. Is it time for you to take a few days and go off with the Lord? What will you talk to Him about when you go? What questions will you ask Him? Will you be prepared only to talk, or to talk and listen?

Lord, I need some time with You, just You and me, to talk about Your will and purpose for my life. I pray You would open up some time in my schedule that I can seize to make that happen. When I arrive for our appointment, I am open to whatever You choose to show and say to me.


Pearl 342: Time Investment

TOPIC: Time and Values

"But Ruth replied, 'Don’t urge me to leave you
or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go,
and where you stay I will stay. Your people will
be my people and your God my God'" - Ruth 1:16.

Ruth made a decision about where she would spend her life and consequently her time based on a relationship with her mother-in-law after Ruth's husband died. That decision came from her personal value system of loyalty and love for Naomi. So both women ended up in Bethlehem where Ruth eventually met her new husband Boaz, and they became the grandparents of King David. Are your values determining where you are investing your life and time? Are you wasting time doing things that you know are not connected to what's most important to you? Why is that happening in your life and what are you willing to do to change it?

Lord, there are many other things making my time management decisions and I feel like my life is out of control. I need to be true to who I am, just like Ruth was, and trust You for the results. As this year ends, I vow to look at where I am wasting my life and make some significant changes for the New Year.


Pearl 341: Reality

TOPIC: Goals and Skill

"Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone,
he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead.
The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell
facedown on the ground" - 1 Samuel 17:49.

David had foreseen the event described in this verse and it played out just as he had said. Yet this goal's end was not just a random act, but made possible in part by David's skill with the slingshot. The point is that goals are not just wishful thinking, but based on the reality of who you are and what God has gifted you to do. What goals have you set that are based on the skills you have? Are you setting goals to do new things with the experience you have gathered? What big goal do you need to set and verbalize but are afraid to do so?

Lord, I love the account of David and Goliath but I am hesitant to act like David, mostly out of fear. Yet you have given me skills and gifts, and I have some wonderful testimonies of what You have done in my life. Help me to set some goals that will allow me to use all those things for You!


Pearl 337: Your Time

TOPIC: Time and Priorities

"'You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.' After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee" - John 7:8-9.

The Jews had a rhythm and routine to their year, which revolved around three special festivals and holy days. The festival in today's passage was not one of them, so Jesus chose not to attend, at least initially. When He did go, He went on His own terms and for His own reasons. You must learn to do the same, resisting cultural, family, and even church traditions to maximize the use of your time. This requires a bit of self expression, for you sometimes must do what's in your best interests, or at least the best interests of your purpose and top priority goals. Are you managing your own time, or is something or someone else doing it for you? Are you using your time to fulfill your purpose and achieve your goals?

Lord, I encounter a lot of expectations as to how I will use my time, and I need courage and resolve to resist those that are not in the best interests of the purpose work You have assigned me. Help me step back to evaluate how I use my time and then help me formulate a plan of how to use it more efficiently.


Pearl 243: TimeFaith

TOPIC: Time and Productivity

"So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul,
in fifty-two days" - Nehemiah 6:15.

Nehemiah prayed, set a goal, worked hard, had faith, engaged other people, organized their work, and withstood opposition. Because God got involved in the project, the work was done in 52 days. You would have to say that Nehemiah managed his time well and got supernatural results in return. The fact that the time frame is mentioned indicates that the accomplishment was remarkable. Where are you getting the same kind of results in your life and work? If you are not, which part of the process described in the first sentence above is missing? Perhaps you don't have the correct project on which to focus your timefaith?

Lord, I like that word timefaith. I want to have it and see it work effectively in my life, work and ministry, where I do more with the time I have than anyone thought possible. I thank You for these studies on time, and I pray You will help me apply the principles and see the results. Amen.


Pearl 242: Guesswork

TOPIC: Time and Estimates

"Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, 'How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?' It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time" - Nehemiah 2:6.

Nehemiah set a time when he would be finished with the project of rebuilding the walls. He had never been to Jerusalem, did not really know much about building, and had no idea what he was going to find when he got there. How did he know how long it would take? He probably made his best guess, and it satisfied the royal couple. You may be facing a similar situation, but you are hesitant about making a commitment. What should you do? Make your best guess, get to work, and trust the Lord. Where are you holding back because you cannot be as precise as you would like? Where would making your best guess as to the time it will take help you get started? Where can you have faith to get it done in even less time than you estimate?

Lord, Nehemiah made his best guess and it was good enough for the king. What's more, it got him started on his way. Deliver me from my perfectionist tendencies that keep me bound and don't let me get started. Then give me a Nehemiah-sized goal in which I can invest my time and energy once I am free from having to know it all before I get started.