3 House Family Job Children Health How Do I Spend Time? Shopping Yard TV ReadingComputerYardShoppingEntertainmentJobTVChildrenPrayerHouseBillsHusbandBible StudyHealthEatingFamilyTime Belongs to God – Not Me.Ecc 3:1-111 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…10 I have seen the tasks God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
4 How do I spend my time?For what is your life? It is even a vapor (fog), that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away. - James 4:14Sometimes we act like time is ours. It is my time or my sacrifice of time. Time is God’s - not ours. We did not create time nor can we change one second of time. We can only change how we use each second and the attitude (heart) we choose for each second.Note Slide 1
5 Living in god’s time with Him 1. Set my mind on Christ.Col 3:1-3 Since you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”James 4:8 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”II Timothy 2:15 “Study to show yourself approved unto God…”I Thessalonians 5:17 “…pray without ceasing…”
6 Set my mind on ChristSo how do I spend time so that I set my mind on Christ. Let’s try a little experiment. For the next minute empty your mind of everything. Try not to think of anything at all – to just be still. It is difficult to empty our mind completely for even a minute.“Be still and know that I am God” is so powerful. Letting go of our will and thoughts long enough to seek God sets our mind so that we are putting Him first. Often we come to God without first seeking Him as our God - the creator of the universe. We don’t acknowledge him as our provider and savior. You see our daily quiet time is not just for us! John 4:23 reminds us that the Lord Himself desires our fellowship and delights in our worship. He longs for that one on one time with His child just as you long for that time with your child.The ultimate purpose of spending time with God is to commune with God. We are made for relationship with God (Ecclesiastes 3:11), and so, in order to have fullness of joy and to be what God wants us to be, He needs to cultivate that relationship. We can’t have a relationship with God if we don’t know him. He can not grow us into His daughters if we don’t seek Him – actively seek Him through His Word. Why do we think He gave it to us? II Tim. 2:15 “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a daughter that doesn’t need to be ashamed.” When we study, then we will learn to have a heart for God’s things instead of our own. Our time will be spent in pleasing God because we love Him and loving others because God loves them.James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” The reason we must have time with God is because God asks us to. He wants us to want Him, and so He waits for us. The promise for us is sure that if we draw near to Him we can be sure that He will be there for us. He won’t run, He won’t hurt us, He won’t ignore us, He won’t abandon us, and He will listen. He is God and always has time for you, his daughter. He is the perfect friend and Father, and He always has all the time we could ever need. In addition, He has the power to effect change and truly impact our lives.We draw near to God through His Word and through prayer. I Thessalonians 5:17 “pray without ceasing”. (16,18) It is this attitude or heart of prayer that stays with us throughout our day. It’s like taking Him with us were we go – to work, to the grocery store, to our homes… In this way we don’t have to make time for God – we live in His time with Him.Note Slide 2
7 Living in God’s time 2. God’s Will Becomes My Will Eph 5: Carefully determine what pleases the Lord…So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.Psalm 16:11 says, “You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
8 God’s will becomes my will When we come to realize that life is about relationship with God, we will start living in God’s time. If we start to think that life is merely about doing things for God rather than loving God Who does His work in and through us, we will lose our joy and our first love (Revelation 2:4 2 ‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; 3 and you have [c]perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.). We can still go through the motions and “loose our first love.” God doesn’t need me to do anything for Him – He is God. He can use me and work through me. Life to the full is knowing God (John 17:3). This is what our heart longs for, and if we start replacing God with activities for God or any other idol, we will lose our joy and “our first love”. The beauty of an intimate walk with God is that we can know His will (1 Corinthians 2:16), we can have our joy made full (John 15:11), and we can expect our prayers to be answered when they are in His will (John 15:7).Note Slide 3
10 Jar story Our Way, or God’s? Jesus said, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”The boys were always wanting to “help” and believed they could do just about anything. Brandon wanted to help me open a jar of canned peaches. He was so sure that he could get the top off. “I can do it” he said with such confidence. He struggled to screw the lid off the glass jar. I asked him to bring the jar to me so I could help him, but he resolutely tried to open it himself. The longer he tried the greater his frustration grew. When exhaustion overcame him, he finally decided to allow me to help. He then saw how easy it was for me. He could have avoided the frustration had he accepted my help. Too often, rather than seeking God’s help, we try our own methods to solve our problems — and we often end up frustrated or in tears. But God’s promise is before us: “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” God has the solution to our problems: We can believe in and trust in God’s word — and ask for God’s help
