Summary: Love is spelled T-I-M-E.
In order to take The Great Commandment seriously, we must create space in our lives to build relationships with those who live near us.
Let’s follow up on the Block Map exercise from last week. How many of you have learned the names of some of their neighbors since last Sunday?
(Refer to the Block Map)
(Refer to The Art of Neighboring strategy)
Our strategy in practicing the Great Commandment with our neighbors is to seek to go from stranger to acquaintance to relationship. Where are you in this process? You may have lived where you do for years and know everyone around you. But are you merely acquaintances? Who does God want you to develop a deeper relationship with?
One of the biggest obstacles to taking the Great Commandment seriously is TIME. Many times, we excuse ourselves by saying “I’m too busy. I just don’t have the time.”
But when we say; “I don’t have time to get to know my neighbor, what we are really saying is “I don’t consider getting to know my neighbor as important as everything else that I do.”
When we say we are too busy to get to know our neighbor, we’re saying we’re too busy to obey the Great Commandment. By contrast, Jesus got a lot done but his life was never hurried. He had time for people and for conversations.
Dr. Howard Hendricks that while it could be said of Jesus, “He went around doing good” (Acts 10:38 NIV), it could often be said of our lives, “he went about, period!”
Do we live at a pace that allows us to be available to those who live around us? Jesus did. And if we are going to live like Him, then we need to learn how to live at a pace that allows us to be available to those who live around us.
Last week we talked about our assignment. According to Acts 17:26-27, we live where we live when we do because that’s where God has placed us; and where He has placed us is for the purpose of seeing others drawn to Him. Today, I want us think about our investment. The investment of our time. (READ TEXT)
Psalm 90, we are told, is a prayer of Moses, the man of God. And among the requests that Moses made of His Lord was that he asked God to teach him how to manage his time.
Time is a great leveler. It doesn’t matter if we are wealthy or poor, educated or uneducated, a manager or a laborer, male or female, popular or unpopular, we all have only one life to live. Since this is so, we need to understand our assignment and be careful about the
investment of our time - making the most of it we possibly can.
“Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can’t buy more hours. Scientists can’t invent new minutes. And you can’t save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow. Success depends upon using it wisely.” - Denis Waitley, The Joy of Working
“Time is life - nothing more, nothing less. The way you spend your hours and your days is the way you spend your life.” - John Boykin, The Gospel of Coincidence
How can we invest our time wisely rather than spend our time wastefully? In Moses’ request, we are told of two ingredients that will give us the focus we need to make the most of the time we have.
1. A Sense of Perspective - v. 12a
Moses rightly observes that our days are numbered. We don’t have an infinite number of days in which to live. Perhaps the swiftness with which time passes has already occurred to you. However, we cannot do anything to change the amount of time we have to do what we are supposed to do with our lives.
I understand that at one point in their history, the Chinese experimented with designing a calendar that had 15 day weeks! Needless to say, it didn’t add any time to their lives.
Life is commonly described in one of four ways: as a journey, as a battle, as a pilgrimage, or as a race. Whatever your metaphor, there is one thing on which we must all agree: If life is a journey, it must be completed; if life is a battle, it must be finished; if life is a pilgrimage, it must be concluded; and if life is a race, it must be won.
Each of our lives will one day come to an end. Since this is so, we need to make the kind of decisions in the time we have that will result in our getting where we want to be when we reach the end. Decisions that will insure I invest my time in fulfilling God-given assignments; and one of those assignments is to fulfill the Great Commandment, starting with those who are my neighbors.