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Summary: What Will We Do With Time Given To Us In 2005?

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This is the Time

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INTRODUCTION:

The year 2004 draws to a close. People will tune into their TV or radio, or they will read in magazines and newspapers the events that shaped the last year. You will also find the experts making predictions about the year set before us. These pundits have been trying to forecast the future for years. For instance in 1967 experts predicted that by the turn of the century technology would have taken over much of our lives. (Now if you stop there you would say the experts were right; we do live in a technologically advanced society.) However these same experts said that with all the advancements in technology, the average American work week would be only 22 hours long, and we would work only 27 weeks each year. Our biggest problem in the new millennium would be deciding what to do with all of our free time! (I don’t know, maybe I’m the only one who still hasn’t figured out how to let technology set me free from the drudgery of a 40 hour or more work week?)

Most of us would agree that we are busier today than at any other time in history. Instead of having free time our calendars and palm pilots are filled with activity. Everything happens at a fast pace. We’re always in a hurry. We talk fast, walk fast and eat fast. Am I the only one who would like to get off the tread mill of life and slow down?

How will we fare in 2005? Will we find ourselves six months from now wondering what happened to January? What will we do with the 365 days allotted to 2005—how will we fill the 8,760 hours that make up the next year?

When 2005 draws to a close will we look back with joy or regret? Will we look forward with anticipation or fear?

Let’s pause for a moment and remember the only time we have to live is the present. We cannot go back and relive the mistakes of yesterday, nor can we jump into the future to see what tomorrow holds. THIS IS THE TIME! What will we do with the time given to us day by day in 2005?

Ephesians 5:15-17 (NIV)

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

• (The Message Bible)

[15] So watch your step. Use your head. [16] Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times! [17] Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.

1. Use your time wisely.

Notice again what Paul says in verse 15: “Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise—watch your step. Use your head.” Paul underscores this thought again in verse 17 saying, “do not be foolish—don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly.”

Why should we use our time wisely? Why not just live our lives carefree and easygoing? Couldn’t we just relax and live life as it comes?

Paul tells us bluntly, “The days are evil—these are desperate times!” The young preacher Timothy is given a similar warning.

2 Timothy 3:13-14 (NIV)

[13] . . . evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. [14] But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it.

Live your life wisely Timothy; watch your step and guard your heart lest you be led astray. We must be careful how we live our lives—use your time wisely.

But what does using our time wisely look like? In a word it looks like Jesus! Paul puts it like this in Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV):

• [1] Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children [2] and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

If we want to use our time wisely and not live carelessly then we should live like Jesus. Follow Jesus’ example and live a life of love and then we won’t come to the end of a year (or the end of our lives) and feel like we have wasted our time. Using our time wisely will leave no regrets, just as Jesus had no doubts, misgivings or sorrow in how He lived His life. Even as Christ endured the pain, suffering and shame of His death upon the cross He had no regrets.

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