When Time Is No Longer

by Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)

(Chapter 1 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, Blue Denim and Lace)

". . .that there should be time no longer." (Revelation 10:6)

Perhaps one of the hardest things to define is time. I have often thought of time as being a yardstick with which to measure deterioration. Could that be the reason there is no time with God, and there will be no time in eternity? Nothing will ever deteriorate there. There will be no depreciation; hence, there will be no need for the measuring stick - time.

The older I get the more I realize that perhaps the greatest gift that I could give you is my time. Actually, the only gift that I can give is my time. If I give you money, I give you the time it took me to earn that money. If I give you a gift, I give you the time it took me to earn the money with which I bought the gift. Perhaps, then, it is true that time is the only thing that I can give to you. Time is probably the greatest gift for several reasons:

1. When I give you my time, I am giving you my life, for time is life. If one takes the life of another, actually he takes only time from him. Murder is simply taking from a person the amount of time that he would have lived anyway. So in a real sense, when I give to you my time, I am giving to you my life, for time is life.

How much more could I honor you than to give you my time? How much more could you honor me than to give me your time? My time with you is an investment. Your time with me is an investment. Let us care for each other's investment wisely.

2. If I spend some time with you, I am giving you a gift that can be given only to YOU! The moment that I give to you I will never have again. Once it is given, it can never be given to another. Such a realization should cause us to appreciate moments spent friends, for a moment given to me by a friend is not only his giving to me of his life, but also something which he can give to no other person and which can never be given again.

3. For you to give me a moment, or for me to give you a moment, is to exchange the only moment that we actually know we have. We are only promised the present. When we share the present with each other, we are giving to each other the only moment that we have for sure. There may never be another.

4. The giving of a moment to a friend is a greater gift than Heaven can give. If I spend a moment with you in Heaven, it will not be subtracted from time, for there is no time there. In Heaven I will not be giving you my life, for life is eternal there. Here is an earthly gift that I may give you that I cannot give you in Heaven, for to spend a moment there is not a sacrifice. May I then never take lightly the time you give to me, and may you never take lightly the time I give to you.

5. Time is a gift God cannot give. God gives us many wonderful gifts. This is one thing that God cannot give you. God has no time. He does not give up any of His life to fellowship with you. To be sure, He gave His life on the cross to save you; but since God will never die, the time He gives to you and the moments you share with Him do not subtract anything from His life. In other words, He loses no life to fellowship with you. However, when I fellowship with you, I lose my life. When you fellowship with me, you are giving of your life. Here is a gift we can share that even God cannot give.

6. For me to give to you a moment is an honor that God cannot give you. When we share a moment alone, we take that moment from everyone else and give it to each other. God, however, is omnipresent. For Him to fellowship with you does not mean that He must forfeit fellowship with all others. Hence, when you give me a few moments, I must pause to realize that you are honoring me above all of the people of the earth for that moment.

Therefore, to give you my time is the greatest gift that I can give. Since it can be given only to you and only to one person at a time and can never be given again, please accept the moment that I can give as my supreme gift, and as an expression of my love to you and my interest in you.

Recently someone asked me this question: "Why do you make everything seem so sacred? It seems that you make the least little event such a sacred occasion."

I have given you my reasons. Every event of life uses up a little more of the most precious commodity that I have on earth - my life. The event may seem trivial and the occasion may seem small, but the price that I am paying is the greatest price that I have to pay. Hence, I do not measure an occasion by its greatness or bigness, but by the price I pay for it - even my life.


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