Time Managed by the Gospel

While we might not all be called, like the Apostle Paul (Rom. 1:1-3) and others, to focus most of our time on preaching the Gospel as evangelists, we all do have a responsibility to proclaim it as we have opportunity. And, even if God has called us to focus our time on other kinds of ministry or responsibilities, what we do, how we spend our time, should still be affected by and reflect the Gospel.

Time Managed by the Gospel

The Gospel provides the standard for how to manage our time (Phil. 1:27) as well as the power of God to do so (Rom. 1:16-17; 1 Thess. 1:5).
For Paul it wasn’t just about proclaiming the Gospel through words but also through how he lived. Since we live in the dimension of time, this suggests that the power of the Gospel, in addition to saving us, teaches us how to manage our time.

because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. (1 Thess. 1:5)

What Time Managed by the Gospel Looks Like

Time managed by the Gospel will be spent in righteous living, by faith.

For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed – a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (Rom. 1:17)

Sometimes we may need to sacrifice our own agendas or comfort but therein we truly live.

For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. (Mk. 8:35)

“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields – along with persecutions – and in the age to come eternal life.” (Mk. 10:29-30)

We will adjust our lives to the Gospel rather adjusting the Gospel to us. That means we let go of our sense of entitlement and accept that it isn’t all about us and how we think we should spend our time. It’s about promoting the Gospel through what we do, not hindering it.

If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more? But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. (1 Cor. 9:12)

Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. … I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. (1 Cor. 9:19-23)

We will not compartmentalize our time but rather seek to live the whole of our lives in a “manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Phil. 1:27). When we aren’t purposefully communicating, or defending, the message, we will be living in a way that authenticates, or confirms, the message.

It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. (Phil. 1:7)

Results of Managing Time in Accordance with the Gospel

Gospel-oriented schedules lead to spiritual productivity. We bear fruit.

…the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world – just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. (Col. 1: 5-6)

Time managed by the Gospel honors God. We are not driven by people-pleasing activity but rather as accountable to Him.

On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. (1 Thess. 2:4)