Faithlife Sermons

Use the Time God Gives You Wisely.

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Let us pray:
Heavenly Father I come before you asking that as I deliver this message tonight that your words come through that I may bring glory unto you this evening. I am simply your tool and the message is yours. Thank you Lord for this opportunity to share your words. In Jesus' name, I pray.
3 To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2  A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3  A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
4  A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5  A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6  A time to get, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7  A time to rend, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8  A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time of war, and a time of peace.
9  What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?
Are you disappointed with what you see happening in the world today? Have the events of the past year upset you? We have seen Christians tortured and killed by Islamic extremists around the world. Our first responders are being attacked when they are trying to help people, even those that hate them. We are seeing our country being divided by politicians. In Mark 3:24 Jesus said, “ And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.” We are living in uncertain times. Do you believe that our country is being divided along political party lines and ideologies?
Being a Christian today is difficult in a society that seems to lack love and believe the lies world leaders. Let me ask, who do you think to controls the world that leaders who are lying to us? Satan is the one in control of those that lie to us. God allows even corrupt leaders to rule because He has some purpose for them that we may not know or even comprehend. Evil people have changed the world over the past one hundred years. Why are the leaders of our political parties spewing hate? Are they trying to make changes that will give them more control thinking that they are limiting God? King Solomon was the wisest man in the Bible; even he questioned life and God’s organization of life. In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon reflects upon his rule and life in general.
Biblical scholars refer to Chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes as wisdom poetry, meaning that Solomon was looking for the wisdom of life. In verses 2-8, we see different aspects of human life in contrasting pairs. God has appointed times and seasons for our life and our death. King Solomon reflecting upon life realized that no matter what he did, God had a structure to life. In Hebrew, the word for season is zaman meaning an appointed time or a time fixed by God. Ate is the Hebrew word for time meaning an event not an appointed time set by God. Over the past year how much time was eaten up on things that are not of God? Ate seems to be an appropriate word for time. As we reflect upon the time we ate, we need to remember that when we waste God’s time we are not doing his will. Concentrating on the things of this world means that we are not spending time on doing that which the Lord has called us to do.
This year has been a difficult one for me. I wanted to do God’s work, but I was not where I should have been spiritually. I was trying to do things for God under my own power and in my time. I was ignoring God’s timing and forgetting to rely upon Him. I believe that in August God allowed me to be broken down and He has been rebuilding me to be the servant He wants me to be. Having suffered a stroke, I think that God can use our infirmities to send us a signal that we need to follow Him and rely upon His strength to get back in step with him. Without the Lord, I can do nothing. Look at Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me.” Relying upon the Lord Jesus Christ, we can do anything for the glory of God. Time is both a tool when used correctly to accomplish the things of God. Time is an enemy when we do worldly things and ignore the things of God.
On earth, we have limited time and we want to leave a legacy, but where should our legacy lie? Should it be here on earth, or should it be in heaven? In Luke 12:33-34, Jesus told His disciples, “Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be.” If I gave you a million dollars to spend any way you like, would you buy things, or would you want to buy more time? We squander our time but, our goal should be to spend our time following God so that our legacy will be in heaven. Creating a legacy here on earth is ok as long as it is a tribute to the Lord for what you have done for Him here on earth. When we concentrate on the minute things of this world, we forget the most important thing for the believer, eternal life in heaven. Between birth and death, there is much for us to do according to the words of the scriptures. We should build up things for God and tear down that which is against God. We should rejoice in the great things of God, and we should weep about the ungodly things that take place during our lifetime, whether they are our failures or those of the political leaders.
I believe that we are living in a time of war, not against human enemies but a spiritual war against Satan and his demons. What we are seeing as attacks upon Christians and churches is from the minds of people that have been corrupted by Satan. We need to be strong and lean on the everlasting arms of the Lord Jesus Christ. Revelation 21:4-5, “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall their be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold I make all things new.” When all things are made new the things of the past will be forgotten and we will spend all of our time contemplating the things of God. We will not see peace on this earth until Jesus returns. Now let us look at what we did this year and what we will do next year for the Lord.
Did you witness this past year? Did you volunteer in the church’s ministries? In 2019, what did you do for the Lord? What do you see yourself doing for the Lord in the coming year? When asked that question, some of you have no idea. One person I asked said I don’t have an answer, I don’t have 2020 vision. You only have a few hours to think about it before 2020 is upon us. How many of you have made New Year's resolutions like I will lose weight, I will find a new job, or I will make new friends? How many of you have said I need to find more time? According to Job in chapter 14 verse 5 we have a finite amount of time here on the earth we cannot make the tame we have longer. God has given us a season on this earth and we should be better stewards of our time. We should spend time with our spouses, children, and families doing the things of God. Spending quality time with our spouse and children should involve Bible study, attending church, witnessing, and prayer. Benjamin Franklin said, “I have so much to do today that I shall spend the first three hours of the day in prayer.” I wish I could say I spend that much time in prayer daily but I do not. Many of us do not spend enough time in prayer weekly let alone daily. Let us make our resolutions for the new year be meaningful to God. Let us resolve to spend more time in prayer, attend church regularly, be faithful in witnessing, be a more loving person to as a spouse, a child, and a parent. Resolve to be a better Christian in the new year. 1 Corinthians 10:31, “ Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
Let us pray.
Lord we thank you for giving and ordering life. Lord teach us to be better stewards of the time you give us. As we are about to enter into a new year we ask that you continue to keep us mindful of our commitment to serve you. In everything we do we are to bring honor and glory to you. Lord help us to be a people that pray and minister to all people in hopes that those who do not know you can see your love through us. Lord help us to be the light in this world that you have sent us to be. As we prepare for this new year may we be more mindful of our love for one another and your love for us as we were still sinners. Lord we thank you for forgiving us and wiping the slate clean that we can approach you without the stain of sin. Lord we thank you for the coming year and we pray for your swift return. Thank you Jesus and it is in your blessed name that we pray. And all God’s people said Amen.
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