It’s About Time 1/17/99

Ephesians 5:15-18
Come Alive Bible Page 1712

JESUS CHRIST stepped across the portals of eternity onto the stage of time to demonstrate to us the proper use of time. He was time-conscious. As a child, He said, “I must be about my Father’s business.” “My time is not yet come…” was a statement frequently on His lips. We need to gain His perspective and appreciation for time.

Swiss Clock:
When as a child, I laughed and wept
Time crept.

When as a youth, I dreamed and talked
Time walked.

When I became a full grown man
Time ran.

When older still I grew
Time flew
Soon I shall find in traveling on
Time gone.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Do you love life? Then do not squander time, for it is the stuff of which life is made.”

We do tend to squander time with trivial engagements. A “U.S. News and World Report” recorded the following use of time. In a lifetime the average American will spend:
Six months at stop lights.
Eight months opening junk mail.
One year looking for lost objects.
Two years unsuccessfully returning phone calls.
Four years doing housework.
Five years waiting in line.
Six years eating.

We would do well to pray with the Psalmist, “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).

We are born time conscious. If you doubt it take a trip with a young child and you will hear: “Are we there yet? How much longer?”

Unfortunately, too soon we lose the sense of importance to time and begin to waste it.

In His wisdom God described some people in this manner: “Some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies” (II Thessalonians 3:11).

An alleged interview with God went like this.
“God what is a million dollars like to you?”
“A million dollars is like a penny to Me.”
“God what is a million years like to you?
“A million years is like a second.”
“God will you please give me a million dollars?”
“In a second.”

Ask the Lord to help you order your time. With just 15 minutes a day in a year you can:
-Read the entire Bible.
-Learn to play a musical instrument.
-Plant and cultivate a small garden.
-Learn a foreign language.
-Become physically fit.
-Write a book.

Don’t pull yesterday’s clouds over today’s sun.

Evidence of time misspent: 7.5 billion sleeping pills per year, 19 million shaky hands each night reach for help. 11 million Aspirin, 7.5 Billion headaches. That’s 50 headaches/head/year. Two factors that can cause this bitterness:
– Glory behind. Don’t live like a peacock whose glory is behind.

– Guilt behind. In marriage counseling, I find many things that are causing problems happened three or more years ago.

You can’t drive to a desired destination looking in the rear-view mirror. Don’t try to live a progressive life looking back. Learn from the past that you might live will in the present.

Don’t waste today. Let Mary tell you her story and perhaps it will help you get today …. everyday in focus.

Mary says she stood with her brother-in-law and watched as he took out of the dresser drawer a tissue wrapped package. As he unfolded it he said, “This is not a slip. It is lingerie.” It was beautiful silk handmade and trimmed with cobwebbed lace.” He continued speaking of my sister, “Jan bought it when we were going to New York 8 or 9 years ago. She never wore it. She was saving it for a special occasion. Well, this is a special occasion,” he said as he turned and placed it on the bed along with Jan’s other clothes he was taking to the undertaker.

The he turned and looked at me and said, “Don’t ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you are alive is a special occasion.”

Ever since he said that “Some day” and “One of these days” are two expressions that have lost their grip on me. I awake every morning realizing this is a special occasion.”

Don’t rush by today to get to tomorrow. Even in Sanskrit it is noted: “Look well to this one day, for it and it alone is life. In the brief course of this one day lie all the verities and realities of your existence; the pride of growth, the glory of action, the splendor of beauty. Yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow is but a vision. Yet, each day, well lived, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and each tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well, therefore, to this one day, for it and it alone is life.”

Philip Dormer Stanhope, the Earl of Chesterfield said, “Know the true value of time. Snatch it, seize it, enjoy every second of it. No laziness, no idleness, no procrastination; never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

Don’t get so busy today that you fail to properly use your time. When the text speaks of “redeeming the time” it is appealing for us to get the true value from it. We do this by living each moment filled with the Holy Spirit. If you become so busy you don’t have time for God you are not in compliance with His will for you. That means you aren’t getting done what He wants you to do.

God never frustrates His people. If it appears you have more work than you can do, it is obvious God didn’t give you part of it.

If the devil can’t make us bad he will make us busy.

Dr. Smiley Blanton: “Thousands upon thousands of people either destroy their lives or frustrate them because of their preoccupation with anxiety, fear, and worry.” Don’t worry away your time– redeem it.

I Peter 5:7 “Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He careth for you.”

I will not do anything today that will mess up tomorrow. Remember a pickle can never be a cucumber again. You can’t unscramble an egg. Sand can’t run uphill in an hourglass.

These vital reasons are given for redeeming the time.

The days are evil. Read the signs of the time with bifocal lenses and you can see the days are evil. Christianity is not a religious escape from history. Our faith is a fortress against the powers and principalities of this world.

It is also an embassy of God’s kingdom set in the midst of a crooked and perverse people.

The moral decay of modern society can never be used as an excuse for lowering our sense of justice, righteousness, and truth.

Redeem the time. HOW? The Scripture answers: “By being filled with the Holy Spirit.”

WHAT does that mean? To be controlled by Christ. Serve Jesus as Lord. “Be not drunk with wine…”

In their worship of the goddess Dionysus, the Greeks used alcohol. They looked at the wine in a chalice and saw the bubbles rising. Movement in the wine caused them to conclude there must be life in the cup. The content of the cup influenced their feelings and behavior. Therefore they assumed the movement in the challenge was caused by a god in the wine. They named that god Bacca.

As Bacca influenced ones walk and talk so does the Holy Spirit. Don’t let your life be under the control of any controlled substance for even a moment. Let it constantly be under the influence of the Lord Jesus Christ.

You can’t fake it. To be filled with the Spirit one must have Christ in the life.

HOW can one be filled?

You don’t have to beg God to do what He wants to do. He commanded us to be filled (vs. 18). It is His will for all of His children to be filled. Remember it means to live the Christ controlled life.

Begin by desiring it: “Blessed are they which hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled (Matthew 5:6).

Confess and be cleansed: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9).

We must model our lives after the life of Christ. John 1:1 gives insight into the punctual nature of our Lord: “Before time began to begin the Word was…” There never was a time when Jesus wasn’t. There was a time when there was no time. Time was a part of creation.

We live “in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began” (Titus 1:2). “Before time began….”

There will be a time when time shall be no more. In this brief capsule of time we live and make our decisions regarding eternity.

When the director of the play steps on stage the play is over.

Scripture alerts us to the expediency of immediate response to the love of Christ: “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (II Corinthians 6:2).