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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « An Explosion of Common Grace | Main | God's Foreknowledge and Election »

    Is Time On Your Side?

    There was a popular song in the 60s that boasted: “Time is on my side- -yes, it is!” (We should ask the aging singer now if this is still true).

    But is time really on our side? Every generation wastes a lot of time. The Book of Ecclesiastes is an inspired book on the waste of time contrasted with knowing God and getting wisdom.

    Wasting time is nothing new under the sun.

    In our culture, how easy it is for us to waste time, yet we are called as the dearly loved children of God to walk wisely making sure to use your time wisely.

    ESV Ephesians 5:15-16: Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

    We live in a time where time is greatly wasted. Perhaps technology and our ability to be “everywhere” in so many places at once- -mobile networks, handheld devices, iPads, iPods, iPhones, “i-need another one!” etc.

    We live in a world where time is not measured by age as much as by the next edition, the next operating system, the next generation of network, or iPod, or Play station, or whatever.

    We await the “next, best thing!” The “next version”- -we long to be “upgraded” “rebooted” and “reconfigured”- -but time is ticking…

    Not THE END as our goal- -but the “next best thing”.

    The chief end of man is not to glorify God and enjoy Him forever- -but to enjoy as God the next best thing! (Read on...CRB)

    Time is tick, tick, ticking away...tick tock, tick tock....


    What's next?! (Even here you may be trying to consume just another blog post; just some more information; waiting for another download)

    We just are waiting for the next thing; but are we seeking God's wisdom in Christ?

    Think about i! We await the next model, next generation of iPod, next mp3 download, next television show, next computer, next movie release, next…

    There is a great need for Christians to understand the rhythms of life- -and our time:

    Because our time is short.

    We don’t have a lot of time.

    We need to think about the use of our time.

    We are commanded to be good stewards of our time.

    Re-read again Ephesians 5:15-16 again, slowly:

    ESV Ephesians 5:15-16: Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

    How can we rightly use wisdom about using our time wisely and in a godly manner as Christians?

    This too, is part of getting discernment, and shining our lights before the dying world that is passing away (Ephesians 5:7-14).

    Seeking to understand how we spend our time is getting wisdom:

    ESV Ephesians 5:15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise…

    From Screwtape to Wormwood: “In modern Christian writings, though I see much (indeed more than I like) about Mammon, I see few of the old warnings about Worldly Vanities, the Choice of Friends, and the Value of Time. All that, your patient would probably classify as ‘Puritanism’—and may I remark in passing that the value we have given to that word is one of the really solid triumphs of the last hundred years?” (Screwtape Letters, pgs. 50-51).

    Do you understand this? Fools do not think about their use of time; fools waste their time.

    The wise in Christ seek to use their time wisely.

    Richard Baxter wrote: “Time being man’s opportunity for all those works for which he lives, and which his Creator does expect from him, and on which his endless life depends, the redeeming or well improving of it must needs be of most high importance to him; and therefore it is well made by holy Paul the great mark to distinguish the wise from fools” (Christian Directory, Part I, Chapter V).

    Are you wise or foolish with your time?

    We must remember that our time is gift from our God.

    “In the beginning, God…” God created time.

    God created man to live his time for the glory of God. Man was tempted and fell and his time was now cursed: “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23) teaches.

    Yet time is to be redeemed; those who are in Christ, must seek God's wisdom to redeem their time before God.

    There are only a certain number of days that God has granted to each of us:

    ESV Ecclesiastes 9:12 For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.

    A reminder of our short lives: Psalm 90:5-6, 9-12

    ESV Psalm 90:5-6, 9-12: You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning: 6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers

    …. For all our days pass away under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh.

    10 The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away. 11 Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you? 12 So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

    How many days are you given here?

    How many days do you have left? (These are questions the wise must daily ask!)

    Do you have:

    168 days?

    5,475 days? (15 years old?)

    9, 125 days? (25 years old?)

    14,600 days? (40 years old?)

    21,900 days? (60 years old?)

    25,550 days? (70 years old?)

    Or more…?

    That’s not really all that much when you think about it! Even at 70 years, you only have 70 birthdays (65 you can remember, the first two and the last two are blurred! ).

    70 trips around the sun; 70 New Year’s Eve celebrations (maybe 60 you remember because of age, and too much champagne!)

    You would hate and regret losing $5,000 or$25,000 perishable dollars to a robber in a mask. Why then do we allow 5,0000 0r 25,000 precious imperishable days to be so easily robbed without the slightest hate or regret?!

    Do you think we might have been duped?

    Have we been played as the fool?

    The good news of the Gospel is that God is the Giver and Governor of All Time! In Jesus Christ, God entered time as a man to redeem us and reconcile us to Himself so that our time would be redeemed!

