Summary: One of four sermons on the stewardship of life.
Time is a precious commodity. Where does it go? Perhaps a Pennsylvania consulting firm can "shed a little light" on this question. The average American over the course of a lifetime will spend...6 months sitting at stop lights; 8 months opening junk mail; 1 year searching for misplaced items; 2 years trying to return phone calls; & 5 years waiting in line!
"I haven’t got time!" has been the watchword for most Christians in this day and age. Most of us feel as though we have "a long way to go and a short time to get there!" What’s the solution? Is there a time management "miracle" that can free us from the treadmill that most of us seem to be on?
Thankfully, the answer is "yes!" God is the author of time and the performer of miracles. If we would look to the wisdom found in His Word, and apply it, we can release His miracle working power in our lives so as to enable us to make the most of our minutes.
What does God says about time management?
1. It is something that can be learned –
“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” - Psalm 90:12 (NIV)
“Teach us to use wisely all the time we have.” – Psalm 90:12 (CEV)
2. It is something that reflects wisdom - Psalm 90:12
3. It is something for which we will be held accountable –
“I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing. Yet what is due me is in the Lord’s hand, and my reward is with my God.”
- Isaiah 49:4 (NIV)
Are you wasting or investing the time God has given you?
"Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only so many days in the year as we make use of. One person gets a week’s value out of a year while another gets a year’s value out of a week."- Charles Richards
How can I make sure I am being a good steward of this gift from God, this slice of time that I call "my life?"
1.1 need to analyze my lifestyle - v. 15
A. Be aware of your "prime time."
God has "wired" each of us differently. Some of us are morning people. Some of us are evening people. One is not better than the other, they are just different. We need to understand ourselves and the way we are "wired" so as to better make the most of our time.
Suggestion: Add 30 minutes a day to your prime time. 30 minutes extra per day = 182.5 hours of greater productivity each year.
Chuck Swindoll knows that his most productive time of the day is in the morning. Therefore, he takes 1 hour every morning to invest in writing.
B. Be aware of your "wasted time."
Time is not typically wasted in big chunks, but in little bits. Each of us develops patterns of behavior through which we waste time the same way each day.
Suggestion: Take a typical week and keep a time log. Then pray over that time log and ask God to reveal to you ways in which you are wasting the minutes He is giving you.
2.1 need to maximize my opportunities - v. 16
Tomorrow is just a "promissory note." All we can count on is the time we have today.
"Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day will bring." - Proverbs 27:1 (NLT)
"If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done." - Ecclesiastes 11:4 (NLT)
Because the days are evil, we are told to "redeem the time,"(KJV) that is, to maximize our moments, to make the most of our opportunities to make our lives count for God. If we are going to "redeem the time" we must recognize that there are different types of opportunities given to us with respect to time. In Ecclesiastes 3:1, we are told, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven." In 1 Chronicles 12:32, we are told that the men of Issachar, "understood the times and knew what Israel should do."
To redeem the time, we need to ...
1) Maximize our prime time - High priority items
Concentration - Focus on one thing at a time!
2) Maximize our grind time - Medium to low priority items
Combination - Do two or three things at once.
3) Maximize our unwind time - Personal priority items
Contemplation - this is time spent with God, others, or ourselves for the purpose getting being refreshed & refocused.
John Maxwell tells about how he packed several things for his honeymoon related to his work. When his wife asked about these items, he replied, "I just thought I would bring these things along with me in case I got bored."