Jehovah God can stop time dead in its tracks, as he did in Joshua’s day when the sun stood still. He can turn it back, as he did in Hezekiah’s time when causing the shadow on the sun dial to go backwards. But we cannot call time out in our living. We cannot turn time back to relive it if we have been wasteful of it. There is no second chance for Christians in the use of consecrated time. Nor can Christians expand their ministry by expanding their time. Jesus said, "Which of you, by being anxious, can prolorg his life one moment?" (Matt. 6:27, Diaglott) So do not say, "I’ll get busy next month or next year." There is no guarantee you wilI be here then. Do not gamble with time you may not have. And even if you have it, do not gamble with time that is not yours but which you have consecrated to God. Pay over now in full the time consecrated, without withholding an excessive pleasure tax.

Why do some who have consecrated their time to God fail to use it in gospel-preaching? Too young? Samuel started serving Jehovah God at the tabernacle full-time as soon as he was weaned. Too old? The apostle John must have been close to 100 years of age when he was finishing off his share of Bible-writing around A.D. 99. Too sick? Faithful Job, that man of integrity, served God while afflicted with the loathsome disease of black leprosy. Is any consecrated Christian today younger than the babe Samuel was when he started service at the tabernacle? Or older than 100 years of age? Or afflicted with something worse than black leprosy?

Others may object that they cannot speak well enough. That was what Moses once thought about himself; but how wrong he was is shown by some of the recorded speeches he made to the Israelites during the wilderness sojourn. Perhaps some feel timid and frightened at the prospect of witnessing publicly. The prophet Jeremiah had such misgivings but he was instructed by Jehovah to fear not the faces of the adversary and was assured that Jehovah God would put the words into his mouth. (Jer. 1:4-9, 17) His service record eloquently testifies that Jehovah God fulfilled that promise to the prophet. Does any consecrated Christian fear he will be unable to answer the questions propounded? Diligent study will make him able to apply the words of Psalm 119 : 98, 100 to himself: "Thy commands make me wiser than my foes; ... I know more than these sages, for I carry out thy behests !"—Moffatt

In Jesus’ day some were too busy to serve Jehovah God and follow in the footsteps of Christ. Like some of those objectors, do any Christians today have a new farm, new oxen, a new wife, mad because of the time consumed by these things say they have no time for the New World ? The Bible classes such objections as excuses. If time is found for such pursuits as reading newspapers, shopping for temporal food, visiting, listening to radio, watching television and many other activities, certainly time should be available to use in Jehovah God’s service. Christians should unload excuses. Carrying them around and scrapping with their conscience tires them more than would the gospelpreaching work.

One solution is to budget consecrated time. Jehovah God budgets time. He marked off the time of creative days as 7,000 years each, sets times and seasons, fixed the seven times of the Gentiles, and appointed a time for the fin’al end. He instructs that there is a time to plant and to harvest, to kill and heal, weep and laugh, mourn and dance, speak and be silent, love and hate, to war and to be at peace. "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven," says Jehovah God’s Word. The Almighty Creator has endless time, yet he budgets it, and no one makes him break his schedule. "Woe unto them that draw iniquity . . . that say, Let him [God] make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it." (Isa. 5: 18, 19) He does not get behind schedule, nor will he speed up His schedule for the strange work or strange act just to convince scoffing worldlings. When we make a time budget for service, we should not break it to please worldlings, or other witnesses, or ourselves.

The Scriptures state that earthly masters give the dogs the crumbs from their table; however, some negligent ones who have consecrated themselves to God fail to give their Lord and Master even a few crumbs from their timetable. Greedily they consume all time upon themselves, with none left for God, though all of it is consecrated to him. They fail to pay their vows, and remind us of the empty clouds and blowing winds spoken of at Proverbs 25:14: "Clouds and wind that bring no rain - like him who promises what he never gives !"--Moffatt.

But a budget, faithfully followed, will insure the Christian of wise use of consecrated time. It will make the Christian fruitful regularly. Just as excess branches and twigs are trimmed off fruit trees so that there will be plenty of strength for fruit-bearing for the good branches left on, so the Christian can trim out the excesses and non-essentials from his time budget so that ample time will remain for strong activity and good fruitage in Kingdom ministry. Like the trees of Revelation 22 growing by the river of life, the Christian can bring forth fruit monthly the year round by redeeming time, by buying it off at the cost of nonessential things, by trimming off time-wasters.

The publisher of the Kingdom gospel should be aware that someone else wants to budget his time, namely, Satan the Devil. He will budget your time for himself, if you fail to budget it for Jehovah God. In fact, Satan has already done so in a subtle way if you are failing to put time in the field service. Recall how Pharaoh of Egypt budgeted the time of the captive Israelites, so much so that they had no time left to worship Jehovah God? "They did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, . . . [Pharaoh said] they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God. Let there more work be laid upon the men." (Ex. 1 : 11 ; 5 : 8, 9) Thus Pharaoh did tie down the Israelite captives with burdensome work and rob them of time that should have been used in worshiping Jehovah God. So today Satan will steal the consecrated time of Christians, cause them to rob God if he can. He will slyly trespass on time in a thousand subtle ways if the Christian does not have a budget that posts his time with ”No Trespassing" signs, "Satan, Keep Out!” ,Hands Off Consecrated Time!"

Proverbs 18: 9, according to Moffatt’s translation, states: "A man slack at his work is as bad as a waster." Do not be a slacker. Do not slack up and waste consecrated time. Let time-wasting by-genes be by-genes, as is stated at 1 Peter 4 : 2, 3 : "In God’s will ye may live the still remaining time. For sufficient is the bygone time to have wrought out the will of the nations." (Roth.) Colossians 4: 5, according to Weymouths, says, "Behave wisely in relation to the outside world, seizing your opportunities." This stands as a warning to Christians that they should not let relations with the outside world monopolize their time, but should seize opportunities of service and tie down their available time in a budget. Tie it fast so that its cords will not be snapped by yourselves or others. The remaining time till Armageddon lived according to God’s will .will not drag. Why, the Bible says that Jacob served for seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him as a few days, for the love he had for her. Because of the love that Christians have for God, seven years or two or three times seven years will seem only as a fast stream of pleasant days to us.

This old world has been weighed in the balances and found wanting. Its days are numbered. Even its hours are numbered, as Jesus stated that Jehovah God in heaven knew the hour that its final end would come. Hence the hours of Christians for the service of gospel-preaching are numbered with it. The Devil knows his time is short, and he has sense enough to use the time left to him as a wild, raging, roaring lion in a desperate endeavor to prove his side of the challenge. (Rev. 12:12; 1 Pet. 5: 8) Certainly Christians should have as much sense as the Devil in the use of their time for its consecrated purpose, realizing that the time to preach is short and that they must use that time as zealously for good as Satan the Devil uses it for wickedness.

Do not be deceived. Do not expect God to stop the sun while you play, or turn it back in its course so that you can live over wasted time. Grab your time now. Seize it, wrest it violently from Satan’s world, wrest it from selfish self if need be, tie it down, budget it, use in a wise way the time you have consecrated to God. Then when the time is no more for the work of gospel-preaching and the fateful hour of Armageddonst rikes, the zealous Christian will be preserved unto life and endless blessings in Jehovah God’s New World without end.

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