Time is one of our most precious resources. As Christians, how we choose to use our time reflects our priorities and relationship with God. Being good stewards of the time God has given us is essential.
The Bible has much wisdom to offer on making the most of our time and being productive for God’s glory. Here are 5 key biblical truths about time and productivity:
- Time belongs to God
- Seek God’s kingdom first
- Be redeeming the time
- Rest and work in balance
- Rely on God’s strength
Time Belongs to God
Our time here on earth belongs to God. He is the author of time itself, as He created the sun, moon, and stars by which we mark days, months, seasons, and years (Genesis 1:14). King David acknowledged this truth in Psalm 31:15:
My times are in your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors! (Psalm 31:15 ESV)
As Jesus taught, we are merely stewards of the time allotted to us by God:
“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time?” (Matthew 24:45 ESV)
We will one day give an account for how we used the time God entrusted to us (Romans 14:12). Time is a resource to invest for God’s glory and others’ good, not to waste on selfish pursuits.
Seek God’s Kingdom First
Jesus instructs us to, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33 ESV). When we prioritize pursuing God’s kingdom and living righteously, our time becomes focused on activities of eternal significance rather than temporal, earthly matters.
Seeking God’s kingdom means dedicating time to prayer, Bible study, worship, acts of service, sharing our faith, discipling others, and living out the gospel through our work. As Paul wrote:
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16 ESV)
When we seek God’s kingdom first, temporal concerns like money, possessions, entertainment, and worldly status diminish in importance. Our time usage aligns with our high calling in Christ (Philippians 3:14).
Be Redeeming the Time
Paul instructs us in Ephesians 5:16 to “make the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” The Greek word translated “make the most of” or “redeem” is “exagorazo” which means to buy up, purchase, or rescue something valuable from loss or waste.
As one commentary explains: “We are to buy up the time, because it is so precious. Time lost is lost forever. We cannot get back wasted time. Time misspent can never be recovered.”
We redeem the time God gives us by filling it with pursuits of eternal value—things that will matter for Christ’s kingdom long after our life on earth. This requires intentionally evaluating how we spend our hours and having discernment to invest our time wisely.
Rest and Work in Balance
God modeled the pattern of both work and rest during the seven days of creation (Genesis 2:2-3). He wired the need for rest into our bodies and spirits. Getting adequate sleep and taking a Sabbath day to cease from work renews us for further productivity.
Trying to work tirelessly without stopping to rest leads to burnout. As Ecclesiastes 3:13 reminds us, rest is “the gift of God.” Time spent resting and in leisure activities is not wasted but helps refresh us emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Proper rest equips us to work diligently during our seasons of labor. Colossians 3:23 encourages: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” When we work for God’s glory, He multiplies the fruit of the time spent.
Rely on God’s Strength
We only have strength to steward our time wisely by relying on God’s power at work within us. As Paul testified:
I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. (Colossians 1:29 ESV)
And as Solomon wrote:
The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. (Proverbs 21:5 ESV)
Self-effort quickly leads to hasty, stress-filled toil. But trusting God and walking in His Spirit allows us to labor with focus, patience, and supernatural strength.
As we acknowledge our dependence on Him, God redeems even our feeble efforts and limited time for His glory. Even when we feel weak, His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). God’s strength shines bright through vessels emptied of self-reliance.
Time is a precious, God-given resource. As Christians, we are called to be wise stewards who redeem the time for that which has eternal significance. When we acknowledge time belongs to God, seek His kingdom first, rest properly, and rely on His strength, our productivity flows from a place of intimacy with Christ.
Though our time on earth is fleeting, what is done for Christ’s sake has everlasting impact. May we invest God’s gift of time here on earth with an eternal perspective.