Summary: The clock is ticking! Limited time! Limited days! What would you do if you knew that your time was about to be up?
Pt. 1 - Numbered
We have done our best to break life into manageable chunks. We talk about our life in terms of minutes, hours, days, weeks and years. Time drives everything. It drives our schedule. We want to start on time and end on time. Be on time. Manage time. Our efforts to break time down into small and manageable segments, so that we can better handle it, often causes us to fail to back up and take a broad look at our timeline. But today I want to ask you a question . . . What if you knew you only had one month to live? How would that knowledge change your perspective, attitude, approach and priorities?
Today as we begin to try to gain some perspective it is important to talk about time or it will be wasted, it will pass, and we will lose it. Some of our heroes in Scripture wrestled with the issue of time and in doing so they teach us some things about time that we need to know.
Psalms 39:4-5 (NIV)
Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.
Job 14:5 (NIV)
A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed. (By the way that can either scare you or assure you that God knows you so intimately.)
Psalms 90:12 (NIV)
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
There are three really important lessons we must learn about time that may come off as a downer but again this is about perspective.
1. There is an expiration date.
David asks God to show him the number of his days. Job says a person’s days are determined. In fact, according to Job, God has already decreed an expiration date that we can not exceed. How many of you try to get a few extra days out of your milk? You know the expiration date has passed but you are sure you can use it a few more days. Honestly if the fridge is cold enough you can get a few more days. How many of you know that works for milk but won’t work in life. And yet so many of us treat life like that in our attitude. We act like we are going to be able to get to our expiration date and then push past that and get some more time for what is important. However, Job was right . . . Our days are numbered and you cannot exceed that set time.
We say it like this . . . Two things are guaranteed for everyone death and taxes. The writer of Hebrews talks about our expiration date in terms of an appointment! It is appointed unto men once to die. Time expires.
78.74 years (2015) average years in America. However, that time isn’t promised. Did you know?
151,600 people die each day world wide.
6,316 people die each hour world wide.
You cannot escape expiration. David says even those who seem secure will still come up against their expiration date. Do you know anyone who tries to ignore that fact? They refuse to think about it or plan for it. Their attitude is if I ignore it or refuse to talk or think about it it won’t happen. However, David and Job agreed that you can play like you are immune but it is guaranteed.
Knowing that brings clarity and perspective. On table after heart attack.
I want you to think about expiration not so that the thought depresses you but rather drives you. I don’t want expiration to immobilize you but rather to mobilize you.
2. Time is ticking
Where all my 1992 folks at? Time is ticking away tick, tick, ticking away. DCtalk knew what David knew. Time moves quickly. The clock ticks. - I read it to you from NIV - everyone is but a breath. Listen to same statement in The Message which makes it so clear - “Oh! we’re all puffs of air. Oh! we’re all shadows in a campfire. Oh! we’re just spit in the wind. We make our pile, and then we leave it.”
James echos this idea when he says . . .
James 4:14 - How do you know what is going to happen tomorrow? For the length of your lives is as uncertain as the morning fog—now you see it; soon it is gone.
Or you may have learned it as “life is but a vapor!”
Time slips away silently but quickly. Time is never gained. It is only lost. Some minutes seem like hours. Some hours seem like days. Some days seem like weeks. Some weeks feel like a month and some months seem like years. However, even in our worst times, which seem to stretch on endlessly, dragging and drawn out, even then time is speeding by.