Summary: Explaining the gift and stewardship of time

Redeeming Your Time

CCCAG Jan 9h, 2019

Scripture- Eph 5:16-17, 2 King 20

Intro: 2nd message of the new years- the first (Beauty from Ashes) being about how God wants to use your past to propel you into your future, today- (title)

Has anyone here ever bought something that required a great deal of assembly?

When Tammie and I were still newlyweds we bought an entertainment center for the apartment. When we got it home, I realized that the instructions were mostly in some type of Oriental language, I suspect Chinese. Since there were diagrams that went along with the written instructions I figured that I'd be able to figure it out as I am generally pretty good at that kind of thing.

So I sat on the floor of the living room for a few hours putting this thing together. I'm getting ready to stand it up for the first time when I realized that I put on one of the central piece’s backwards, so that the unfinished side would be showing toward the room instead of the wall. Unfortunately, there was no way to quick fix this and I had to take every screw out and take off every piece to turn around this one board.

Talk about being frustrated about wasting that much time

Another thing that can be frustrating- Has anyone taken one wrong turn during a road trip and ended up going for an hour or 2 in the wrong direction? Any woman who is ever been married to a man who insists that he knows the exact right way to go probably has experience this at one time or another.

There is something ingrained in most people that absolutely hates to waste time. Yet many of us if we're really honest with ourselves as a church family and with our God would probably admit that we waste a lot of time in life.

The idea of wasted time is something that God has brought to the forefront of my life recently. This last December I turned 49 years old. They call this time of life “middle aged” and it's usually when most people, especially guys, have a midlife crisis because they realize that over half of their life is over.

I suppose in some ways I'm experiencing a midlife crisis but not in the typical way. The stereotype of a guy having a mid-life crisis is buying a brand-new sports car or start wearing a bad toupee. If I'm having any sort of a midlife crisis it's coming down to the realization of the importance of time.

God has a lot to say about understanding this concept of time. It’s one of the most valuable gifts that God has given us. Time is meant to remind us that our life here on this earth is limited. It’s why God set a calendar for the people of the Old Testament to follow. All the celebrations, all the festivals , all of the great temple activities all had to do with reminding the worshipper that time keeps ticking on and sooner or later we will be standing before Jesus Christ.

I think this really hit me going to Pastor Ron’s funeral last year. Pastor Ron was in many ways my spiritual father. The funeral message was given by one of his best friends whose name is Dean Niforatos, the crazy Greek Evangelist I have spoken of in the past. During the message Dean spoke from Ecclesiastes 12.

I’m going to do something a little different this morning in that I’m going to read that section of scripture to set the mood for our central verse.

Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say,

“I find no pleasure in them”— before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain; when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men stoop, when the grinders cease because they are few,

and those looking through the windows grow dim; when the doors to the street are closed

and the sound of grinding fades; when people rise up at the sound of birds, but all their songs grow faint; when people are afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets;

when the almond tree blossoms and the grasshopper drags itself along and desire no longer is stirred.

Then people go to their eternal home and mourners go about the streets.

Remember him (God)—before the silver cord is severed, and the golden bowl is broken;

before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, and the wheel broken at the well,

7 and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

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