Written by gregdenham on May 13th, 2009

The Bible teaches us that there are different ways of measuring time, as seen in the words chronos and kairos.


Ephesians 5:15-16 reads, “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time(kairos), because the days are evil.”


Chronos is time that is measured by the clock. It carries the idea of an obligation, or something that needs to be completed in a particular timeframe.


Kairos is time that is measured by events or special moments, and carries the idea of opportunity.


A lot of people waste chronos – time on the clock, or even their entire lives – because they have not identified the kairos – opportunities and priorities of life – that God wants them to lay hold of and make progress in. They live by default rather than by design and godly purpose.


Let me illustrate.


Let’s say you are given a large jar and you are asked to fill it with large stones, pebbles, sand, and water. You first reach for the large stones to put them in the jar. They represent godly goals and priorities, the seizing of opportunities to make a difference for Christ. Then you put in the pebbles, which represent those events and obligations that are not the chief priorities of life, but are still important. By this time the jar is looking full, and you wonder if there is room left for anything more. It may not look like there is, but as you pour the sand in – which represents daily activities – it does find its way to settle in among the large stones and pebbles. Finally, you realize that you are even able to pour water in the jar, which represents even more daily activities. By filling the jar in this order – large stones, pebbles, sand, and water – you were able to fit it all in the jar. However, if you put the water and sand in first, you would find it difficult, if not impossible, to find room to put all of the large stones and pebbles in.


What’s the point?


It isn’t that there is always more room than you think to cram stuff in your life. Rather, it’s that if you do not prioritize putting the large stones in first, you will never be able to get them in later. The jar will become full of pebbles, sand, and water – the less important stuff.


Paul told Timothy to “take heed to yourself.”(I Tim. 4:12-16) In context, it was another way of saying that since you now know what matters the most, never allow it to be at the mercy of things that matter the least.


Here are the LARGE stones:


#1 Add godly character

#2 Give attention to God’s Word

#3 Activate spiritual gifts

#4 Absorb the Truth

#5 Keep accountable to these godly priorities.



5 Comments so far ↓

  1. Marsha L. Gallup says:

    If there be anything godly in my character it originates from/in Jesus. It is the fruit of His Holy Spirit.”I” can’t add it. HE does.
    Time(chronos) to go fix dinner. Time(kairos) to pray while doing that 🙂 Ready. Set. Go!

  2. Margaret Danzer says:

    Hi Pastor Greg,
    I’m reading Psalm 104. It speaks of God’s greatness and His creations. It also says that His ministers are a flame of fire.
    Thank you for being that flame.

  3. Seralynn Lewis says:

    Wonderful illustration! Although we are over 9,000 miles away, we still enjoy hearing your messages. This one is ALWAYS timely no matter where you are in life…because it serves as a reminder and we are forgetful people! Thank you!

  4. Beth Wright says:

    Thank you, Pastor Greg. These “large stones” are what I am striving to have as my focus.
    I continue to read Philippians 4:4-13 several times a day… what healing, ministering words those are!

  5. Nettie says:

    Fell out of bed feeling down. This has brihtgeend my day!

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