Summary: A look at being good stewards of the time of our life.
Psalm 90:10,12 The length of our days is seventy years-- or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. 12 Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
I. Each person has a set amount of time in this life. “The length of our days …”
A. Even with the gift of modern medicine, we haven’t been able to extend the average lifespan beyond that which God declared.
CDC: (2001) Average American expectancy 77.2 years. Worldwide: 63 years
B. And that time has a way of slipping by.
Psalm 90:5, 6 You sweep men away in the sleep of death; they are like the new grass of the morning-- 6 though in the morning it springs up new, by evening it is dry and withered.
Example: Things that happened in the past seem like yesterday; And things we’ve been meaning to do for so long go undone.
The cartoon character Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes once said, “God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I’m so far behind I’ll never die.”
II. Each person is accountable to God for what is done in the time of life.
A. Jesus’ told the story of the “talents” to explain God’s expectations of us.
B. God’s expectations of us extend to our “time”—because time is really just a way of breaking down our life into increments.
2 Thessalonians 3:6 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.
C. Peter says we will be held accountable for the types of things we do with our time.
1 Peter 4:3,5 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do--living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
Elizabeth Dole, former Secretary of Transportation & Presidential candidate said: Life is not just a few years to spend on self-indulgence and career advancement. It is a privilege, a responsibility, and a stewardship to be lived according to a much higher calling.
III. Depending on how it is spent—life can be either “trouble and sorrow” or it can be redeemed.
A. We can determine how our lives turn out. In this Psalm, it speaks of life being trouble and sorrow—but that is actually the result of God’s judgment. [Background of Psalm—40 years in desert]
B. If we live according to our own pleasures—then no matter what we “think” we’ve accomplished—it will all be a waste. It’s not enough just to plan and use our time in a well thought out way—but we must use that plan to live right.
Psalm 49:12-14 But man, despite his riches, does not endure; he is like the beasts that perish. 13 This is the fate of those who trust in themselves, and of their followers, who approve their sayings. 14 Like sheep they are destined for the grave, and death will feed on them. The upright will rule over them in the morning; their forms will decay in the grave, far from their princely mansions.
Example: The man who built new barns. [He had a plan for his life—but actually, he planned all wrong—his days ended and he wasn’t ready.]
Sin has a “pleasure” but it is only for a short time. Short-term sin is pleasure—but long term sin is suffering.
Hebrews 11:25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.
C. But if we live according to God’s principles—then our lives won’t be wasted. This is why learning to “number the days” is considered to be “gaining wisdom.”
Psalm 49:15 But God will redeem my life from the grave; he will surely take me to himself.
D. Our perspective must be that this life is for laboring for God—then what we do is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
This is the contrasting answer that God has against those who live wrong.
IV. We must consciously and intentionally plan and live out the time that we have.
A. We are accountable for the big picture. We must make the long term commitment to live for Christ—and to make every moment count.
B. And we are accountable for the small picture. But having made the determination, we must then make every moment count. Good old-fashioned discipline.