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Divine Appointment II

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Divine Appointment II – Redeeming the Time; nv 5/13/08am

OS: 1 A dentist office had a patient that was notorious for calling in and saying they would be late for their appointment. Until the day he called to inform the dentist he would be around fifteen minutes late – “will that be a problem” he asked. “No, we just won’t have time to give you an anesthetic.” Tardiness sometimes does have consequences.

I.       2 Divine Appointments

A.   Memory verse – “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful…be wise in the way you act toward those outside your own number; making the most of every opportunity.”

                 1.     “making the most of every opportunity” – “redeeming the time.”

                 2.     How to use your time wisely…

B.    Biblical Text:

                 1.     3 Psalm 39:4, “Show me, O Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life.

                 2.     Psalm 90:12, Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

C.   God has put you here for a reason – you are not an accident.

II.    4 Divine Appointments are real

A.   God is real, alive and well, and He works in us

                 1.     Philippians 2:13, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

                 2.     Ephesians 2:10, For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

B.    5 Esther - Esther 4:14, For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”

III.  6 Wouldn’t you like to make better use of your time?

A.   Like – on vacation (you don’t want to waste a moment)

B.    A few years ago People Magazine published an article entitled "Dead Ahead" telling about a new clock that keeps track of how much time you have left to live. It calculates an average life span of 75 years for men & 80 years for women. So you program your sex & age into the clock, & from then on it will tell you how much time you have left. It sold for $99.95.

C.   At the age of 45 you have a little over 10,000 days left.

D.   Our days are limited, God has put us here for a purpose – don’t you want to know how to make the best of it?

TS] All answers in the text: 3 step process.

I.       7 Pray

A.   Last week – this is where it starts.

                 1.     Prayer puts us on God’s page

                 2.     Often we don’t have because we don’t ask.

B.    The substance of our prayer should include the mission.

C.   To make better use of your time be sure you start your days with prayer.

II.    8 Prepare (notice the text)

A.   Know how to give an answer (anticipate the question)

                 1.     ??? How do I become a Christian? (not often!)

                 2.     How do you eat an Elephant? One bite at a time – Lead people to Christ one step at a time.

B.    Maybe some preparation needs to be given to questions or comments such as:

                 1.     “I just don’t know how I’m going to get through this…”

                 2.     “Why do you spend so much time at church?”

                 3.     “Everyone has to find their own way to God”

                 4.     “I never have been one for that religion stuff…”

C.   We don’t need a class to give us the answers that we memorize.

                 1.     Think – discuss questions like this informally with Christian friends.

                 2.     This is the culture we live in today.

III.  9 Perceive

A.   Text: Make the most of the opportunities.

                 1.     Opportunities are there.

                 2.     Our culture may have some of the most far out ideas ever, but in our day and time religion and spirituality are of great interest to people.

                 3.     This is a big change – 3 out 4 Americans today have some paranormal belief – (ghosts, astrology, witches, communication with the dead, etc.)

B.    Our perceptions of our culture may be all wrong.

                 1.     Illu – Happy the Saint Bernard (little ball / lots of fun for a 2 year old, but there was something inside of this ball which is very dangerous to a Saint Bernard which the rest of us are unaware of.)

                 2.     Illu – Winky and the tackle box.

C.   People may not be ready to immediately sit down and see what the Bible says they must do to be right with God.

                 1.     But people in our culture love to talk about “spiritual” things.

                 2.     Perception is important!

TS] So, if you really want to make your life count for something as God designed make the most of your time – Pray, Prepare, Perceive.

Greatest illustration of all – 10  “Acorn” Every great oak was once a little nut that held its ground:Baby Oak Tree

Unusual invitation: over 500 acorns in these jars our young men are holding… If you are willing to commit this morning to joining in as Northview begins again with a focus for those outside our number signify that by walking over and taking an acorn home with you to remind you….

Alarm Clock – Hitting the Snooze button for 5 more minutes of sleep. Two problems: 1) If we continue to hit the button, we end up being late. 2) and, we may become so used to the sound of the alarm that we may not hear it at all. Today, God’s alarm clock is going off / we have Divine Appointments to meet / It’s time we get out of bed don’t you think?

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