Summary: Challenge Christians to make the most of the minutes of their lives.
TURN TO NEH 1 in your King James Bible
INTRO: My Fleeting Opportunity--Stewardship of My Time
Nehemiah and Ezra are amazing books…They are both historical and prophetic. They both have to do with regathering Israel in the promise land…after occupation and dispersal and persecution…
God moves a Gentile king to decree the Jews are to go “home” this happened in 500BC with Cyrus the Persian and again in 1917 with King George (Balfour Declaration)…after this Arab enemies show up…”Palestinians” = Philistines
God has to miraculously deliver them from their enemies while they literally rebuild their destroyed nation
A. Today’s focus, “stewardship of our TIME”
i. Drawing lessons from Nehemiah
READ NEH 1:1-4 (Nehemiah hears the bad news)
Neh 2:1-5 (Nehemiah prays and asks the king)
Neh 2:6-8 Artexerxes grants the request
Neh 3: the men who decide to take their time (opportunity) to build up the city
They could have stayed where they were comfortable—could have lived for self and stayed SAFE
Neh 4:1-3 enemies & mocking
If we take our opportunity—opposition will come
Neh 6:15 The wall is built
16—enemies are cast down
These are men who took their opportunity
They looked at the time God had given them—and used it!
Their names are eternally recorded as a memorial to a group of men who “redeemed the time”
Ephesians 5:15 See therefore how ye walk carefully, not as unwise but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
A. What is stewardship?
i. Most immediately think of tithing/$$
ii. Managing something that belongs to someone else
iii. Last week: saw stewardship is
1. Accepting the truth that everything I am and have comes from God
2. Accepting my duty to manage that for God’s glory
iv. The Christian life is a stewardship
B. Stewardship is about priorities
ii. Checkbook shows our priorities
iii. BUT…Calendar also shows our priorities
i. Because we spend our time on the things we care about
One ingenious teenager who was tired of reading bedtime stories to his little sister decided to record several of her favorite stories on tape. He told her, “Now you can hear your stories anytime you want. Isn’t that great?” She looked at the machine for a moment and then replied, “No. It hasn’t got a lap.”—if he was smart he realized that he was wisely spending his time re-reading the same stories
ii. Our calendars reveal our priorities because time is so VALUABLE
How do we value ONE YEAR? Ask a student who failed a grade.
What is the value of ONE MONTH? Ask a Mother whose baby arrived prematurely.
How much do we value ONE WEEK? For the sailors trapped in a submarine on the ocean floor it was the difference between life and death.
How much do we value ONE HOUR? Ask someone who missed a connecting flight home because the first flight was delayed by an hour.
What is the value of HALF AN HOUR? Ask the parents of the flower girl and ring bearer who missed the wedding because one of them thought the wedding was at 4:30, rather than 4 pm?
How much do we value ONE MINUTE? Ask someone who had a heart attack in a restaurant with a paramedic sitting at the next table.