Men of Vision
The next Men of Vision Prayer Breakfast will be Saturday, 1 August 2015 at 9:00 a.m.
2 May Topic: Managing My Time God's Way
Managing My Time God's Way
Imagine you were given $86,400 at the beginning of every day. You wake up in the morning and look in your checking account, and your balance reflects an increase of $86,400. There is only one catch, you have to use every single dollar that day, if you don’t spend it, you lose it. Of course the next day you begin all over again with another $86,400 to spend. What would you do with the money? Perhaps would buy a home on the lake, you could finally get one of those Dodge Hemi trucks or that nice decked out fishing boat they keep advertising on television. Maybe you would go for a trip around the world, living it up at the most luxurious places on earth. Perhaps you would be spiritual and decide to use the money to help other people, reduce world hunger, help spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to all the world. Think for a minute, what would you do with $86,400 every day?
Have I peeked your interest yet? Where did I come up with the number 86,400? God has given us 86,400 seconds every day (24 hours, 60 minutes in an hour, 60 seconds in a minute totals 86,400). Even if we subtract out eight hours of sleep (Being generous since most people don’t get eight hours of sleep), it is still 57,600 second/day. These seconds are not transferable to the next day; you can’t take them with you. You get one shot to use them. When they are gone, they are gone; you can never go back and relive them again. When we wake up in the next morning we know that, God willing, we have 86,400 more seconds to use. How will we choose to use them? How will we spend our time, or how do we manage our time, our 86,400 seconds in a way that brings honor and glory to God.
Many people today struggle with time management. For many of us, we never seem to have enough time to do everything we want to do. We feel constantly pulled in many directions at once. Others are unsure if they are spending their time effectively. It seems no matter how hard we try we never feel as though we are managing our time well. This morning I am going to give us God’s time management plan.
1. My Time Is God’s Time
First, if we want to honor God with our time, we have to realize that our time is not our own, it is God’s time. Unfortunately, we too often think that our time is ours to do whatever we wish with it. If we want to work, we can do that, if we want to watch television, we can do that, if we want to waste it doing nothing, we can do that. If we want to go do things we know are wrong we can do that. If we feel like coming to church, we can do that too. Certainly God has given us this freedom of choice, but God teaches us through His word in PSALMS 24: that nothing we have is our own, it is God’s.
PSALM 24:1 NLT “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.
God owns everything, and God distributes it to us according to his wisdom. Whether it is our job, our money, our abilities, our personality, even our time, it is a gift from God. Because I know we live in a very independent country I know you might be thinking, “but pastor Matt, I just went to the store yesterday and paid for everything with my own money, doesn’t that make it mine. I own my home (or at least the bank does), therefore it is mine not God’s.” But who gave you the abilities to do a particular thing well so you could get a job, who opened the door to give you a job which brought in a good income, who gave you the health to stay at a job to get all that you have? God did. I am not trying to putting down our effort at work, God created us for work, and it is through our hard work we get where we are, but the source of who we are and everything we have is God. God has made it possible by giving you the gifts you have, and by opening the doors that have made it possible.
If you are still skeptical, think of the story of a preacher who once delivered a rousing sermon on "God’s Ownership" that frustrated a rich parishioner in the church. The wealthy man took the preacher out for lunch, and then walked him through his immense land, including farm and livestock. "Now are you going to tell me that all this land does not belong to me?" The preacher smiled and said, "Ask me that same question a hundred years from now."
The wealthy land owner received all he had as a blessing from God. God has given everything we have as a gift, including our time. God did not place us on this earth to take up space and to waste valuable time. God’s desire is that we use our time wisely, according to his purpose.
So what do we do about time?
A. Everyone Has The Same Amount of Time.
God gives everyone the same amount of time. Everyone has 24/7/365, 24 hours a day/7 days a week/365 days a year.
While everyone has the same amount of time, the way we use that time differs.
B. My Priorities Determine How I Use My Time.
It is our priorities which determine the way we spend our time. We spend time doing the things that are important to us. If we are not spending time doing the things which are important to us, we have a problem.
In the Bible God commanded a Sabbath day as a way to make God a priority by setting aside time in busy schedules for worship and rest.
EXODUS 20:8 NLT "Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy”.
