Bible Society of South Africa

Redeeming time: Are you ticking? – 15 July 2020

By Louise Gevers

Bible text(s)

48You must be perfect — just as your Father in heaven is perfect!

Matthew 5:48GNBOpen in Bible reader

“My Grandfather’s Clock” is a timeless song that we enjoyed introducing to our little granddaughter when we were with her at Christmastime. She loved the bright tune and appropriately catchy rhythm, but was far too young to understand a word. The lyrics tell of a clock, bought the day of the grandfather’s birth, which spans his life. Wound once a week, it goes perfectly for ninety years without stopping, faithfully serving its purpose to mark the passing of time. This continues until the day grandfather dies – when it stops – “never to go again”. A dignified end to a trustworthy friend.

We have a clock on the wall that also arrived on a birthday, and is wound once a week, but although it started off well, it hasn’t always been as faithful. If its delicate balance was upset by the uneven wall, or because it was bumped, or moved slightly, when being wound, it would forget its purpose and stop for as long as it took to coax it to tick again – sometimes taking days, sometimes months. Needless to say, it was very frustrating to have something that looked perfect, even splendid, outwardly, but was flawed inside and not fulfilling its purpose.

Which of these are we most like?

This may be a ‘Tale of Two Clocks’, but it also speaks about us and our responses to life. As followers of Jesus, do we faithfully hold to His teachings, through all circumstances, and “press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians 3:12), or do we become unbalanced and stop ticking when things don’t go smoothly, until someone puts it right?

Jesus’ words, in today’s verse, are spoken during the challenging Sermon on the Mount, directly after He says: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?” (Matthew 5:43-47)

This is no mean feat and is not possible in our own wisdom and strength. To overcome our natural inclinations, and become like our Heavenly Father, aspiring to His higher ways and living according to His expectations, develops as we give Him our time. Only by being fully committed to spending quality time with God, daily, will we accomplish our purpose.

Are we ticking?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, may I use my time fittingly to grow to know You and Your ways, and to develop in love and understanding to, “be perfect… as (my) Heavenly Father is perfect”. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.10
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