Summary: Many act as if they will live forever, but the Bible teaches that we are all living on borrowed time.
INTRO. ("News Too Late" -ill.) - A doctor called one of his patients into his office to deliver some very important news. "I have received the results of your tests and I have some bad news and some good news", said the doctor. The patient was quiet for a moment, sensing the severity of the announcement. "Let me have the good news first, doc", said the patient. The doctor took a deep breath and said, "You only have 24 hours to live." "Oh my goodness", shouted the patient, "If that’s the good news what could the bad news possibly be?" The doctor replied, "I was supposed to tell you yesterday."
Most of us live as though there is no tomorrow. We simply have no concept of a world without us and yet each second the clock ticks away is one less second off our lives and as David said, "It is soon cut off, and we fly away."
I. WE ARE LIVING ON BORROWED TIME.
A. Psalms 90:10
1. Many people think that we are given 70 years of life and when we have passed that then we are on borrowed time. That is not what the Scripture says.
2. The average life span (world-wide) is less than 70 years but should we live beyond 70 years those extra years are seldom years of joy and happiness. [Read verse again.]
B. Our whole existence is a gift from God. From the day of our birth until the day of our death we are on borrowed time. ("It is appointed unto man once to die")
1. One of the great questions of all time is, What is the meaning of life?
2. This greatest of all philosophical questions is answered in the greatest of theological books.
a. (Eccl. 12:13) -- "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man."
b. (Mark 12:30) -- "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength."
3. The wisest use of our borrowed time is to invest it in the love and worship of our Creator.
II. WE NEED TO BE USING OUR TIME.
A. Jesus said, "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work."
1. The Swahili language of the Bantu people of East Africa has a unique way of translating Ps. 31:15 which reads: "My times are in thy hand". They translate it, "My whens and hows are in thy hand."
2. Chloe, one of the seven sages, when asked what was the hardest thing for a man to do, replied, "To employ his time wisely."
B. What is the wisest use of time?
1. Belief and Trust in Christ. Jn. 6:28-29
2. Prayer and Communion with God. No sooner was Daniel told that he could not pray than he went to his window and began to pray. No matter what the world says to you, you can not go wrong in praying.
3. Working for God. (Parable of the talents - Matt. 25:14-30) The Scriptures tell us of 5 specific crowns that will be given to faithful workers.
a. incorruptible crown -- for a consistent Christian testimony (fighting a good fight)
b. crown of righteousness -- those who love the second coming of Christ and live their lives in faithful expectation of that moment.
c. crown of life -- those who endure testings; also called the martyrs crown.
d. crown of rejoicing -- soul winners
e. crown of glory -- the good shepherd’s crown for every Pastor who is faithful in feeding the flock of God.
III. AN EXAMPLE OF WASTING TIME.
A. The Prodigal Son. (Lk. 15:11-13) He wasted his wealth, his strength, his youth and his energy on riotous living but mostly he wasted his time.
B. Samson wasted his strength and testimony with a woman who was of the enemies of God.
C. The rich farmer of Lk. 12:16-19 was pre-occupied with the wealth of this world and gave no thought to the world to come.
1. (ill.) - A woman who had been living a very high-pressured life moved with her family from the city to the country. The family had resolved to reduce the stresses and tensions that they had been under by entering into a gentler, easier life-style. A neighbor called on the mother one day and noticed something that had been pinned on the family bulletin board. She asked about it and the mother said, "Oh, that’s a poem that represents what our moving here was all about. The poem starts out, "Lord slow me down.." But I haven’t had time to read the rest of it."