Making the Most of…Time

January 21, 2015 1 Comment
time

It’s 6:30am. The phone rings at my house. Rarely do people call at 6:30am to tell you good news. It was my wife’s cell phone. Right before she picked it up she looked at me and said, “It’s my mom.” She put the phone to her ear and said, “Mom, what’s wrong?” You just know when you get a call at 6:30am that something is not right.

The news was shocking. You never expect a call like that. Especially about someone you thought was healthy, young and vibrant. It was on that call that my wife learned her cousin had died. She was only 41 years old. It seemed way too soon. There should be more time.

No one knows how much time we have. Time is the great equalizer. We each have the same amount everyday. We don’t all have the same amount of money, friends or talent, but everyone has 24 hours each day. 1440 minutes. Precious moments to use.

The question is: How do we make the most of our time?

God’s gives us some requirements for making the most of our time.

 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16

Be Careful with Our Time

We are more careful with things we find important. When I carry eggs through the kitchen, I am careful. However, when I carry a baby through the kitchen I am far more careful than when I carry eggs. It’s because of what I am carrying. It is unwise to be careless with our time. The wisdom that Paul talks about in this passage is not simply about being smart. It has to do with how what we know intersects with what we do. The Bible defines a fool as someone who lives as if there is no God (Psalm 14:1). The wise person decides to live their days on earth in light of eternity. God will one day hold us accountable for how we have lived here. How we live here can have an impact on how we live for eternity with God. Be careful. Like Jonathan Edwards who purposed to redeem the time. Here are some of his resolutions:

  • Resolved, never to lose one moment of time, but to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can.
  • Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
  • Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do it were the last hour of my life.

Be careful how you live. You don’t know how long you have.

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. James 4:14

Live According to Calling

The apostle Paul (who wrote the book of Ephesians) says in Ephesians 5,

So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:17

When Paul talks about the Lord’s will, he is not referring to some mystical way of knowing the future. That’s often what we mean when we talk about God’s will. Another way to refer to the Lord’s will in this passage is His saving plan. That is what the Lords will is in Ephesians (Ephesians 1:7-9; 17-19). The word for time used in this passage (v.16) is kairos, which refers to epochs or seasons of life.

So, what is the Lord’s will for you in this season of life?

How is God revealing His saving plan to you in your current season of life?

How is God revealing His saving plan as you start your church?

How is God revealing His saving plan to you as a college student? A stay-at-home mom? A boss or employee? As a single, newly-wed, or empty-nester?

Live according to His calling in your life during this season.

Live Under God’s Control

To be filled with or by the Spirit means to be under God’s control.

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,  speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;  always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;  and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Ephesians 5:18-21

It’s not “just don’t get drunk with wine”, but notice he adds which leads to debauchery or a wasted life. Why would Paul say don’t get drunk? Is he anti-alcohol and this was a good place to fit it in? How many people are actually arguing that getting drunk is a good idea? Paul isn’t just throwing that statement in there; it is an intentional contrast. What happens when we are drunk? We are controlled by something, that’s why it’s called under the influence.

Paul contrasts how alcohol controls us with how God should be controlling us by His Spirit. Don’t be controlled by alcohol, instead (contrast) be filled with or be controlled by the Spirit of God. To be filled means to be under the control of.

If I tell you someone was filled with rage, you know I am saying they are controlled by their rage. If someone is filled with envy, fear, greed, or anger, you know that I am saying those emotions are controlling that person. Those things are influencing every decision, changing how they see the world, how they interpret their circumstances, and how they engage everyone else around them. The apostle Paul says here that God’s way for us to make the most of our time is to live under God’s control (not rage, anger, alcohol or anything else). So, who is in control of your time? Who is in control of your life?

At some point that 6:30am phone call will be made about each of our lives. When your time is up, will you have made the most of your time? You get to decide.

Watch the entire Making the Most Of… series online

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1 Comment

John January 21, 2015 at 3:44 pm

Scott,
This is a great sermon full of truth. From comments shared in our small group this topic is timely if you will excuse the pun. Shawn and I are thankful for your leadership and scholarship.

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