“Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” (Genesis 2:3).
The first thing God deems holy is time. He sets apart the Sabbath day as a time to rest and reflect on all that God has done. The Sabbath will go on to play an integral part in the life of Israel. It is one of the ten commandments. It distinguishes them from other nations. When Israel is taken into captivity, the observance of the Sabbath becomes a counter-cultural practice. Israel views time differently than the people around them.
This distinct view of time for God’s people continued into the New Testament. Christians began gathering on the first day of the week to worship God (since this was the day Jesus was raised from the grave). Even though Jews and Gentiles might be going to work, Christians stopped to pray, sing, share the Lord’s Supper, and listen to God’s word. The people of God do not allow the culture to dictate how they view time, or what they do with it. They view time as belonging to God, and are therefore more than willing to cease from what culture says is normal in order to honor God.
What we do with our time matters. Paul instructs us to “be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15,16). We are to honor God with our time. The world may look at worship or Bible study as a waste of time, but for the Christian, we see it as a way of acknowledging and praising the Creator of time. To cease from our daily activities in order to honor God is an essential part of the Christian life. Our actions related to time are a profession of our devotion. We devote time to whatever has captured our heart. For many, this is entertainment, sports, family, politics, work, etc., For the Christian, however, our time should first and foremost be devoted to God. Although these other things are meaningful in their own ways, they are ultimately meaningless if we fail to honor God who has given us life, time, and the means to enjoy them.