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The Bank Of Time

By Toby Crowder

Mitchell CountyToby Crowder Mt. Carmel Baptist Church Spruce Pine


“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” – James 4:14-15

A new car… a dream vacation… a swimming pool? Or how about something more sensible, like paying off the mortgage or those pesky student loans? Let’s be honest, how many of us have had visions about what we may do with an unexpected financial windfall? According to Nexstar Media, Massachusetts residents had the highest per capita spending on lottery tickets and scratch-offs in 2020 with average individual spending of $805.30. Now, before you stop reading… this is not an article about gambling or finances, but hopefully, the example above has prepared our minds to consider something much more important than money. At best, your odds of winning the lottery are about 1 in 14 million, yet we receive something greater than this every day, and sadly, often take it very much for granted. How would you react if your bank deposited $1,440 each day into your account and the only stipulation was that you couldn’t transfer the balance from day to day? No saving… no investing… no donating to others, and at the end of each day, we lose what is not spent. Are you ready to sign up?

If so, then let me introduce you to the bank of time. Time is the raw material of everything in life. Without it, we can do nothing, and yet with it, we can do everything. Each new day gives us 1,440 minutes to “spend” as we see fit. Everyone receives the same amount of time, and regardless of what we have been taught, no one can take those minutes from us. In using this currency, we eat, sleep, laugh, cry, and make our living and our life. Regardless of how we divide and spend those minutes, we shall never have any more or any less. Thankfully, Scripture is rich with wisdom about how to be successful stewards of our gift of time.

James is writing to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad and in verse 14, he asks a question that should be asked universally. People from the beginning of time have pondered the question, “What is life?” and yet, it is already answered for us Scripturally. James, in a broad sense, defines our life for us, he calls it a vapor… or a mist; something that is here for a little time and then gone. Even as I write these words, there is fog outside, but it will likely be gone in a few short hours.  As we consider our life, and the brevity of time that we are given we should be conscious of how we spend each given moment.

James is writing to those who are in danger of living a life without including God and that audience still exists today! Many live their entire lives and let it pass without ever including God in their time, money, or their talents. How is the body of Christ supposed to thrive without these things?  James reminds us to acknowledge God’s will – “If the Lord will.” How many times are we guilty of forgetting that God is the grantor of our time, and we are only stewards? We make plans, and goals…and often leave God out of these. James teaches us how to accomplish God’s will for our lives by recognizing both the gift and the brevity of time, and living our lives according to His will, and not our own.

In these last days, we should be even more attentive to the things of God and His place in our lives. A wise man once said, “We worship our work, work at our play, and play at our worship” and this appears to hold true in this New Year.  What is your life like? You may feel that only you can answer that…, but it has already been answered by God. It is a vapor; the duration is short. We must do God’s will… and the danger is that we will live our lives without including Him. May God help us be faithful stewards of this wonderful gift of time!


Toby Crowder serves as Pastor of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Spruce Pine. He and his wife Leslie have been married for 28 years and have two daughters, Emilee, and Katy. He can be contacted via the church’s website or

You can read more from Pastor Crowder here.