Last week we focused on the concept of time.
- Israel’s 70th Birthday (70 Years As A Nation & the Significance for Christians)
- Prophesy of the Last Generation (Is God Fulfilling All Things? The Parable of the Fig Tree (Matt 24) and Israel’s 70th Birthday)
- How we spend our time (What is Profitable Godliness?).
This week we ask three questions:
- Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? (Remember that song from the 70s?)
- What is the significance of the time makers we’ve listed: 1:41, 1:42, and 1:43?
- How can one minute change a life?
The Song: Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
The song, by the band “Chicago,” was first released on their 1969 debut album Chicago Transit Authority and was released as a single the next year in 1970. The song was written and sung by the band’s keyboardist, Robert Lamm.
The song was not inspired by the Bible, but it does offer biblical truths about time, our fast-paced world, the apathetic nature of man, and the increasing present of despair in our culture. The words are poignant for any Christian to consider, and the words, “people running everywhere” are truer today than in 1970. So also is the conclusion of the song’s message: that people are too busy to care.
Time is Flying By
Life is moving at a faster pace today than ever before. Are people apathetic? Do they just not care? Or are they really too busy to care? As the song says, “we’ve all got time enough to cry.” Now let’s step back in time to the 70s, listen to the song, and read the words.
Video by Reasons for Hope* Jesus. Words and Music by Chicago.
Question #1 — The Song Asks:
Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
The first man encountered we know nothing about. Was he homeless, workless, or just watch-less? He asks what time it is, but the response he receives is, “Does anyone really know? Does anyone really care?” And a statement that “we all have time enough to cry?” This man didn’t have the ability to know the time, but he was seeking it. He just didn’t find it.
Does Anybody Really Care What Time It Is?
The second person is a “pretty lady” with a non-functioning diamond watch. This woman, at one time, did have the ability to know the time. Somehow, someway, her watch broke. As expensive as it may have been, it became useless for the purpose of telling time. This reminds us that things of this world will always disappoint. They will break down and no longer meet our needs. This woman didn’t even ask the time. Did she not care?
Time Enough to Cry?
Next comes a realization of the crazy, hectic pace of life and its repercussions on time and relationship. Nobody speaks, but being “pushed and shoved by people trying to beat the clock” implies a busyness that brings chaos and confusion: “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.”
This certainly represents the days in which we live. The prophets have written that in the end days people will “run to and fro.” With chaos and confusing increasing, people no longer speaking to each other (texting/email), and turned inward, we should wonder: If nobody really knows the time, and nobody really cares, then why is there time enough to cry?
The answer is simple. Crying is a sign of desperation. And when we are desperate in trials and tribulation, we cry out for relief. Trials and tribulation come as a consequence of sin in the world (accidents, diseases, death, etc.), or from remorse over personal or interpersonal sins (lying, cheating, gossiping, etc). When we are desperate, it’s not a case of “IF” we have time to cry, but more a case of WHO do we cry out to? Despair and desperation can bring us to the end of our proverbial “rope” and can stop us “in our tracks” and make time to cry.
We must slow down, pause, and make time to care and to cry out to the only One who can give us hope and peace in the face of chaos and confusion.
- If you belong to Jesus, you know that time is in His hands and that He cares for you. You know your eternal destiny is secure.
- If you have friends and family who don’t belong to Jesus, they need to know that time is short and they need to care about that. Their eternal destiny is not what the Saviour wants for them.
Jesus died for all people, and He cares enough about every person to offer them eternal life. But those who do not know Jesus need to know Him. They need to hear His gospel of saving grace. And they need our prayers. When a lost person steps off this earth into eternity, their time to cry will end. Their time for salvation will have passed. It will be too late to receive God’s gift of eternal life in Heaven. Pray that your friends and family come to Him NOW…while there is still time.
Question #2 — 1:41? 1:42? 1:43?
A local church started a campaign to encourage their congregation to pray for lost friends and family. It was suggested that at 1:41 each day, prayer be offered for one person (1:41 — one minute for one person). I love this concept, and it’s so easy to schedule a reminder to “pop up” on our electronic devices.
Some time ago, I began to pray, at 1:41 every day, for a sibling who doesn’t belong to Jesus. However, a short time later, I added a friend’s father who is 107. I’ve prayed for this man for years and we know his time is shorter than that of most (although he’s caused many to wonder). So every day at 1:42, I prayed a short one-minute prayer asking God to shine His love and reveal Himself to both of these men.
Then, about a month ago, I learned of a dear friend’s daughter-in-law who is losing her battle with cancer. She needs to come to Jesus before it’s too late. So I’ve now added her to my appointed one-minute prayer. Plus, I’ve added the three children of another friend and the future son-in-law of another friend. So my prayer for the lost is now scheduled for 1:47 — one minute for seven people who need to know Jesus.
Every day I see the prompt on my computer, my phone, or my watch. I’ve prayed at my desk, in the car, at the gym, in the grocery store, at the theater, in meetings, and many, many other places. I’ve prayed with my eyes open and with my eyes closed. With my head upright and my head bowed. Where and how we pray doesn’t matter. God cares that we pray.
Question #3 — How Can One Minute Change a Life?
God cares that what breaks His heart also breaks our hearts. He doesn’t want anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9), so we should care enough to pray for lost people. Prayer is powerful, so set a reminder today. Set it for 1:41, or 1:42, or 1:43, etc.. You get the idea. It works up to 1:49 (9 people). If you want to pray for more than nine lost people, maybe set it later at 2:49 (two minutes for 9+ people) or 3:49 (three minutes for 9+ people). Again, you get the idea. Start today. Start praying for those who need Jesus. (Keep in mind that 1 minute works best for the times when you are in public.)
Start Praying. Keep Trusting. And Always Have Hope!
Do not be anxious about anything. (Phil 4:6)
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control. Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19. As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.”
Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it: Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live: Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.
God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble. When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19
Be Ready Always...
to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.
When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.
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