    Let us pray to consider each moment precious as a gift from God.

    Let us pray to seek to make our calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:9-11); to seek to become more and more like Christ each day.

    Let us pray to consider on how by God’s grace to do our best, and the greatest good we can with our gifts and abilities, knowing the time is short:

    ESV Galatians 6:10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

    Let us by God's grace to prayerfully watch for special opportunities and/or seasons that God has granted to us:

    Think of family gatherings where some are grown up and no longer there at the table with you; or at family reunions where some are absent because of death. We've all said (as we look at our children growing up): “One day they’ll all be older; what a great moment this is now!” Later in life we ponder: "I wish they’d come around and see us more often…I wonder what they’re doing today?’ or " They grow up so fast; where does the time go?!” etc.

    Cherish the time you have with aging parents; cherish the time you have left with aging spouses; cherish the time you have with all of your loved ones- -you don’t know when they will be called home.

    Perhaps NOW is your special time for something…what is it?

    In order to understand how to better use our time, let us consider some major "time robbers" in order to get wisdom:

    How do we waste time? What are our “time robbers”?


    The Notorious BIG Time-Robbers of History (thanks to 16th century Puritan Richard Baxter for this list; there is nothing new under the sun).

    • Sloth and idleness
    • Excess of sleep
    • Inordinate adorning the body with clothes and health
    • Possessions and entertainment
    • Needless parties and feastings and gluttony
    • Idle talk; “chatting”
    • Bad company; “vain and sinful company”
    • Excessive worry about earthly cares and business
    • Ungoverned sinful thought-life

    • The “Master-Robber”: An unsanctified, ungodly heart!

    Why is this THE master? The BIG ROBBER?!

    We must remember that wasting time, acting foolishly in relation to our time reveals deeper problems of our heart.

    Remember that behavior is merely the fruit; the heart is the actual root.

    Too busy too pray; too busy to take time away to rest; to busy to meditate on the LORD?

    Something deeper is wrong.

    What you’re spending your time doing may be idolatrous –and probably is- -you are most likely doing it more for yourself than for others.

    If you find yourself filled with anger, bitterness, envy, and self-pity- -these are the works of the flesh- -not results or fruits of time well-spent.

    Wasted time will produce the works of the flesh; we are seeking and never finding what we’re truly looking for and need in Jesus alone.

    Modern Time Robbers:
    Biggest time wasters according to website ‘Productivity 501’:

    Surfing the web. Maybe that doesn’t count, though, since most folks actually do know they’re wasting time. Biggest time waster without knowing it is being chatty. For real. Chattiness is a total time sink!

    Top ways to waste time (not necessarily sins, but unwise and can be huge time-wasters): BIG 5 [TV,TEXTING, GAMES, INTERNET, and OVERSLEEPING].

    Watching Television; texting; video games; internet; oversleeping; Not having specific plans for a day (organization- “Teachers without daily plans will not teach” is what I was told); procrastination; worry; being busy but not accomplishing anything (no agenda, etc); Not learning from mistakes.

    Read more: http://www.productivity501.com/interview-biggest-time-waster/257/#ixzz0pc3Zmilx

    What if you knew you only had one year to live?

    How would you live?

    What if you knew you only had one week to live?

    How would you live?

    What if you knew you only had one day to live?

    How would you live?

    What if within the next hour you were dead?

    How would you live?

    How would you live?

    The end is at hand…Christ stands ready to receive, forgive; he will return.

    He has redeemed you; now go in His grace and redeem the time you have left.

    The sands of time are sinking, the dawn of Heaven breaks;
    The summer morn I’ve sighed for—the fair, sweet morn awakes:
    Dark, dark hath been the midnight, but dayspring is at hand,
    And glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

    I want to look at this in a second part later this week. But for now, let us thank God for Jesus Christ who has come to redeem every single aspect of our lives for His glory and our good!!

    Love in Christ,

    Pastor Charles R. Biggs
    www.ketoctin.org
    www.sermonaudio.com/kcpc

    Posted by Charles Biggs on December 9, 2010 09:41 AM

    Comments

    Thanks for posting this.

    I already "know" where my big time-wasters are (oversleeping and the internet), but this just drives the pint home. Failing to have a daily plan is also a big part of it, and enables us to excuse the time wasted by the other things.

    I've noticed having a plan forces me to wake up and start my day on time, and shut out some of the other time-wasters, in order to get everything done. Looks like I need to start doing so again.

    Dear Raine,
    Such a challenge isn't it? I am so thankful that we have Christ as our Redeemer of Time. As we put a priority on our time spent with him, so in him, we find the wisdom and knowledge of all we need to know about how we should spend our time! Praise to the Lord for his grace, my brother.

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