Summary: Our time on this earth is short. Are you making the best use of your limited time on this earth for the Lord’s work?
Ephesians 5:15-17 Making the best us of our time.
Youve all heard the scenario: if you knew you only had a certain amount of time to live, what would you do with it? Say you had one year left. For some reason, you knew you had exactly one year left to live. You had until the 25th July 2011 and then the Lord would take you home. What would you do? A few years ago there was a movie called The Bucket List. It was about a bloke with terminal cancer who had less than a year to live. He writes a list, a bucket list, that is, things he wants to do before he kicks the bucket. A rich billionaire friend tells him hell fund the list and off they go to tick off the items. They only have a short time left. They do things like, drive a Shelby Mustang, go skydiving, visit Stonehenge, the pyramids, Hong Kong, and go on safari. If you knew you had exactly a year to live, what would you do? Would you do those things in the movie, or other things? Visit Antarctica? Represent Australia in the Wallabies? Run for PM and win? Fly a fighter jet? Whatever it is, what would you do?
Today we are going to look at a passage in the Bible that tells us we only have limited time on this planet and it tells us to make that most of that time. It tells us to be wise about what we do in that time.
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Today well be looking at three things this passage tells us.
1. Make the most of our limited time.
2. Live wisely, not unwisely.
3. Understand the will of God.
And as we shall see, they are all connected. We make the most of our limited time here by living wisely, not unwisely. And to be able to do that to live wisely - we need to understand the will of God.
Firstly - make the most of our time. verse 16 says Eph 516 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil (English Standard Version). For those with the New International Version, it says, opportunity instead of time. Eph 5 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (NIV). The word is literally, time, but it is not the normal word for time. In Greek there are two words for time. The normal one is chronos χρονος is the more usual word for time. Its the word we get chronology from. As in, whats the time? Its time for dinner. But thats not the word here. The word here is kairos καιρος. This word has the meaning of appointed time. As in a specific moment of time or specific period of time. And in the Christian context, it means a God ordained time. Notice it doesnt say, make the best use of time, but make the best use of the time. A specific time, that God has ordained. Now what is this specific time?
Well there are two specific time periods we cannot alter, and both are set by God and no-one else. One is the time of this eon this age. One day Jesus Christ will return, but as He Himself said, we dont know the day or the hour. MT 24:36 "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. MT 24:42 "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. We know Jesus is coming back, but we dont know when and it is useless to speculate when, because the Bible says we dont know. Ive heard some say, yes we dont know the day, but we can pick the year. The history of Christianity is littered with those who have predicted the year, and yet the world has gone on. Ive even heard some say we cant predict which year, but we can predict which day of the year! But the Bible says that we dont know. So there is absolutely no point in speculating when it will be, its actually a waste of the limited time we have been given, because the Bible doesnt tell us to speculate about the timing of Jesus return. But as we shall see it tells us to watch and to be ready for Jesus return, whenever it may be, and to use the time that we have for His purposes.
For you see, even though we dont know when Jesus will come back, the Father does. Even though we dont know the extent of the time we have in this age, God knows. And it has been ordained long ago. It is a set time, a God-ordained time. How are we using it? Now we dont know when Jesus will come back. Maybe it will be tomorrow, maybe in 1000 years time. But even if it is a long time in the future, each of here has a limited lifespan. Like the day of Jesus return, we dont know how long it will be. We dont know if we have one day left or 70 years left. And because we dont know exactly how long we have left, we tend to not value that time. If we knew exactly how much time we had left, we might be a bit more pro-active about using it better. Like the bloke in the Bucket List movie, he knew that he had less than a year, so he went off to do all these things. But we dont know how long weve got. We can guess based on average life expectancy, which in Australia is 79 for males, and 84 for females, and deduct your age from that. And if youre already more than that, youve got a bonus! But the fact is, some live longer than others. The fact is, we dont know how long weve got. But God does He has appointed it, and it is finite, it will not go on forever. It is limited a limited resource. What are you doing with this limited resource of your lifespan that God has given you? It is important we make the most of it.