Our Time is Determined

Time is probably one of the most consistent things we have. Everything, up to our very lives, is determined by time. In one of David’s beautiful poems he writes, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” (Psalm 139:16)

Our days are numbered; or you could say, our time on earth is determined.

Spurgeon’s Schedule

I recently read a small book called Family Worship.[1] In this book the author briefly talks about the family worship of Charles Spurgeon – that popular preacher from the 19th Century.

In the footnotes, the author explains the busy schedule of Spurgeon,

He “pastored the largest evangelical church…preached almost every day, edited his sermons for weekly publications…wrote an additional one hundred and twenty books (one every four months throughout his entire adult life), presided over sixty-six different ministries, edited a monthly magazine, typically read five books each week…and wrote with a dip pen five hundred letters per week.”[2]

When I first read that, I couldn’t believe it. It would be difficult to find a Christian with that kind of workload today!

In catching a glimpse of Spurgeon’s schedule, it would be easy to measure your life to his. This, unfortunately, will only discourage you. As the author of Family Worship says, “God gave Spurgeon an extraordinary capacity for work and productivity.”[3] Not only that, but Spurgeon’s calling was the pastoral position. That’s not everyone’s calling. The “work” of everyone’s calling will look different.

What Spurgeon’s schedule should do is inspire you to work heartily where God has called you.

Make The Best Use of the Time

Paul, in Ephesians 5:15-17 writes,

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

These verses could be unpacked significantly, but I want to emphasize the phrase “making the best use of the time.” The time is your time. What I mean is, there is no other time that you can make the best of other than your time.

So, What Does this Look Like?

Spurgeon made the best use of his time by doing all he could that he believed aligned with where God called him.

I believe these three verses ask us two questions that will help us determine whether we’re making the best use of our time or not.

1. Is my daily schedule created in wisdom? To answer this question, do a mental inventory of your schedule from yesterday, and determine if each step was created and executed in wisdom. If you’re like me, this could be a humbling exercise.

2. Do I understand what the will of the Lord is? Interpreting this as His revealed will (not His hidden will), this means what He has called His children to be and do on earth. Think of the multiple commands in Scripture that speak to how God’s children should think and act in family, church and culture. To answer this question, determine if your beliefs and actions throughout the day align with what God calls you to be and do. For example, God wills us to be loving, merciful, patient, evangelistic, generous, bold and fervent in Spirit, and ready to do all to His glory (just to name some). Do to tasks in your daily routine involve these things?

In looking at Spurgeon’s schedule, I praise him for making the best use of his time, and I’m inspired to see a sinner like him do what he did.

Join me in asking these two questions today, and be encouraged to make the best use of your time.


[1] Whitney, Donald S. Family Worship. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2016.
[2] Ibid., 73-74.
[3] Ibid., 74.

This article was first published on February 22, 2017.