Summary: Analyse your lifestyle, prioritize what is imporant, economise your energy and utilize the present.
[I’ve taken the main points in this sermon from Rick Warren’s sermon MANAGING YOUR TIME - Growing Through Goal Setting, Part 3, June 2-3, 2006, and added my own thoughts.]
Last Week: (1) Making the Most of Your Time.
This Week: (2) Understand the Lord’s Will.
NIV - Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
KJV - redeeming the time
NASV - making the most of your time
Life is a trust from God. Life is time. To life well is to manage our time well.
• It’s not about ownership, it’s about stewardship. Everything you have in your life is a gift from God.
• How you invest your time will determine the rewards that you will hold for eternity.
You need to make wise choices.
• The problem is not with time, or the lack of time. It is with our choices.
• You make poor choices and time leaks away. People who achieve much made better choices.
The good news is that God will guide us in our choices.
• Psalm 90:12 [a prayer of Moses], “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Ask God for wisdom to manage our time well.
• And then do your part to LEARN. Good time management can be learnt.
• We summarised Paul’s advice into 4 principles - analyse, prioritize, economise, and utilize.
Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
(1) ANALYSE your lifestyle
Look carefully at what is eating up your life.
• Stop and think about what you want to achieve, your purpose and your direction.
• You don’t get into a car without a destination in mind. Don’t get on in life without some goals.
• Stop and find out where your time leaks are. Don’t waste too much time on things that has no significant value, or eternal consequences.
(2) PRIORITIZE what is important
The stress is on wisdom. We need to make wise choices. We need to prioritize.
• To do that we need to UNDERSTAND what God’s will is. Anything that is of God’s will has to be pushed up the list. You are to focus your time and energy on God’s will.
• This is common sense – if God puts you here and give you life to stay on, He has something for you to accomplish here.
If we use the Purpose-Driven Life book by Rick Warren as a guide, then we can’t run away from these FIVE goals in life.
1. KNOW GOD (worship) and worship Him.
2. GROW UP (disciple) and live like Christ.
3. TOUCH LIVES (fellowship) and love people. Greatest commandments: Love God and people.
4. SERVE NEEDS (ministry) – God gives us gifts and talents for this purpose, not for self.
5. SHARE CHRIST (evangelism) – this is the natural outflow of a born-again life, you can’t help but tell others about it.
Put these FIVE as priorities in your life. God made you for these purposes.
• You will be most happy and fulfilled when you do them. Opting out from any one of these will mean that you’re living less than what you are made for.
• You are not going to enjoy life. Something is missing – and it’s not money, it’s not pleasure, and it’s not things. It’s these 5 purposes, because you are not doing what you are made for.
Once you analyze your lifestyle – look carefully. And then you prioritize what’s important – doing God’s will. Then you come to the third and four steps in managing your time well – economise and utilize.
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.
(3) ECONOMIZE your energy – using a little to achieve much
Paul had said in verse 16 “Make the best use of your time.” Make it count.
• Then he says, I don’t want you to waste your time. Don’t waste your energy.
• See verses 18-20 “18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. 19Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Don’t get filled with spirits. Be filled with the Spirit.
• Getting drunk wastes your energy. You are draining yourself and producing nothing.