Summary: The first Stewardship sermon preached during our Stewardship campaign. God wants Christians to be good stewards of their time.
Stewardship Series #1
“Giving God Your Time”
Time is the heritage of every person. Whether a king or street sweeper, an astronomer or truck driver, a business tycoon or grocery clerk, each of us has the same number of hours. Many necessities and opportunities demand much of our day. Our work takes up a large percentage of our life. Being a good husband or wife, father or mother, employer or employee requires time.
A survey was conducted by the U.S. News and World Report back in 1988. They surveyed 6000 people about how the average America spends their time. In a lifetime, as reported in the Jan. 30, 1989 issue, they discovered that the average American will spend:
- Six months sitting at stoplights
- Eight months opening junk mail
- One year looking for misplaced objects
- 2 years unsuccessfully returning phone calls
- 4 years doing housework
- 5 years waiting in line
- 6 years eating
Each one of us here today have been given the same amount of hours each day. Unless you live in a different universe than I, each day still has 24 hours in which we eat, sleep, and do chores, menial tasks, etc. As we start our journey into Christians stewardship, we start out by looking at how we should be good stewards of one of our most precious resources; our time.
In the 90th Psalm, the psalmist prays that God would teach him, and others, to become good stewards with time. “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12) When it comes to the end of your life, your entire impact on this world will be boiled down to the one inch hyphen between the day you were born and the day that you died. The psalmist knew that life is relatively short against the span of God’s existence and eternity. “The length of our days is seventy years, or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.” (Psalm 90:10)
In a sense the psalmist, a man named Moses, asked God for the grace to allow him to “number his days” so that he could find the value in each day. Each day he wanted to “gain a heart of wisdom,” or as it says in the KJV, “that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.” Not only did he want to value each day that he had, he also wanted God to give him the wisdom to see the hand of God move each day. He was asking for the ability to discern the things of God, and in learning His will and ways, apply them to make his life better.
We live in a fast-paced society. Things are changing at a faster pace than when we were children. In order to TRY and keep up, we find ourselves running here and there. Time, instead of being something that we cherish, becomes a nuisance. We thrive in the fast lane of life, only to come home, or come to church complaining about how busy we are.
Somebody once said, “We master our minutes, or we become slaves to them; we use time, or time uses us.” The hardest thing to hand over to God is our time. Our treasure is a simple manner, in one aspect. We know that He asks for the tithe, or ten percent. If we know what types of things that God has blessed us with, many are more than willing to worship God by using these gifts. But our time is our own, or so we like to think.
God has granted us the grace to get out of bed this morning. Our hearts are still beatings. Our brains are still waving. Our lungs are still supplying oxygen to all parts of our bodies. Despite how busy we may be, or make ourselves, God is asking for our times. If Cain and Abel’s offerings were based on the “first fruit” principle, shouldn’t our use of time fall into that category as well?
In Ephesians 5, yes we are there again, reveals God’s expectation for us relating to time. In the NKJV, Paul addresses the Ephesians this way, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15,16)
1. Walk Circumspectly
First, we are to "walk circumspectly." Our English word circumspect, comes from the Latin circumspicere, that means to look round about on all hands; to be every way watchful, wary, and cautious, in order to avoid danger, and discern enemies. But the original Greek word akribwy (ak-ree-boce) means correctly, accurately, consistently, or perfectly. We who have received the truth, are to be careful of our conduct; walk by the rule which God has given you.