Faithlife Sermons

It's About Time

All In  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 5 views

Response to Church "offering" of self (small notes in jar). Time/Prayer number 1 response.

Notes & Transcripts
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

It’s About Time

Intro
(after thanks and typical stuff) You know, I like to take different approaches to preaching. There are some Pastors who think that only expository preaching is best - that is to say preaching line by line, or close to it, to allow the text to make the point. Some think that a topical approach is best - that is when you choose a topic to preach about and then bring in text to support your idea. Others use a textual approach - that is when you use a text as a jumping off point for an idea.
Now if you know me, you know that I tend to use all three, I mean why just commit to one, right?
But today, I wanted to use the last approach, textual. And I want to do so because our offering last week dictated it!
You see, when I had you all leave something in that jar I did it intentionally. I had a plan. I wanted to see what the most common response was so that I could better minister to you as you start on this journey to commit more to God, to go all in with Him.
So I looked through them all. And I was so proud. I saw so many wonderful commitments. I saw challenging ones, I saw exciting ones, especially from my own family. I saw, church, God working in and through your lives in those little slips of paper.
And so I wanted to preach about it.
I chose the most common answer and then let God guide me to a text, and that is what we will look at today.
Now of all the responses put in that jar, most of them centered around two ideas: Prayer and Time. And even of those that mentioned prayer, they generally said something like “time in prayer.”
And the more I looked, the more I realized, It’s all about time. That is what I need to preach about.
So lets turn in Mark to chapter 13 and as you are turning, let me setup the text.
- BE SURE TO TALK ABOUT THE OFFERING LAST WEEK AND THE FACT THAT THIS SERMON IS BASED ON THOSE RESPONSES!!!!! include the context of chapter 13
Before we read it let me set it up a little bit. This text follows immediately the text from last week. Jesus walks out of the temple treasury, and as He came out of it, and the temple, one of His disciples; someone who evidently didn’t pay a lick of attention to everything that had been going on over the last 10 minutes, says -
Mark 13:1 ESV
And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!”
Mark 13:
Look at those cool buildings! Look at how nice they are! Look at what all that money can buy!
So of course what does Jesus say?
Mark 13:2 ESV
And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”
In case you missed it, all that stuff doesn’t matter. Not a bit of it. And that is our context for today. We don’t need stuff. We need to better use what we have already been given.
So we pick it up in , verse 32.
Mark 13:32–37 ESV
“But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”
Mark 13:
Pray
picture of a clock
Of all the things this text is about, it is about time. You can hear it in Jesus’ tone throughout this story. Here his own disciples, intrigued by the very idea of the end of time, get a short dissertation on time in general.
As I said, Jesus had left the temple and then spoke of it’s destruction. And immediately Peter, James, and John what to know when! Sounds like us doesn’t it?
I know it sounds like me, and especially my kids. As I said in the opening, my wife gave me an especially uplifting and convicting slip in the offering jar last week. You see, we have been praying about adoption. And right there, when I was reading the slips, I see my beautiful wife’s handwritten message, “adopt a baby.”
Well that settles it, right?
So this past week, I start to break the news to Olivia. I tell her we will be going to a meeting about the process, and it’s still early, we might not qualify, all that stuff. I end it by letting her know it is a very long process. It could take until this time next year.
Her response? “But it could be next week too, right?”
When is it going to happen? When can I expect this great thing?
I am sure you can relate. When we get good news, the next question is almost always “when?” When we are going to buy something we get is shipped overnight, or 2 day, right? When we see the new Star Wars trailer, we want it to be out the next day!
That’s just the way we are.
And Jesus understands that. So he describes for the disciples all that will happen, almost to appease their curiosity, and also to help protect them. And through all the imagery He gives them, the overriding message remains crystal clear!
Pay attention to what is happening
Don’t get lost waiting for tomorrow. Don’t sell right now for the future!
It’s all about time.
Time, it turns out, is the thing we want the most, but the thing we use the worst. We really do. For some reason, we all seem to be prone to act as if we have unlimited time, and because of that, we tend to miss the moments we are allowed experience.
Our call to worship even reminds us of that fact!
