“Teach us to number our days” is a familiar verse in Psalm 90, which was written by Moses. Last weekend, guest preacher Bishop Mosa Sono preached powerfully on the importance of time and how to leverage it wisely.
City Harvest Church welcomed Bishop Mosa Sono, Presiding Bishop of Grace Bible Church in Soweto, South Africa, last weekend (21 and 22 Oct). He preached a rousing message, reminding the church that time is a precious resource given by God.
He opened his sermon with Psalm 90:1-12, his anchoring scripture. Bishop Sono noted that this is the first and only Psalm written by Moses, a leader who had gone through many struggles in his life. The verses are written from his understanding and perspective of his experiences.
BE AWARE OF THE INFINITE GOD
He went on to highlight four attributes of God listed in Psalm 90: God’s eternality (Ps 90:1-2), God’s sovereignty (Ps 90:3-6), God’s severity (Ps 90:7-12), and God’s mercy (Ps 90:13-17). This is in contrast to the fragility of mankind.
“It makes the point that in the light of our fragility as human beings, we need to live our lives with a consciousness of God who is permanent, who never changes and is all-powerful,” he said. Bishop Sono reminded the congregation that every person is given a limited amount of time on this earth.
“If we can live with an awareness of who He is and be aware that our time is in His hands, we will invest our time in a way where we ask Him to teach us to number our days,” he added.
Even if this lifetime is not long, those with an awareness of God would want to live meaningful lives that can bring impact to the world around them.
Going into the Scripture, Bishop Sono highlighted that in Psalm 90:1, Moses called God his “dwelling place”—a home, a place of security and safety. “A home is a place where we retreat to when we get crowded out and overwhelmed by the situation,” he said.
What Moses was saying here was that even if human life is finite, humans have the perspective that God is their home. Regardless of the situation they are going through, God is the hope in their life. The sovereign and mighty God can carry them through any difficulty.
Moving to the next verse, Bishop Sono highlighted that Moses used the words “everlasting to everlasting” to describe the vastness of God. “It refers to a duration that stretches without limit, without duration,” he explained.
“Nothing that happens in your life will take God by surprise,” he pointed out. “Nothing will ever come your way that God cannot deal with. Because God is there on the other side of the beginning, and He is there on the other side of the end.”
TEACH US TO NUMBER OUR DAYS
In Psalm 90:12, Moses asked the eternal God, who lives outside of time to “teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” In The Living Bible translation it reads: “help us spend time as we should”. Highlighting the word “spend”, the bishop suggested that time is like money—one can spend it, one can also misspend it.
“Time is our most important resource, and we need to leverage it wisely,” he stated.
Time is the one thing in this world that every person has equally—nobody has more time than anyone else. The challenge then, is to leverage that time to the glory of God. Calculating the amount of time a person has in a standard lifespan of 70 years, the bishop noted that after eating, sleeping and other necessities, most people only have 30 years to make their lives count.
In Romans 13:11, Paul urged believers to not waste their time, going in the wrong direction and making wrong decisions. This suggests four things about time, said Bishop Sono. First, the brevity of time; time is short. James wrote about how time “vanishes” very quickly (Jas 4:14).
Second, the urgency of time. Reading Hebrews 3:14-15, the writer urged Christians to respond to God’s calling immediately. “Do it now because God didn’t promise us tomorrow!” the bishop encouraged the church. “Today, when you hear His voice, don’t harden your heart!”
Third, the tyranny of time. Time controls some people. It seems like people are always chasing time, never stopping long enough to be present. Bishop Sono shared his own experience when once, he found himself rushing from item to item on his schedule and discovered that he was always on edge, not being able to focus on the present because he was worrying about being on time for his next appointment.
To those with young families, the bishop encouraged them to enjoy their children because all too soon, they will grow up and have their own lives.
In John 9:4-5, Jesus said that He “must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.” “The night” is a time when it is not possible to do what a person wants to do because something has changed in his or her life.
“He says to do what we should do, instead of rushing through life,” the bishop expounded. “Take time to pray, take time to believe, take time to study, take time to be with one another.”
Fourth, the immediateness of time. “There are certain things that come only once, and if you don’t use the opportunity, it might be a problem,” the bishop said. Paul encouraged Christians in 2 Corinthians 6:1-2, to understand the appropriate time and cooperate with God on what He is doing.
Finally, the criticalness of time. “When God is speaking to you, be decisive,” the bishop encouraged the church. When the opportunity to make choices arises, it is important to make that choice swiftly and stick with it. If one delays doing so, situations and circumstances could change and the opportunity could be gone forever.
As he concluded his message, Bishop Sono taught the church how best to maximise their time. The first thing to do is not to waste time on unimportant things. “When you’re angry, deal with it,” he advised. Start every day afresh and do not allow problems of the past to hinder the present day.
The next thing to do is to learn to increase the value of one’s days. “Start the day with God at the centre. There’s something about the way God works that maximises your day,” the bishop said. The next thing to do is to put God first.
Finally, the bishop taught the church to lean hard on the grace of God. Reading 1 Corinthians 15:10, he told the church that God has bestowed a grace on their lives and they need to lean into it and produce in that grace.
Psalm 118:24 reads, “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Bishop Sono said to the church, “This is the day that God has given you another chance to live in a wise way, to leverage this resource of time. I may have wasted yesterday, I may have wasted last week, but this is the day!”
He ended the service by praying for the church that they would learn to live their lives wisely.