Thursday, April 22, 2010

Look at the Time!

According to 1 Timothy 4:7-8the purpose of spiritual discipline is godliness. If we are to be like Christ—that is what Godliness means—then we must be good stewards of our time and our money. This lesson will focus on the stewardship of our time.

Psalm 90:12— “teach [us] to number our days, that we may apply [our] hearts unto wisdom.”

Imagine you were given $86,400 at the beginning of every day. There is only one catch, you have to use every single dollar that day, if you don’t spend it, you lose it, but every morning another $86,400 was deposited in your account. What would you do with the money? Do you think your values would be reflected in how you spent your $86,400 each day?

Pay close attention to this: God has deposited into your life bank 86,400 seconds every day (60 second x 60 minutes x 24 hrs = 86,400). It’s called time. These seconds are not transferable to the next day. When they’re gone, they’re gone; you can never go back and relive them again. Your time account carries over no balance. Will you spend your time, your 86,400 seconds, in a way that brings honor and glory to God? Do you even think this is important?

Godliness is the result of a disciplined spiritual life, but at the core of a disciplined spiritual life is the disciplined use of time. In order to be like Jesus—that’s Godliness—we must be disciplined with our time.

Time is a gift. David wrote in Psalm 31:15a, “My times [are ]in thy hand .” With us time is not a matter of ownership but stewardship. God is eternal. He is without beginning and without end. God created time, and He has entrusted to everyone one of us the same amount of time to spend.

Seven Biblical principles with regard to time.

(1) Use Time Wisely because “the days are evil”

Ephesians 5:16—“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

“Evil” in the sense of opposition, persecution, and distraction. There are many things and people, both good and bad, that would steal your time. Don’t allow that to happen.

(2) Time is short

James 4:14— “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”

Time is a limited commodity. Use it well.

(3) Time is Passing

1 John 2:17— “the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever”

You cannot save time, and you cannot buy time. You can only spend, invest, or waste time.

(4) Time cannot be Regained

John 9:4— “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”

You may lose some things and then regain them. Time will never be one of them. Once it is gone, it is gone for good. Don’t waste your time (life) and don’t cry over time (life) already wasted. Instead, begin right now to spend the rest of your time (life) in the will of God (1 Peter 4:2).

(5) Your Remaining Time is Uncertain

Proverbs 27:1— “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”

It is wise to plan and prepare for tomorrow, but you should live like today is all there is. For a believer that should mean not wasting one moment but spending and investing our time in the joyful and often times difficult service of Christ our King.

(6) You’re Accountable to God for Your Time

Romans 14:12— “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”

Each of us will give an account for every word which we speak (Matthew 12:36) and every talent which we have received (Matthew 25:14-30), and we will likewise give an account for every moment we have spent.

(7) Use of Time is Prep for Eternity

2 Corinthians 6:2— “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now [is] the accepted time; behold, now [is] the day of salvation.”

Are you prepared for eternity? Once this time is over, there will be no second chance to prepare. There is a specific day on the calendar when all preparations for eternity will be over. Are you prepared? Is your family? How about your friends?

Simply put, laziness and wastefulness are sinful. The book of Proverbs alone is full of warnings against laziness and wastefulness (6:6-11; 18:9; 24:30-34; 26:13-16).

As Moses prayed in Psalm 90, we need to learn to “number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (90:9-12). Evaluate your use of time, and discipline your days, hours, and minutes for the purpose of Godliness.

“To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1ff). The question is not, “Is there time?” The question is, “How are you spending your time?”

Your may only need to fine tune your use of time. Maybe you need a major overhaul. Just remember this, a disciplined spiritual life is impossible without the disciplined use of time. Godliness is our goal. Spiritual discipline is the means. We must discipline our time for the purpose of Godliness. You will either master your minutes or they will master you. You will either use your time, or your time will use you.

“Time is a resource that is nonrenewable and nontransferable. You cannot store it, slow it up, hold it up, divide it up or give it up. You can’t hoard it up or save it for a rainy day–when it’s lost its unrecoverable. When you kill time, remember that it has no resurrection.” - A. W. Tozer

You have 86,400 seconds deposited into your account every morning. Each one that isn’t spent is wasted, and you’ll never get it back. How are they being used?

Stop and Consider

Are you spending, investing, or wasting your time? List how your time is used. Compare your usage of time with the seven Biblical principles listed in this lesson. What steps do you need to take to discipline your time for the purpose of Godliness or to keep your time disciplined for the purpose of Godliness? Are you willing to take those steps?

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