Psalm 90:12 ESV
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
But we don’t number our days, do we? No, we tend to instead go to great lengths to waste our days - to kill time.
“As if you could kill time without injuring eternity” ~ Henry David Thoreau
I remember when I was young we would drive between NC and Florida to visit family. And I remember that ride, church; it was so long. It took forever! You remember that feeling? And listen, I am old enough to have not had to wear a seat-belt at all! I could roll around and play, and it still took forever!
Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
 Henry David Thoreau.
So how did I cope with that trip?
.
I slept. I fell asleep knowing full well that if I could sleep long enough, the ride would only take a couple minutes! I would be there almost immediately if only I could sleep.
“Stay awake,” Jesus says. Stay awake. Don’t go to sleep or you will miss the whole ride!
But that tendency remains in all our lives, especially in our day and age. Sure we don’t fall asleep anymore, but we still kill time! Now we do it with TV, or Internet, or what is likely the largest waste of our time...
[picture of a cell phone]
Yeah…our phones.
I was eating lunch with Olivia, and another parent was nearby. As we ate, I couldn’t help but notice that they were eating in silence. Well it turns out, that this parent was texting and checking Facebook all during lunch! There in this time that should have been special, they killed it by occupying their lives with technology rather than their own child.
Listen, how much time do we waste in things like that? How many moments have we missed? We make time for inanimate objects; TV, Internet, our favorite shows, games, social media; but how much time do we make for people? People, relationships, that is what this life is all about! Our stuff is pointless! Our time with people matters the most!
That isn’t a Jeff idea, church, that is a Jesus thing! Jesus, in all the Gospels, but in Mark as much as any, He rushes from town to town drawing large crowds to Himself, but what you will never see when you see Him doing that is just offering up little nuggets of wisdom, or giving the cursory time needed and then move on!
No, Jesus doesn’t do that! And neither should we! Jesus, as the Bible presents Him, MADE TIME FOR PEOPLE!!! THE MAN WITH THE WITHERED HAND, THE PEOPLE GATHERING AROUND LOOKING FOR HOPE, THE MAN WITH A DEMON THE WOMAN WHO TOUCHED HIS ROBE, JAIRUS’ DAUGHTER, THE HUNGRY MASSES WHO FOLLOWED HIM (5000 AND 4000), THE SYROPHONETICIAN WOMAN, THE DEAF MAN, THE BLIND MAN, HIS THREE CLOSEST DISCIPLES ON THE MOUNT OF TRANSFIGURATION, THE BOY WITH THE UNCLEAN SPIRIT, THE RICH YOUNG MAN, ALL THE CHILDREN WHO CONSTANTLY RAN TO BE WITH HIM - EVEN THE PHARISEES AND SADDUCEES, THE VERY PEOPLE WHO WANTED JESUS DEAD! - JESUS NEVER HESITATED TO TAKE A MOMENT TO TOUCH THEM, TO SPEND TIME WITH THEM, TO LOVE THEM AND GET TO KNOW THEM.
*******...juxtapose that with the images of Jesus in mark; Jesus taking time to be with people (list them).
People matter the most. Stay awake. Look for those moments when you can be Christ to them.
Don’t look far off and hope for them to know Jesus. Be Jesus to them - act like Jesus, think like Jesus, and love like Jesus.
[We have time for such inanimate things as pieces of mail, vast sprawling shopping centers, the television program which starts at 7:30. But what about relationships with people? Isn't that a great deal of what life is all about--loving other people? Remember Jesus? How he raced about, hurrying from one city to another, collecting great crowds on the way to give them a few minutes of hurried heaven-data, then dashing on to the next place?
[We have time for such inanimate things as pieces of mail, vast sprawling shopping centers, the television program which starts at 7:30. But what about relationships with people? Isn't that a great deal of what life is all about--loving other people? Remember Jesus? How he raced about, hurrying from one city to another, collecting great crowds on the way to give them a few minutes of hurried heaven-data, then dashing on to the next place?
No, that is not the picture of Jesus the New Testament gives. He had time for people. In a crowd, a woman touched his robe. Lots of people were probably pushing against him, touching his robe, but he discerned the urgency in this particular touch. He stopped, taking valuable time for this "interruption." His disciples were full of fire and computer-like- efficiency. They wanted to get on with the task of getting something done, even if they didn't always know what that "something" was.
