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The Gospel and Time

The Gospel and the Teenage Life  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction: There once was a teenager named Jonathan. Jonathan was a pastor’s kid from Connecticut, and as a teenager Jonathan understood something that most other teens did not. Jonathan understood that life is short and time is important and so Jonathan purposed to maximize the use of his time. Jonathan enrolled at Yale when he was thirteen years old and went on to pastor a church at the age of seventeen. Understanding the importance of time, when he was nineteen he started writing down resolutions about how to use his time. He wrote, “Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can. Resolved, never to do anything which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.”
We all know him as Jonathan Edwards. Known as America’s Greatest theologian, Jonathan Edwards went on to preach a sermon that would spark the Great Awakening. When he passed, at the age of 54, no one could say that he wasted his life, and his use of time traced back to how he resolved to spend his time as a teenager.
As we approach the topic of time, let’s begin by asking the question: Why do we need to talk about our use of time? Jonathan Edwards argued that time is actually even more valuable than money. His reasoning was that money lost could be regained while time lost is unredeemable.
Ephesians 5:16
Ephesians 5:16 NKJV
redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
We are called to buy up our time in order to bring honor to Jesus and proclaim Him to others.
Colossians 4:5 NKJV
Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.
We are also called to redeem time because our time ultimately does not belong to us.
1 Peter 4:10 NKJV
As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
We often lose sight of the fact that the gifts we receive from God do not belong to us. The world tells us that we are the masters of our own fate and the trailblazers of our own destiny, but the Bible teaches us that since God has given us this life it belongs to Him. We are simply caretakers (stewards) of what God has given us.

Redeeming the Time

Doing Your Best

Colossians 3:22–24 NKJV
Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
Colossians 3:22-2
It ought to be said that Christians are the best workers. By working well in a “That’ll do” culture, Christians use their time well by putting the spotlight on the God of excellence.
The sad truth is, we live in a culture where teens are neither expected nor encouraged to work hard. Don’t fall into the temptation of doing whatever will bring you the maximum amount of recognition for a minimal amount of effort because you are not serving men, neither are you serving yourself, you are serving the Lord, and so we ought to work, not with eyeservice, but in sincerity of heart.

Sacrificing Comfort

Just like we live in a culture that encourages us to just get by, we also live in a culture that elevates comfort. There isn’t anything necessarily wrong with comfort. God has placed every single one of us in America where there are many blessings to enjoy. However, just like everything else, we must be careful to not let comforts become an idol.
Example: Evaluate our prayer lives.
Part of redeeming time is being willing to sacrifice comfort and be placed in uncomfortable circumstances so that you can have an opportunity to grow.
Example: Sharing the gospel
Can you think of anything uncomfortable that we are called to do?
2 Timothy 4:10 NKJV
for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia.

Farsighted Living

2 Peter 1:9 NKJV
For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
Randy Alcorn describes eternity as a line that stretches infinitely and our life on earth is the dot that is the beginning of that eternal existence. He says that the wise man doesn’t live for the dot, but he lives for the line. Our lives here on earth are short and it is during this life that we have an opportunity to invest in eternity.
Matthew 6:19–20 NKJV
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
Matthew 6:19–21 NKJV
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Conclusion: Our time on earth is short.
Psalm 90:12 NKJV
So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 20:12
Will you waste your life being lazy or adequate or or discontent or distracted? Or you can allow the truths of God’s Word to drive you to do your best, to sacrifice comfort, and to live a farsighted life.
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