Summary: how we give God what we have left of our time and resources.
Leftovers For God: Time, Talent and Money
When I was a child, there were times when my mother would cook a meal and we would have food left after everyone finished eating. This food, called leftovers, would be package up and place in the refrigerator to be eaten the next day. To this day I love eating leftovers. I will eat leftovers with the same enthusiasm as if it was the original meal. If it is something that I really enjoy, like my chili or Nikki’s chicken stew, I can eat it three or four days in a row. Leftovers for me are not a bad thing. Although I enjoy leftovers, I know some people who will not eat them. These people would rather throw the food out than eat the same thing two days in a row. Even if they put it in the refrigerator, they forget about it until it goes bad. Some of you may be that way or you may have children who do not like to eat leftovers. But just what are leftovers? Leftovers as pertaining to food, is food that is left after everyone has eaten and are full. Sometimes there is enough food for another meal and sometimes only parts of the meal is left and will need additional food to make a full meal. The term "leftovers" signifies that it is something that was not needed and therefore could be used at a later time. Leftover is actually defined as "a remnant or left over portion." So in other words, a leftover is what you have left after you have eaten all that you wanted. You can also have some "leftovers" that does not pertain to food and this is what I want to focus on for the next couple of weeks.
The title of my message for the next couple of weeks is "Leftovers for God." I will focus on three areas, leftover time, leftover talents and leftover money. My goal with this series is to awaken your spirits to the possibility of what you are giving God may not be your best, but in actuality your leftovers. Through these messages, I want us to really examine how we utilize our time, talents and finances on a daily basis and in reference to our service to God. This morning’s message will focus on our leftover time that we give to God.
Before I get into the heart of the message, I want to take you through a short exercise. This exercise (even for those who will receive this message via email) is private, so I do not want you looking at no one else’s answers. The ushers are going to hand out a calendar for the month of March. We will look at this past week, Sunday March 12th through yesterday, March 18th. In one week’s time, you have seven days; one hundred and sixty eight (168) hours; ten thousand and eighty (10,080) minutes; six hundred and four thousand, eight hundred (604,800) seconds. On the calendar for each day, I have placed the number of minutes you have for that day. All I want you to do is subtract how minutes you spent with God versus the number of minutes that were available to you. So follow along with me as I give you an example of Joe Somebody and you can fill yours in now or privately when you get home. Again, this is an individual acknowledgement between you and God. God already knows how much time you are giving him, but sometimes we do not know. So, back to Joe Somebody. For the purpose of this exercise, the day starts at 12:00 a.m. (actually that really is when the day starts.)
• On last Sunday, March 12th Joe woke up at 6:00 a.m. to get ready for Church. He had gotten six good hours of restful sleep. Joe came to Church and arrived at 8:15 a.m. so that he could set up equipment for Church service and be ready for intercessory prayer that started at 8:45. Church service was over at 10:50 a.m. so Joe gave God Sunday morning 155 minutes. Not bad. After Church was over, Joe went home and relaxed with his family. After Sunday dinner, he took a nap, and then spent the remainder of the day watching two movies (4.5 hours) and a couple of TV shows (2 hours). Sunday night, before going to bed, Joe read his bible for 15 minutes and prayed for another 15 minutes before falling asleep at 10:30 p.m. So on last Sunday, Joe had 1,440 minutes available to him that he could spend with God. If you subtract out the time that he slept (7.5 hours or 450 minutes), he had 990 actual minutes that He could have given to God. Out of his 990 minutes, Joe gave God 185 minutes or 19% of his time on last Sunday. That is not bad; he gave God almost 20% of his time when he was awake. But before we get too happy, let’s see how much time he gave to the TV. Joe spent 6.5 hours watching TV for a total of 390 minutes or 39% of his time when he was awake. Let skip over to Wednesday, March 15th.