Once a bunch of small, grimy-fingered kids came along and wanted to climb on the Master's lap. "Get those kids out of here," thought the goal-oriented disciples.
"No, let them stay. Let's enjoy them and let them enjoy us," thought the true-goal-oriented Man from heaven who knew and expressed the great worth of the individual.
The next time a person "interrupts" you, think not of your work and your deadlines; rather, think of that person's needs, of his covert compliment in desiring to spend a few moments with you. Your meeting may be a significant point in each of your lives, because it is an encounter with another person God has created. you may impart something crucial to his fulfillment--or he to yours.
Paul prayed: "May God, who gives patience, steadiness, and encouragement, help you to live in complete harmony with each other--each with the attitude of Christ toward the other" (, TLB). Are you caught up on your time-tithe?] reword this!!!!!!!!
Don’t miss out. Stay awake. That phone doesn’t matter. That text can wait. Your show is just a diversion. God wants us to be watchful for REAL LIFE! THE LIFE THAT GOES ON AROUND US WHEN WE AREN’T LOOKING! THE LIFE THAT WILL, IF WE ONLY PARTICIPATE, BRING LIFE TO US AND ALL THOSE WE KNOW AND LOVE!
[picture of raining money]
I want to close with a story to bring this all together.
There was a man who had a very rich father. This father had everything, the biggest house, all the nice stuff you could ever want- it was paradise. As his time on earth grew to a close, he set out his will. In it, he offered to his son all he had. Every bit of it. Every car, every house, all the money; everything.
There was a catch, though. You see, he didn’t want his son to grow so enamored with money that he forgot to live, so wrapped up in stuff that he forgot to get out and experience creation. So he decided to give him the entire inheritance $86,000 at a time.
Every day, this son would receive $86,000. Every single day! But here’s the catch. None of it carried over. No interest. Nothing. He was given $86,000 a day and he had to either spend it or waste it!
Well, eventually the man went to heaven, and the son inherited his prize. At first he loved it! He did whatever he wanted, he laughed, he played; it was almost too good to be true! But after a while, the boy grew tired of spending. He grew bored of doing. He resented the fact that he wasn’t in control, that he couldn’t stockpile some money to leave to his children.
So he stopped spending it.
He stopped doing anything. He sat at home, and watched the money all go to waste. And day by day, money that could have been used to experience life, or to help others, washed down the drain - never to be seen again.
He married and had children. But he never could find the joy again. His children would play, and ask him to join, but he was so bitter that this money was just trickling away that he didn’t have time or the inclination to play. Before he knew it, they were grown and gone. His hair made white by time, and his body broken by age.
All the friends he once had were long gone, because he had nothing to give them, or at least, felt like giving them nothing. His family too, they wandered away from this lonely man who because of his lack of control, would rather waste every gift he had then bring life to anyone else, let alone himself.
He became so used to the gift, and so sorrowful that he couldn’t do something else with it, that when he finally died, he died alone and defeated by this world. Having done nothing to leave his mark.
What would you do with $86,000 a day?
How would you spend it? What life and love could you bring to this world?
Let me ask it a different way. You see, this story isn’t about money, it’s about time!
YOU HAVE THAT VERY SAME GIFT! YOU ARE GIVEN 86,400 SECONDS A DAY! YOU HAVE 86,000 OPPORTUNITIES TO SPEND THE GIFT OF THE FATHER, THE INHERITANCE OF CREATION, ON THE WORLD AROUND YOU! AND HOW YOU SPEND THOSE MOMENTS, CHURCH, MATTERS MORE THAN YOU COULD EVER KNOW!
YOU SEE EACH MOMENT THAT PASSES BY IS A MOMENT LOST! EACH MOMENT SPENT IGNORING THOSE WE LOVE BY LOCKING OUR EYES ON OUR PHONES, OR IN OUR NEWSPAPER, OR WATCHING THE NEWS, OR EVEN COLOMBO, THEY ALL ARE SECONDS GOING DOWN THE DRAIN! EVERY TIME WE CHOSE TO HORDE OUR MOMENTS, AND NOT OFFER THEM TO THOSE AROUND US, OUR LOVED ONES, OUR NEIGHBORS - EVEN OUR GOD! - WE WASTE THE VERY ESSENCE OF OUR INHERITANCE FROM GOD!
