Summary: God expects people to use their time wisely. It matters what we do with our time.

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Title: The Stewardship of Time

Text: Psalm 90:1-7; Ecc. 3:1-17; Eph. 5:8-17

Truth: God expects people to use their time wisely.

Aim: To help them use their time wisely.

Life ?: What does it matter what I do with my time?


Maybe you remember the 1974 folk song by Harry Chapin, “Cats in the Cradle.” The song was in the top ten for 15 weeks and the number one record for two weeks. It was Chapin’s only number one hit.

The song is about a father that is too busy to spend time with his son. As the son grows he asks his father to spend time with him, but the father always postpones the son’s request to the future. The son idolizes his father and wants to become like his father. At the end of the song, the father realizes his son has become like him. However, it is the poor example of not having time for his father. Throughout, the song is peppered with phrases of nursery rhymes to remind us how quickly this time is going by.

Here are a few verses:

My child arrived just the other day.

He came to the world in the usual way.

But there were planes to catch and bills to pay.

He learned to walk while I was away.

He was talking before I knew it, and as he grew

He said, “I’m going to be like you, Dad.

You know I’m going to be like you.”

My son turned ten just the other day.

He said, “Thanks for the ball, now come on let’s play.

Can you teach me to throw?” I said, “Not today,

I’ve got a lot to do.” He said, “That’s OK.”

And he walked away and he smiled and he said

“You know I’m going to be like you, Dad,

You know I’m going to be like you.”

The final verse says:

I’ve long since retired and my son’s moved away.

I called him up just the other day.

I said, “I’d like to see you, if you don’t mind.”

He said, “I’d love to, Dad, if I could find the time.

You see, my new job’s a hassle and the kids have the flu,

But it’s sure nice talking to you, Dad.

It’s been real nice talking to you.”

And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me,

He’d grown up just like me.

My boy was just like me.

Here’s the rest of the story. Harry Chapin’s wife, Sandy, actually wrote the words to the song. Her poem was inspired by watching her ex-husband try to reconnect with his absent father. Chapin wasn’t much interested in the poem until after their son Josh was born. But it became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

When their son was seven, Harry was performing 200 concerts a year, and Sandy asked him when he was going to take some time to be with their son. Harry promised to make some time at the end of the summer. He never made it. That summer, on his way to a business meeting, a truck rear-ended his Volkswagen, it burst into flames, and he was killed. (Jerry Shirley)

Like the song, I’m sure if Harry Chapin had it to do all over again, he would have used his time differently. That statement and the song assume it matters what we do with our time. Why does it matter what we do with my time?


Psalms 90 is a contrast between the brevity of human existence in comparison to God’s eternity. Verses 1-6 stresses God’s eternity. Read.

The psalmist is emphasizing the security we have with God. Our trust is in One who existed before the mountains were born. In all of the ups and downs of life, He is God. Before the heartaches and pain and devastations of life, He was God. Long after those things have passed away He will still be God. He is everlasting.

In contrast, human beings are dust. We are not just mortal, but we are short-lived. To illustrate the difference between our brevity and God’s eternalness, he says a thousand years to us is like a day to God.

The brevity of life means that soon death will overtake us. Why do we die? His answer is found in v. 7-11. Read.

Why do we die? We have sinned against a thrice-holy God and his abiding judgment is on us. When we understand the brevity of life and the abiding judgment of God on our sin, then we realize before we finish this short journey through life we must seek out the mercy of God. It matters what we do with our time because time is short.

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