â€œIS TIME ON YOUR SIDE?â€ – TIME AND WISDOM/EPHESIANS 5:15-17
There was a popular song in the 60s that boasted: â€œTime is on my side- -yes, it is!â€ (We should ask the aging singer now if this is still true). Is time really on our side?
ESV Ephesians 5:15 says (paraphrase) “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the most use of your time, or redeeming your time wisely.”
In our culture, how easy it is for us to waste time, yet we are called as the dearly loved children of God to walk wisely making sure to use your time wisely.
We live in a time where time is greatly wasted. Perhaps technology and our ability to be â€œeverywhereâ€ in so many places at once- -mobile networks, handheld devices, iPads, iPods, iPhones, â€œi-need another one!â€ etc.
We live in a world where time is not measured by age as much as by the next edition, the next operating system, the next generation of network, or iPod, or Play station, or whatever.
We await the â€œnext, best thing!â€ The â€œnext versionâ€- -we long to be â€œupgradedâ€ â€œrebootedâ€ and â€œreconfiguredâ€- -but time is tickingâ€¦
Not THE END as our goal- -but the â€œnext best thingâ€.
We await the next model, next generation of iPod, next mp3 download, next television show, next computer, next movie release, nextâ€¦
There is a great need to understand the rhythms of life- -and our time:
Our time is short.
We donâ€™t have a lot of time.
We need to think about the use of our time.
We are commanded to be good stewards of our time (Re-read Ephesians 5:15-17).
But how can we rightly use wisdom about using our time wisely and in a godly manner as Christians?
This too, is part of getting discernment, and shining our lights before the dying world that is passing away (Ephesians 5:7-14).
Seeking to understand how we spend our time is getting wisdom:
ESV Ephesians 5:15 says “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wiseâ€¦”
From Screwtape to Wormwood: â€œIn modern Christian writings, though I see much (indeed more than I like) about Mammon, I see few of the old warnings about Worldly Vanities, the Choice of Friends, and the Value of Time. All that, your patient would probably classify as â€˜Puritanismâ€™â€”and may I remark in passing that the value we have given to that word is one of the really solid triumphs of the last hundred years?â€ (Screwtape Letters, pgs. 50-51, my emphasis).
Do you understand this? Fools do not think about their use of time; fools waste their time.
The wise in Christ seek to use their time wisely.
Richard Baxter wrote: â€œTime being manâ€™s opportunity for all those works for which he lives, and which his Creator does expect from him, and on which his endless life depends, the redeeming or well improving of it must needs be of most high importance to him; and therefore it is well made by holy Paul the great mark to distinguish the wise from foolsâ€ (Christian Directory, Part I, Chapter V).
Are you wise or foolish with your time?
We should understand:
God is the Giver and Governor of All Time
What is time?
A gift from our God.
â€œIn the beginning, Godâ€¦â€ God created time.
God created man to live his time for the glory of God.
Man was tempted and fell and his time was now cursed:
â€œThe wages of sin is deathâ€ (Romans 6:23) teaches.
The Psalmist wanted to be wise.
There are a certain number of days that God has granted to each of us:
ESV Ecclesiastes 9:12 For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.
A reminder of our short lives: Psalm 90:12
ESV Psalm 90:5-6, 9-12: You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning: 6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withersâ€¦. For all our days pass away under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh. 10 The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away. 11 Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you? 12 So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
How long will you live?
5,475 days? (15 years old?)
9, 125 days? (25 years old?)
14,600 days? (40 years old?)
21,900 days? (60 years old?)
25,550 days? (70 years old?)
Thatâ€™s not really much when you think about it! Even at 70 years, you only have 70 birthdays (65 you can remember, the first two and the last two are blurred!).
70 trips around the sun; 70 New Yearâ€™s Eve celebrations (maybe 60 you remember because of age, and too much champagne!)
You would hate and regret losing $5,000 or$25,000 perishable dollars to a robber in a mask. Why then do we allow 5,0000 0r 25,000 precious imperishable days to be so easily robbed without the slightest hate or regret?!
Do you think we might have been duped?
Have we been played as the fool?
God is the Giver and Governor of All Time- -in Jesus Christ, God entered time as a man to redeem us and reconcile us to Himself so that our time would be redeemed!
Let us as Christians…
Consider each moment precious as a gift from God….
To seek to make our calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:9-11) in the time we have been given…
…To seek to become more and more like Christ each day with the time we have…
…To consider on how, by Godâ€™s grace to do our best, and to do the greatest good we can with our gifts and abilities, knowing the time is short:
ESV Galatians 6:10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Let us learn with our time…
…To prayerfully watch for special opportunities and/or seasons that God has granted to us:
Time with our children when they are young, and the most eager to learn about Christ…
…To cherish the time you have with aging parents…
…Cherish the time you have left with aging spouses…
…Cherish the time you have with all of your loved ones- -you donâ€™t know when they will be called home.
Perhaps NOW is your special time for somethingâ€¦what is it?
Remember that if you are not a Christian, you will never redeem your time as you should with the glory of God in mind. As Christians, we are called because God has shown His loving grace and mercy to us, to see new opportunities to glorify Him with our lives.
In Christ, we have a new and living hope in Jesus Christ and His resurrection from the dead (1 Peter1 :4ff). We have wisdom in Christ Jesus, and we can be confident that because He will never leave us nor forsake us, He will help us to redeem our time for God’s glory.
Christ gave up every moment of time that He was given to live and die for God’s beloved children. Christ redeemed His time where we had constantly failed. Only Christ has lived in time perfectly, loving God and neighbor as Himself, fully glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.
As new creations in Christ, we can seek to do just the same with the grace He has granted to us by the Spirit. The Spirit creates; the Spirit re-creates, renews, and gives new hope and opportunities.
Won’t you start now?
Is this a special time for you right now?
GOD IS FAITHFUL.
To be continued…
IN Christ’s love,