BE ALERT! BE ON YOUR GUARD! GOD CAN COME TO YOU IN ANY MOMENT LOOKING FOR YOU TO SPEND THOSE MOMENTS WITH HIM! YOU SEE THIS TEXT MEANS MORE THAN JUST THE TIME GOD COMES TO US IN JUDGEMENT, IT ALSO REPRESENTS THOSE TIMES WHEN GOD COMES TO US JUST TO SPEND TIME WITH US! YOU DON’T KNOW WHEN HE MIGHT BE THERE. IT MIGHT BE IN THOSE MOMENTS SPENT WITH SOMEONE AT WORK SUFFERING OVER THE LOSS OF A LOVED ONE, OR WITH TROUBLE AT HOME. IT MIGHT BE WITH A STRANGER LOOKING FOR FOOD, OR A NEIGHBOR LOOKING FOR COMPANIONSHIP. MAYBE IT IS WITH A PERSON AT SCHOOL WHO, BECAUSE THEY FEEL UNLOVED AT HOME, ACTS OUT OR ISOLATES THEMSELVES. SURE ALL YOUR FRIENDS DON’T LIKE THEM, BUT IF YOU JUST SPEND ONE MOMENT WITH THEM, SPEND A LITTLE OF THE GIFTS GOD GIVES YOU WITH THEM, THEIR PAIN GOES AWAY! THEY INHERIT GOD’S LOVE! THEIR LIVES GET CHANGED BY YOUR WILLINGNESS TO SHARE YOUR MOMENTS!
It’s all about time. That is why we are to keep watch. We don’t just accept our inheritance and then sit on it. We keep watch. We don’t know when the Father will come back to see what we have done with the most precious gift He has given us! We can’t let Him find us sleeping! Not those who know the truth - those who know God! NO WE MUST USE EVERY SINGLE MOMENT WE CAN! WE MUST SPEND ALL THAT CAPITAL, ALL THOSE GIFTS, ON LIVING OUT A LIFE FOR CHRIST BY LOVING THOSE WHO HE HAS PLACED IN OUR PATH IN WHATEVER MOMENT WE MIGHT FIND OURSELVES!
Mark 13:37 NIV
What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’ ”
Mark 13:
So keep an eye out for those moments. Stay awake, the ESV says. Watch. Don’t give up and watch the world drift away from you. Don’t sit down and watch life wither away! Stay awake! Be on the look out! Watch for opportunities to spend God’s inheritance!
They are there, trust me. But you must be willing to be all in with God to experience them. Stay alert. Stay ready to spend those moments you have on everyone around you, and you will find yourselves spending those moments for Christ, and with God.
When as a child I laughed and wept, time crept. 
When as a youth I dreamed and talked, time walked.                                                                          
      When as a youth I dreamed and talked, time walked.                                                                           When I became a full grown man, time ran.                                                                                       And later as I older grew, time flew.                                                                                                   Soon I shall find while traveling on, time gone.
When I became a full grown man, time ran.
And later as I older grew, time flew.
Soon I shall find while traveling on, time gone
--------
Church, of all the gifts we have to give this world, this is the most wonderful, the most precious. Of all the things we can offer creation, this one will make the biggest impact. When we offer our moments to others, we begin to experience their moments with them, and in so doing will become a part of their life. When we are a part of their life, and Jesus a part of ours, He becomes a part of their life too.
So we start by giving Christ our moments, and then we give those moments to our families, and our friends and our church and our community, and before you know it, church, this world will all be able to experience Christ together in some way! One little moment can get the ball rolling, and once that ball gets rolling church, we push! We give more moments! We give more love! We give all that we can so that this world can begin to enjoy their moments with God too!
Don’t let Him find you sleeping on your moments church, no matter what. Spend them all for Him! That is why He gave them to you anyway.
Related Media
Related Sermons