Summary: I’m hoping all of us will enjoy a happy New Year and I believe we will find ourselves off to a good start remembering these words of Paul: Ephesians 5:15-17
Now Is The Hour
Reading: Ephesians 5:15-17
Happy New Year! This morning we stand in the threshold of a brand new year. At this time of year it is not uncommon for people to reflect on the year just past. I’m sure you’ve noticed the many magazines and newspapers with special sections recalling people and events that made news during the past year. And it’s not unusual for some to make predictions for the New Year and Years to come. Some even go so far as to make predictions covering 10, 20, or more years in the future. Some few of these predictions have proven accurate, others not so accurate.
• “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.”
Western Union internal memo, 1876.
• “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943
• “Despite the trend to compactness and lower costs, it is unlikely everyone will have his own computer any time soon,”
Reporter Stanley Penn, The Wall Street Journal, 1966
• “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”
Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977
• “By the turn of this century, we will live in a paperless society,”
Roger Smith, chairman of General Motors, 1986.
Many scholars of the past believed that the advances in technology would make life easier, and that by 2000, most adults would work only a few hours every week. Most daily tasks would be automated and computers or robots would be intelligent enough to complete them. As a result, one of our biggest problems would be in deciding what to do with all our leisure time. How’s that working out for you?
In fact, most of us seem to be very busy people. We’re always in a hurry. We walk fast, and talk fast, and eat fast.
So here we are, at the first day of 2006. I wonder how we’ll do this year? Will we be as busy? Will we make any better use of our time? In 364 days, when the year is over, will we be looking back with joy, or with regret? Will we be looking at the future with anticipation, or with dread?
There is a passage of Scripture that I believe can be of help to us as we look forward to the rest of 2006 - if we’ll listen to it. The passage is Ephesians 5:15-17 “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
PROP. I think that in this passage the Apostle Paul presents some important lessons that we need to consider.
I. Make the Most of Your Time
A. First of all, we must be very careful how we live because our time on this earth is limited.
1) Psalm 39:4 “LORD, make me to know my end; And what is the extent of my days; Let me know how transient I am. Behold, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my lifetime as nothing in Your sight; Surely every man at his best is a mere breath.”
2) Psalm 90:10 “As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to strength, eighty years, Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; For soon it is gone and we fly away.”
3) Now, I realize that for some of you younger folk, 70 or 80 years sounds like a long, long time. In fact, I can remember when I thought anyone over 40 was ancient. But no longer. It is all rather relative, isn’t it?
4) James 4:14 “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.”
B. Psalm 90:12 “So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.”
ILL. Countdown clocks: You can find them for any occasion; Wedding day, retirement, New Years, etc. There is even one you can buy to calculate how much time you have left to live, based on lifetime averages.
1) So if I live to be 75 years old, I have about 10,585 days left to live. It seems like quite a bit, 10,585 days left to live. But wait a minute. I don’t have a guarantee of even one day more to live.
C. In fact the Bible tells us not to count on tomorrow because tomorrow may not come for you or for me. Luke 12:16