Redeem your time

Speaker: Rev. Shine Thomas

INTRODUCTION:

I heard the story about a man who worked at a factory. One of his main jobs was to blow the factory whistle at 5 pm to indicate the workday was over. As he used to go to work each day he passed a jewelry store where a beautiful grandfather clock was displayed in the window. Every morning, he stopped and set his watch to match the time on the grandfather clock and in the evening he would look at his watch and blow the whistle. One morning the jewelry store owner was out front sweeping the sidewalk and the factory worker asked him how he kept such accurate time on the grandfather clock. The jeweler said, “Oh, I set it every evening when the factory whistle blows at 5 pm.”

We are living in a time conscious world. People live by the clock. We are busy every day and every moment and at the end of the day we are a frustrated lot because we feel we do not have sufficient time. How is your approach to the time that God has given you? Do you have sufficient time or no time at all?

This morning we are going to see the value of time and how effectively we can use God’s gift of time.

Ephesians 5:15-16 15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Make the most of every opportunity).
NASB – Make the most of your time.
KJV – Redeem your time.

We know there is a time for sowing the seed and a time for the harvest. It is called the opportune time. If a person misses the opportune time the opportunity is gone. What Paul says in Ephesians 5:16 is the opportune time. Make the most of every opportunity that God is brining in our lives because the days are evil. The devil is waiting to snatch those opportunities out of our hands, so redeem our time.

One of the sins that we can commit is to waste the time God has given us. Many believers have a feeling that now that we are saved we are God’s and I can use my time as I want. God cares about how you use your time.

Colossians 4:5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.
Time not used is time wasted. Genesis 47:9 And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers.” What Jacob is telling is that in his 130 years of life he has not used it productively as did has fathers – Abraham and Isaac. He wasted his time.

We cannot waste our time. We have a small life and God expects us to use it wisely. James 4:14 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. We do not know our lifespan. We need to redeem our God-given time. To redeem is to buy it back, make up for the lost time by wisely using our present.

Illustration: Suppose your credit card company came up with an offer that if you took an account with them they would deposits Rs. 86,400 into your account for one day. You cannot take cash out but only purchase for this money. The cash will be deposited into your account at 6 am and 6 pm the leftover cash will be taken back by the bank. It will not carry balance to the next day. What would you do? What time would you get up that day? I would purchase for every rupee.

God has given all of us a bank, called the Time Bank. Every morning God credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night God writes off as lost whatever of this you have failed to invest in good purpose. It carries over no balance. The clock is running, so make the most of your time.

Moses was man chosen by God to deliver the Israelites out of bondage. Even though the call of God was on him right from his childhood, Moses started his ministry only when he was 80 years old. What took him so long? He tried to do something when he was 40 isn’t it? He ended up as a failure. Finally when he was 80 he started his ministry and when he was 120 years old Moses could see the Promised Land that too from far off. Moses could not claim what God promised him because he wasted his time. Now, Moses knew the value of wasted time and that is why he wrote in Psalm 90:12 Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. If you do not use your time efficiently, you may not see the fulfillment of your God given promises.

WHY SHOULD WE REDEEM OUR TIME?

1. We are accountable to God for our time. The Day of Judgment is near.

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

2. The days are evil.

Ephesians 5:16 Make the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
The devil is waiting to take away your opportunities, so redeem your time.

3. Our days are numbered.

Psalm 39:4-5 4 “Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. 5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure. Our days are numbered, so we need to redeem our time.

HOW TO REDEEM OUR TIME?

Remember God is the Creator of time. So God is greater than time. He was before time, He is in time, and God also exists after time. So, if anyone wants to make the most value of your time we need to ask God.

1. Treasure Your Time.

Treasure our time as valuable and precious. Every day is precious; we should treasure it and number it. Some say, “Oh I wish it is the weekend, I don’t like this day.” No value everyday. It’s precious.

Job 9:25-26 25 “My days are swifter than a runner; they fly away without a glimpse of joy. 26 They skim past like boats of papyrus, like eagles swooping down on their prey.
Remember now job is going through trials, pain, affliction, humility, and accusation. For most of us it is difficult for us to endure the days of pain. We wish such days pass away very soon. Job was never in a hurry because he knew that the entire lifespan of a man is very short, so even it is trials or blessings it would pass away very soon. Let’s treasure the time God has given you. Maybe some of you are going through trials, treasure those times, going is closer to you now. He has sometime to tell you. We are to treasure our good times as well as bad times because nothing happens to us without the will of God. Many times we do not realize the value of our time and waste days, months, and years just doing nothing.

Illustration: To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who failed one year.
To realize the value of one month, ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby.
To realize the value of one hour ask the businessman whose flight was delayed an hour because of a traffic jam in Hebbal flyover, Bangalore.
To realize the value of one minute ask the man who had a heart attack and died because there was no one to attend to him in a minute.
To realize the value of one second ask the person who barely missed an accident with an oncoming car.
To realize the value of one millisecond ask the Olympic swimmer who missed the medal by one millisecond.