EXODUS 20:11 NLT “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything in them, but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy”.
NLT Leviticus 23:3 "You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of complete rest, an official day for holy assembly. It is the Lord’s Sabbath day, and it must be observed wherever you live”.
God made a Sabbath day because he knows our tendency is not to rest neither is our tendency to focus upon God, but God commanded us to schedule the time and adjust our priorities to his.
2. I Must Adjust My Priorities to God’s Priorities
NLT Mark 12:28-31 One of the teachers of religious law…asked, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" Jesus replied, "The most important commandment is this: ’Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ’Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these."
Jesus boiled down all of the commandments to two important truths, I must love God, and I must love my neighbor as myself.
These three things are God’s priority. God priorities are 1) God first, and who second? People or myself?
Notice that Jesus said we must love our neighbor as ourselves. We must love ourselves as much as we love others. So I am giving them a tie for second place. Notice also that God’s priorities are always relational. It is about relationships, with God, with others, and myself. God does not place high priority on things, God places high value on people, and he wants us to do likewise. We must prioritize our time according to people not to things (although I will talk about work later). Now that doesn’t mean we won’t be doing tasks, otherwise my working on this sermon wouldn’t be in God’s priority because I am not spending time with people while I am doing it. In God’s priority list. Who gets first place? God.
A. God Takes First Place in Our Life.
Many of us realize that God should take first place in our lives, but what does that look like? How do we make God first in our lives? In the first of the great commandments, Jesus said we must love God. We place God first by loving God with all of our being (heart, soul, mind, and strength). Which brings up another question, how do we demonstrate our love to God?
NLT Deuteronomy 10:12 "And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you? He requires you to fear him, to live according to his will, to love and worship him with all your heart and soul, 13 and to obey the LORD’s commands and laws that I am giving you today for your own good.
NLT John 14:21 [Jesus’ speaking] Those who obey my commandments are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them, and I will love them.
We put God first by loving him, and we demonstrate that love obeying his commands, doing what he tells us to do. We also demonstrate our love for God in loving Jesus Christ. When we love him, and obey his commands, we demonstrate our love to God the Father.
We also demonstrate our love for God when we worship him. Being here on Sunday mornings for worship honors God and demonstrates to him that we love him.
We demonstrate our love for God when we spend time with him in prayer. Unfortunately we only tend to give God one hour of our time a week, Sunday morning for worship. If God is truly number one in our life, don’t you think we should prioritize some of our time to him? We should also be available to God 24 hours a day/seven days a week, 86,400 seconds per day.
B. Others Take Second Place in Our Life.
In the letter of Ephesians (5:22-6:9), Paul lays out for the church how they are supposed to live in unity together. In order to illustrate Paul gives practical examples of how we demonstrate our love for one another. The order he gives is this:
First, he gives advice on how husbands and wives should relate to one another. Spouses take first place. Second, he gives advice on how parents should relate to their children. Children take a close second place. And lastly, Paul gives advice on our work relationship, how we relate to our bosses or if we are a boss how we relate to our employees.
The order for prioritizing others is spouse, children, and then work and the relationships there.
We may claim, that even though our family is a priority, they do not need as much time, after all “they know we love them.”
B. I Must Take Care of Myself.
We must remember that God allows us to value ourselves as a priority. This does not mean that we can do whatever we want as an excuse to taking care of ourselves. Remember, our time is not our own, it is God’s.
The one thing I know is that I can tell you what our priorities should be: We need God to give us the strength to make our time. Without God’s help through Jesus Christ, we will continue to fail to make the adjustments we need to make our time to glorify and honor God. Let us stop for a minute and ask God to help us.
Action items for this week
• Calculate how much time you actually spend with those who have priority in your life (God, others, self).
• Calculate how much time you spend on other things other than work, chores, or other requirement (unless the requirements are optional), examples of free time might include watching television, reading the newspaper, surfing the internet, You may be surprised by how you actually use your time.
• If your time does not match your priorities, schedule one extra hour/week for those who have priority in your life but do not get the time. Call, e-mail, or write a note to those who live a distance away, spend that extra time in prayer, get away by yourself to reenergize (assuming your getting away isn’t taking away from your other priorities).
Women of Wisdom