Summary: Making the most of our time and the opportunities that God puts across our path in life.
January 6th, 2008 – How Time Flies…
Well, another year has gone. The year 2007 is now history. It seems such a short while ago we were yelling Happy New Year for 2007, planning the Launch Service for Westshore Community Church and having 85 people fill the church, getting news of Dan’s tumour, Stephanie & Dan going to Texas and learning that the cancer was benign, worship services every week, preparing sermons for the church, getting ready for being in the Langford Days parade, serving Sundaes on a Sunday, Dona Walker’s battle over cancer, being in this building for 1 year, German Dinner, many pot-luck dinners, having great people serving in worship, in media, in KIDZONE, in the kitchen and so many other areas, our first Children’s Christmas program, celebrating Christmas Eve 1907 style, and then ringing in the next New Year of 2008. And these are just a few things that have been going on. Wow, time flies!
12 months or 365 days or 8760 hours or 525,600 minutes, need I go on? A lot of TIME has gone by, and my thought this week has been, what have I done with that time? What have I done with the minutes, hours, days and months that the Lord has given me to live? Did I make good use of my time? What’s happened this last year that I can look back on? Have I lived my life and spent my time in a way that would please the Lord? I can remember a lot of things, some good, some bad, some miracles, some disappointments; but what would God say to me if He were to go through my 2007 calendar and discuss my time management skills? What would God say about the way I live my life?
So I turned to the book of Ephesians and read about how Paul encouraged the church in Ephesus to live their lives for Christ as ’children of light’. And we, too, should live our lives in such a way.
So I have just few thoughts to share from this passage of scripture. Let’s take a look together at Ephesians chapter 5, verses 1-18. Follow along with me as we learn how to live our lives for God.
1Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
• What a simple instruction, be imitators of God. If anything in this universe is worthy of imitation, it is GOD. Most of us have seen situations where younger siblings try to be like their older brother, sister, or friends. They see something in the way that person lives that they want to try to emulate in their lives. They’ll talk like them, dress like them, and act like them; all in an effort to be like someone else. Paul tells us to do the same, except that instead of looking to other people as our example, we are to imitate God Himself. So how do we do that? We live a life of LOVE. We are to love the way Jesus Christ loved. He gave up His life in order to restore our relationship to the Father. We too should be willing to give up what we think is best for our lives, and live them in such way that we benefit others more than ourselves. That’s love, sacrificial love. Love that makes a difference.
Then Paul gives some pretty clear instruction on what we should NOT do…pretty self explanatory…
3But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7Therefore do not be partners with them.
• If you’ve ever seen or listened to some of today’s motivational speakers who talk about success, one thing you will likely hear them say is this, ‘if you want to be a successful person and live a successful life, then you need to spend your time WITH successful people and stop spending time and effort around the unsuccessful.’ Pretty harsh words, but for those who want to have success, wealth and social status as their main goals in life, then that just might be good advice. Dump your loser friends and hang out with some winners. Paul says it this way, do not be partners with people who live lives that are just ‘empty words’. Empty words, empty lives. When you opened up your Christmas presents this week, did you get any empty boxes? Did someone go to great lengths to wrap up a beautiful package with fancy paper, ribbons and bows and give that to you? What would your reaction have been? ‘Thanks for nothing!’ That is what you get though, when you look to people who have nothing to offer except empty words. They say a lot, but deliver nothing. Does the phrase, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all, come to mind? Words that are not followed up by actions are empty. I can say a lot of words up here during a message, or post a lot of words on our website, but if I don’t live up to those words, what kind of example to anyone am I? I want to live a life worth following. I want to see my wife and children as successes in God’s Kingdom. I pray that we all are successful Christians!