Time really is valuable, so use it wisely. Some people tell ‘time is money.’ They feel they can work overtime and earn more money. You can work and make money but it is totally impossible to make more time. No time is much more valuable than money. Treasure you time.

2. Invest your time.

Our time as the most valuable asset God has given us in this world. We can’t save time, we can only invest it.

Illustration: Microwave has made cooking faster, mobile phones made connectivity faster; internet helps us send messages fast. We feel we save time because of the latest inventions. Where is the time we saved from all these inventions? We have used it for something else. See we cannot save time, we can only invest our time.

A doctor invests 5 years in training. An engineer invests 4 years to study. A child invests 10 years to pass class 10. We invest 10 hours a day for work. We are so prompt in investing our time for the worldly things, but have you thought of investing your time for the Lord? Have you invested your time for the most important purpose of your life?

a. Do not neglect church services.
Hebrews 10:25 Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
When we come to service, Bible study, cells we are in fact investing time for God. Never neglect church services. You have no better friends in the world than your friends in the church. Develop good healthy friendship in the church. Get introduced to one another. Invest your time at church.

b. Read the Bible. These are investments you make with your time.

c. Spend time alone with God everyday in prayer. Psalm 55:17 Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. Jesus invested time in prayer. Jesus interacted with God the Father before he did anything. If you can invest time in prayer before doing anything you can save a lot of time. Jesus prayed before choosing disciples, before raising Lazarus. Prayer brings us to intimate fellowship with God. Time spent in time is time redeemed.

Apostle Paul spent a lot of time in prayer. In all his writings he mentioned that he prayed for all of them. To redeem your time is to gain back the time that you lost without God. You lost time in this world, no spend as much time with him and redeem it back.

d. Invest your time in brining others to Jesus Christ. Take time to witness for the Lord. Witness primarily by your life, testimony, and evangelism.
Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and the one who is wise saves lives.
Daniel 12:3 Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.

e. Invest time with your family.
Spend quality time with our family. Invest in your children.

Don’t tell me you do not have any spare time at all. When we get spare time we watch too much television, internet, texting. These are wasted times and we need to give an account for this wastage. So invest your time. Remember, there will always be something else to do. There will always be somewhere else you can be, but the best investment of your time is to invest for God and to invest for your family.

3. Manage your time.

The key to investment is management. If you do not manage your time you will not have time to invest. So manage your time.

Illustration: A time management expert was teaching a seminar for executives. He placed a large, clear open-mouthed jar in front of the group. Next, he put seven or eight large rocks into the jar until it was full. “Is the jar full?” He asked. Everyone nodded. Then he took pebbles and filled up the jar with the small rocks until they reached the rim. “Is the jar full?” By now, they didn’t answer. So, he poured fine sand in. “Is the jar full?” Some nodded. He proceeded to take a pitcher of water and filled up the jar again. “What’s the lesson about time management?” he asked. Hands shot up, and everyone agreed “No matter how busy you are you can always fit more things into your schedule.” “Wrong.” he replied. “The lesson is: unless you put the big rocks in first, they never will fit in.

You must figure out what the big rocks are for you. Give time for those big rocks. My personal big rocks are giving time to God, giving time to my family, and giving time to church. If you can give time for those big rocks, automatically everything else will fit in.

4. Enjoy your time.

1 Thessalonians 5:16 Rejoice always.
Ecclesiastes 3:12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.

We need to enjoy our time on earth. Many people are always sad, upset, negative, and waste their precious time. Christ died for us to live in joy and happiness. So enjoy everyday. Do not give chance for conflicts, ego clashes, fights, and waste your time. Be joyful.

Remember, we cannot enjoy our time if we have a full day of busy schedule. If our day is full of activities we will get frustrated by the end of the day. In order to enjoy our life we need to have some margin time in our life. Margin is breathing room. It’s keeping a little reserve that you’re not using up.

Illustration: “Marginless” is being 30 minutes late to office because you were 20 minutes late dropping your child to school. You were late to school because the morning cooking got delayed by 15 minutes. The cooking got delayed because you got up 20 minutes late. You got up 20 minutes late because you were up on the TV until 12 midnight. That’s marginless. A good plan leaves some margin, some breathing space.

“Margin is having breath at the top of the staircase, money at the end of the month, a little free time at the end of each day. Don’t rush from chores to chores. Have some margin. If you have good margin in your life you have peace, no stress, better health, and you can hear from God because God speaks to us in our margin times, otherwise, we become too busy for God to speak to us.

CONCLUSION:

 Redeem your time. Make the most of your time. Jesus is a great example of a person who redeemed his time. He was never in a hurry. He had a very short time to do a big job. Yet he made time to consider the flowers, he had time for birds of the air, he gave time for people, he had time for the little children, he had time to train up his disciples, time to preach the kingdom, and more importantly time to die on the cross. Even before Jesus was arrested He had some margin of time to pray and time for himself along with God the Father. Jesus used is time appropriately. One of the secrets of Jesus’ time management is that he prayed everyday. He invested his time with God.

Listen, I would end like this: The key to redeem your time is to invest your time for God. Everything else will pass away but what you do for the Lord will last for ever. So, let’s make some happy memories of our time and redeem our time for the Lord. Amen.