Summary: How many countless people are merely existing, even in the church? It is often the result of not focusing on God’s agenda and direction for the way we spend our time.
Text: 10Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it. 11Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. (The Message)
Last sermon I shared an overview of what stewardship is.
Stewardship lesson one: everything we have belongs to God - God has given us the honor and responsibility to manage his property, finances and affairs.
Stewardship is a way of life, anchored in relationship with God – responds to the community at large.
The full sermon can be found on our website – www.sakcc.com – called “Full Life” Investment
Now that we’ve seen the overview let’s focus this morning on our responsibility relating to our stewardship of TIME – how we manage this resource God gives us every day.
Are you familiar with any of the following phrases?
“I don’t have time.”
“Be there in a minute!” (Kids!)
“I’ll do it tomorrow.”
“I’ve got more important things on my mind…”
“There are just not enough hours in the day.”
“Would you hurry up?”
“How time flies.”
“Where has the time gone?”
If you have used any of these or similar type statements, you know the experience of being in the TRAP – Time Restraints And Pressures.
Michael Altshuler – "The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot."
How the times have changed! Stay-at-home moms have become working professionals. 9 to 5 professions have become split-shifts, night-shifts and different shifts for spouses so one is leaving while the other is just getting home. We’re in a time warp of bag lunches, subway sandwiches and T.V. dinners. Breakfast has become a drive-through trend of extra-large black or double lattes with cream and poppy seed loaf to take off the edge.
As these realities continue to change and evolve, so does the approach we take to life and ministry. That road is quite different for any number of us. We cannot decide for each other where our commitment obligations lie or what our priorities should be. While we will likely agree that commitment to God’s plan is priority one, the interpretation of what that means is quite fluid and not so easily measured.
E.g. – In previous years people understood commitment as attending everything that happened at the church. The lines of commitment have shifted. People are still committed but it could mean one service, not two on Sundays; or one service every other Sunday; or a commitment to give two nights to church ministry functions / leadership, instead of only two nights at home and so on. The pace in people’s lives is so unbelievably full and fast, with unimaginable demands and time restraints that they are carefully evaluating where they will invest that precious commodity called TIME. That is not a bad thing because it will demand that the church be very focused and intentional, if it wants people to lead and invest in what’s going on.
As you struggle every day pairing up your time and balancing your life, allow me to suggest that the Bible offers some insight on living a balanced life. The Word of God provides instruction on managing His resource called TIME.
1. ALLOW TIME TO REPAIR
E.g. – There are many things I don’t enjoy. One of them is taking my vehicle to the dealership to have it serviced. Then there’s the wait for a ride back to the office (or sit in the waiting room drinking terrible coffee). I lose the rhythm in my day. This past week was an absolute nightmare on Wednesday morning. I dropped the vehicle off and waited thirty minutes for the shuttle to get a ride back to the office. When I got to the office I was already thirty minutes late for a meeting, only to realise I had to leave at 11am for a meeting in London but wouldn’t have my vehicle! Our two staff kindly agreed to hike back to the dealership and get my un-serviced vehicle while I looked after my meeting at the office. THEN, when I finally left for London I was an hour late and a call led me to turn around and come home because they figured the meeting would be nearly finished by the time I got there! And all because my vehicle needed to be serviced!
But I know it’s a necessary process, otherwise the vehicle will get ‘sick’ and have far more problems later on.
Sometimes I feel like my vehicle! There’s plenty of slug in my thoughts and grit in my spirit. But when I get together with God’s people, I get a tune-up! The Bible outlines the principle of this practice for us in Hebrews 10:25 “Let us not give up meeting together…”
This is a significant instruction. It was very clearly a charge to not neglect Sunday worship. Christ initiated meeting on the first day of the week after he had risen from the dead and actually attended the first-day meetings until he ascended to heaven. Thomas missed the first one. His introduction to the risen Christ took place when Jesus revealed himself on the second first-day meeting. Another example of Sunday worship in the life of Jesus’ followers leads us to consider one source that says, “The establishment and beginning of the church on Pentecost occurred on the first day of the week when the disciples were gathered together…Scholar, preacher, teacher and author Burton Coffman goes on to provide something else of interesting detail when this command of Hebrews 10:25 was given. “Pliny, a secular writer about 112 A.D., made a report to the emperor Trajan in which he unconsciously bore witness to certain vital aspects of Christianity. Of special interest was the witness he bore to the tenacity maintained by the Christians in regard to their assemblies. They attended the regular worship services in spite of every hindrance. Legal meetings on a publicly recognized day of rest, as in these days, were impossible. Christians met in the darkness of pre-dawn assemblies; and no impediment whatever was allowed to interfere.”