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Redeeming the Time

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Redeeming the Time

Ephesians 5:16 ESV
16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
The KJV tells us to redeem the time. The NIV says to make the most of every opportunity.
We need to make good use of the time we have.
The Bible tells us that is because the days are evil. They are evil because we live in a time where people do not share and live out Biblical values. We see a downward trend in civility, decency, and honesty. We see increasing hostility toward Christian values and Christian teaching.
The days are also evil because these are the days that Satan is working. There will be an end to this. But there is a spiritual world that is working to influence the physical world. We are engaged in spiritual warfare.
So we need to make the best use of the time we have. Knowing that God wants us to love Him and love others, the investment of time we make in the 40 Days of love is a good use of our time.

Attendance

Gerald
Hebrews 10:25 ESV
25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Hebrews 10:25

Acknowledge

Ed
Philippians 1:6 ESV
6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
(AV) —6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Philippians 1:9–11 ESV
9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
(AV) —9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; 10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; 11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
Notice two things here.
First, this was a good church. God had begun a good work here.
Second, good churches can grow. One area in which they can grow is in love. They grow in love as they know more and discern more. Experience leads to greater growth.
This is a good church. We have a lot of love here. I am not just saying this, I have testimony from people who are not part of this church.
We can grow. We can grow in love as we know more, discern more and have more experience in loving others.
I have found that truly loving others raises a lot of questions. Is this love? Am I doing the right thing? Should I have responded or should I have not gotten involved? When we step forward and actually do love, we open ourselves to greater experience, greater knowledge and greater discernment.

Accountability

Gerald

Articulate

Ed
Hebrews 3:13 ESV
13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
The need to speak up to one another is important. People need encouragement. People need someone to talk to them. You may know of people that are struggling in their relationships. Invite them. The worst that may happen is that they will say no. Encourage the leadership team, the small group leaders, and those who may be attending your small group. Exhorting might mean that you need to challenge someone you know to be involved.
Sin is deceitful. Be careful that you are not hardened! It is through this encouragement that we provoke one another to love and good works.

Attitude

Gerald

Application

Ed
James 1:22 ESV
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
We can think that we are doing well because we are learning. We go to Bible studies, get involved with attendance on Sundays, small groups and are disciplined to read “The Relationship Principles of Jesus.” We are pumped! We are glad to see the church working together and learning together. We may even wonder in the back of our minds, “What will the next series be on?”
Before we go too far, we need to understand the learning is not doing. I have spoken to many Christians who say, “I know I should...” but are not. The reason is that our churches often celebrate learning, but learning without application counts for little.
In fact, we are deceived. We give ourselves high marks for our involvement when God wants us to have the blessing that accompanies obedience.
I went to a seminar years ago. One of the speakers told about what happened in his church in South America.
He was preparing a message on love. He had the Greek down and the sermon was coming together when he sensed God asking this question, “What are you preaching on?” “Love.” “Have you preached on this before?” “Yes.” “What happened as a result of those messages.” “Honestly, not much.” “What do you expect to happen this time?” “Honestly, not much.” He came out of the study, faced the congregation and said this. “Jesus calls us to love one another” and then sat down. People started to talk in the pews about his message. They decided to apply the message of love. That was a huge turning point in the life of that church.
Doing must follow learning...

Appetite

Gerald
Ephesians 5:16 ESV
16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:16
Ephesians 5:16 ESV
16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
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