Summary: Paul’s Advice: Treasure your time because it’s limited, make the most of every opportunity, and understand what the Lord’s will is.
Today we’ll conclude on the series of sermons on the New Year.
With the start of a new year, people want to make new resolution and start things afresh.
• Like what King Solomon says in Eccl 1:9 “…there is nothing new under the sun.”
• The Bible tells us only in Christ can we find the new life and a renewed purpose to life.
• Apart from Him, everything is “meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”
And then last week we talk about being builders in Christ.
• We don’t just make a living, we want to have some achievements in life. We want to do well at school, build a successful career, and raise a good family with great kids.
• But ultimately, we long to make lasting and purposeful achievements in life, and the Bible tells us only what is done in Christ and for Christ is valuable and lasting.
As believers, we must be involved in spiritual stuff - only these are valuable and lasting.
• In eternity to come, such works will remain. They are made of gold, silver and costly stones.
• Everything else will be burnt up. Therefore Jesus tells us to “seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness…” (Matt 6:33)
Today, we’ll come to Eph 5:15-17 [let’s read]
The first concern here is the use of our time. Be very careful how you live!
TECHNOLOGY ADVANCEMENT DID NOT MAKE LIFE SIMPLE
At the beginning of the year, you’ll see in magazines articles by experts predicting what they expect to see happening in the year or years ahead – about the economy, the stock market, population trends, etc. Some even go so far as to make predictions covering 5 years, 10 or 20 years in the future.
Some were fairly accurate, but others were way off. One about lifestyle - back in 1967 – some experts predicted that by the turn of the Century, technology would have taken over so much of the work we do, that the average work week would be only 22 hours long, and that we would work only 27 weeks a year.
As a result, one of our biggest problems would be in deciding what to do with all our leisure time.
Well, I don’t know about you, but that prediction certainly missed the mark as far as my life is concerned!
• Most of us are very busy people – whether in school or at the workplace.
• We’re always in a hurry. We walk fast, we talk fast, and we eat fast.
• And after we eat, all too often, we stand up and say, "Excuse me. I’ve got to go."
So these words in Eph 5 are important – it says live wisely, not as unwise, do not be foolish.
We want to remind ourselves three things, derived from the advice of Paul:
First of all, we must be very careful how we live because our time on this earth is limited.
I. TREASURE YOUR TIME BECAUSE YOUR TIME ON THIS EARTH IS LIMITED
Make the most of every opportunity, because you won’t always have them.
4 "Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. 5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath.
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.
Sometimes, I realise that for some of us who are young, 70 or 80 years sounds like a long, long time. But it’s just a matter of perception; you just feel that you’ve got a long way.
• For example, for those of us in love, talking together for an hour or two seems like a blink of an eye. How come so fast?
• But for someone waiting outside the operation room for a loved one, that one hour or two seems like an eternity. How come so long?
The psalmist says, “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Ps 90:12).
A few years ago People Magazine published an article entitled "Dead Ahead" telling about a new clock that keeps track of how much time you have left to live.
It calculates an average life span of 75 years for men and 80 years for women. So you program your sex & age into the clock, and from then on it will tell you how much time you have left. It sold for US$99.95 (about S$170).
Intriguing idea, but I don’t think I will buy one even if it is available in Singapore.