Time is a priceless treasure or an inestimable jewel given by God to humanity. Time is so vital that no one who is heavenly conscious could afford to waste it.  Time makes up one’s destiny. It is the only thing that makes every human equal. Our lives are governed by time. God made it so (Eccl. 3:1-8). Our lives are a string of experiences held together by the thread of time. We don’t control time, we are controlled by it. There is time for everything, “to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Eccl. 3:1).

The “African Time” phenomenon which has permeated all strata of African society is ungodly. Thus, it must not be encouraged in the church of God. Anyone who does not understand God will not understand time and purpose (1 Chro. 12:32; cf. Rom. 9:9; Gen. 18:10; 2Kings4:16; Num.9:2; Exo.13:10; Eccl. 3:1-8). In Britain, there is no acceptable excuse for lateness to work or event but not in Africa (though ungodly). In Africa, the common excuses are children, jobs, long-distance and traffic. The painful thing is that when some of our people were looking for children, Jobs, wives, husbands, etc, they were the first to come to church and the last to leave. But now they have received what they were looking for; it is time for them to give excuses. Is it the fault of God to give you that child, job, wife or husband? Are you like Adam who gave an excuse for disobedience? Please, avoid God’s curse (Gen. 3:11-19). If it is traffic or distance, attend the nearest church to your residence/home/house or you leave for appointments or church services in good time.

At times, there may be an unpredicted circumstance that may keep one late to work, meeting, or church service. This, one would understand, is not quite frequent but unusual. However, it behoves one to call one’s leader or subordinate, as the case may be, to keep him/her informed about joining the meeting or service late. Again, this should not be frequent.

Similarly, the convener of a meeting should not waste people’s time. When a meeting is slated to hold for one hour, it would be amounted to a lack of integrity on the part of the convener if he/she extends the meeting beyond the stipulated time, except the group jointly agreed. Again, this should not be frequent. In church service, at times, Holy Spirit may move beyond our expectation to the extent that time may not be as important as the wonders of God. Nevertheless, Even though God controls and changes times and seasons (Dan.2:21), there is a need for the leaders to let members understand this. Yet again, leaders should not hide under this to waste people’s time.

As Christians, we must understand that time is life when we treasure it; it is a seed when we sow it at the right time; and it is money when we spend it judiciously. Time is a tool not as a crutch when we use it purposively.  Lateness is an enemy of progress. Those who come late to church service/meeting are enemies of God. For you to make it to heaven, you must be time conscious; those who want to excel in life will live and work in minutes. Punctuality is divine while perennial lateness is demonic. Those who come late to church programmes are weak in spiritual understanding – they attend services or programmes simply as a show or for the fear of their pastors, not God. By all standards, lateness is a manifestation of indiscipline and sheer disobedience to God.

God sets the time for everything under the heaven (Eccl.3:1-8). In John 9:4, Jesus said, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work”. In John 7:33 “Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me”. This same Jesus answered and said in John 11:9 “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walks in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world”. Therefore, the preacher said in Eccl 9:10, that “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest”. All of these Biblical statements point to one thing – time. We can see how important time is to the meaningful existence of man. Don’t joke with your time and the people’s time.

In summary, keeping to time is a good measure of how responsible a person is. In fact, if you keep to time, you will be respected and seen as responsible. If you don’t, people may see you as irresponsible and God sees you as a disobedient child. There is hardly any excuse for arriving late for appointments, functions or church services. Keep to time today. Read and memorise this poem, which encapsulates the entire piece of today:

 Work while you work

And play while you play

To be useful and happy

This is the way… (cf., John 7:33; 9:4; 11:9; 12:35; Gal. 6:10)

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