Summary: What was this past year like for you? Was it filled with joy and peace or anxiety and stress? What were my "Time Stealers"? Let’s see how we can use our time wisely in Christ for a New Direction for my life!

"New Direction for a New Year"

Text: Eph. 5:15-17 & Selected

"New Direction for a New Year"

Using Time Wisely

Cross Creek Community Church

Pastor Dave Martin – December 29, 2002

God’s Word is Powerful, Relevant, and Life Changing!

What was the year 2002 like for you? Filled with joy and peace or anxiety and stress?

New Years is often a time for making new resolutions. Promising yourself to give up some bad habit or to develop new good habits or maybe changing your lifestyle.

It may be a time of trying harder at something, or a time of re-establishing broken relationships or maybe a new exercise routine or possibly a desire to lose 10 pounds.

Some here this morning may have an inner desire for a new direction in your life. You may be a Christian and yet secretly struggle in your personal daily walk with the Lord, needing a change.

You may be here searching for an inner peace and joy that God promises those who walk with Him and yet your life is filled with bitterness, struggles and sin.

This morning let’s look at three basic steps to a new direction for our lives.

Ephes. 5:15-17 Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

1. Realize my time is LIMITED.

Be very careful, then, how you live

God is eternal; He created time and placed man into it. Giving us each 24 hours in each day.

Each of us is given a possible 8,760 hours to live and to use in this coming year. How will you live?

The Lord tells us to be very careful – Be skillful, wise, on guard, looking very closely how you live.

Examining your life carefully you will quickly see how fast time goes by. Our time is limited.

Our life had a distinct beginning and a distinct physical ending – my time is limited.

My time and what I do with it is the most valuable commodity I have.

Psalm 90:10 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.

Time marches on, it can never be slowed or stopped by you – it is out of your control.

Who decides how you spend your time? YOU DO!

It is the most precious of possessions... No one can take it from you. It is unstealable.

No one receives either more or less than you receive.

Moreover, you cannot draw on its future. It’s impossible to get into debt with time!

You cannot waste tomorrow; it is kept for you. You cannot waste the next hour; it is kept for you.

You have to live on this twenty-four hours of daily time given to you by God.

We shall never have any more time. We have, and we have always had, all the time there is.

Because time is limited, be very careful in your use of it. There are time robbers in the world!

The #1 “Time Stealer” today is TELEVISION.

The average American watches 4 hours per day or 2 months non-stop viewing per year!

Parents have meaningful conversation with their children 38 minutes per week while the average child watches 1,680 minutes of TV per week! (44 times more TV than conversation with parents)

50% children 6-17 have a TV in their bedrooms (mostly unsupervised).

Getting Control… How do we go about taming this one-eyed giant?

Strive for a Spiritual emphasis in your life.

Go for a day or whole weekends without.

Visit people - friends, family, etc.

Invest in worthwhile books, projects, etc.

2. Choose to use my time WISELY.

--Not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Oh how we need Godly wisdom in the year 2003! Fear of the Lord is foundational to wisdom.

God tells us fools despise wisdom and discipline – will you accept or reject correction? A choice.

The days are evil. Things are getting worse. Global terrorism, threats of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, financial crisis on wall street, these are the days of evil and wickedness.

We need wisdom to choose to use correctly the time God has given to each of us.

God says, Living as wise and not as a fool (unwise). Redeeming the time – utilizing time wisely!

Where does wisdom come from? GOD

Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

The everyday choices we make hinges upon our dependence upon the Lord. Our relationship!

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Thelma Miller

commented on Dec 15, 2006

Very enjoyable, good word!

Dan York

commented on Dec 25, 2006

The sermon is very good. I would love to see the power pont that went with it. dan

Jonathan Gibson

commented on Dec 26, 2008

good stuff, good expository.

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