11 God’s will becomes my will And God has a will for you.Often we tend to plan and then pray. Perhaps we have that upside down! We seek for God to give favor to our plans. We sometimes feel guilty going to God in prayer about our “little things” when we know that God is busy with famine.... We don’t want to waste His time. Sometimes we simply make a deal with God...if you will help me get the raise then I will give you part of my raise..I tell God what I am going to doGod respondsI beg for God to do it anyway - .to work it outI humble myselfI go to God’s Word and seek His will in prayerThe result of this type of thinking is a great waste of time.BETTER Pray and study God’s will for me and then plan.Proverbs 16:1-4 We may make our plans, but God has the last word.You may think everything you do is right, but the Lord judges your motives.Ask the Lord to bless your plans, and you will be successful in carrying them out.A sweet friend of mine told me the story of an elder where she worshiped. He said that he woke up one morning with so much to do that he had to spend 4 hours in prayer before he could begin. When she asked him why he spent so much time in prayer when he had so much to do, he replied that he could not do the things with the right attitude or expect them to be accomplished in God’s way without His help. When we take time to be present with God, we don't increase the burdens of the day, we lessen them. When we pray, we don't add to the chaos, instead, we begin to find calmness and stability and wisdom.Psalm 16:11 says, “You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”Note Slide 4
12 God’s will becomes my will When God’s will becomes your will then get ready!Matt 2 tells the story of Joseph and Mary going to unknown places with complete trust because God told them to go.Abraham left everything he knew – family, friends, home - to follow God’s will for his life.Paul went blindly to the place Jesus told him to go with a complete stranger.It may mean changing your pew to help a single mother with her children or to sit by the bus kids who have only us to be their examples of love.It may mean reaching out beyond our comfort zone to teach a class so that a teacher may rest from her labor.It may mean making that visit to the hospital, nursing home, or prison.It may mean being kind to the ornery.Let’s not be the person that always says“I wish someone would…”Let’s be that someone!Note Slide 5
13 Living in god’s time3. Live in the GRACE of God as His daughter right now.II Cor 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.Hosea 6:6 For I desire mercy (steadfast love) and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.II Cor 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
14 Live in God’s grace - Jesus God Made You – You. Galatians 6:2-5 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.These verses may seem a bit out of place when we are talking about living in God’s grace, but let’s consider a few things together. God did not make me – you, nor did he make you - me. I would love to smile like some of you or sing like some of you. He gave us each unique gifts that will serve his purpose and bring us ultimate joy. If I try to be you I will fail. (II Cor 10:12, 17,18) Comparing myself to others will always either make me feel inferior or give me the big head and God tells us it is foolish to do so. Instead God tells me to Love, serve out of that Love, work, be satisfied, and be responsible for me. You see His grace is sufficient for me. I live for Him and He lives through me. I am not that great by myself – not that important. But as a daughter of God living in His grace through Jesus Christ my savior, He can do through me what I can’t even imagine. He is the power of my life. When we beat ourselves up because we are not good enough…don’t love enough…don’t give enough…don’t know enough… then we are quitters .. and if we aren’t serving God then we are serving Satan. God said His grace is sufficient. He will and can do in us what we can’t do in and of ourselves. Sometimes we need to get ourselves out of the way – open our heart and mind to God’s words.Note Slide 6
15 Live in God’s Grace - Jesus Galatians 12: 7-8 Paul prayed for God to remove the thorn in his flesh. He prayed 3 times. How many times do we pray for our thorns, our pains, our sorrows to be removed…I have a child that is hurting…ill….lostI have a husband that is drinking…inconsiderate…lostI have cancer…illness…pain…sorrowYou have prayed like Paul, perhaps more often, and God’s answer is the same – My grace will be enough.Romans 8:32 “He who did not spare His own son…”Mark 14: We want God to “fix” it, take it away, make it better, heal, restore… Jesus prayed the same thing. Jesus prayed to let this cup pass from me – Your will be done.Surely if God did not spare His own Son – He will not take away the thing in our life that grow us into the servants we can be for Him.Jesus never sinned – ever and yet He died for my sins. He took my sins to the cross so I could give my life to him and be buried with him in baptism to rise as a pure daughter of God – clothed in purity through Jesus – God’s grace. Jesus is our grace. We are given that gift and our hearts should reflect our thankfulness in our prayers, our actions, and our time.Note Slide 7
16 Living in God’s time 4. The seconds of my days are opportunities. Col 3:12-17 Therefore, as God’s chosen (daughters), holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive… put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…and be thankful… And whatever you do, in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.Eph 5:16 …making the most of every opportunity…
17 Seconds are opportunities This is all about attitude – all about our heart for God. It is doing even the everyday things of our life like cooking for our family, running kids here and there, cleaning house (yes – cleaning house) with a grateful heart to God.James 2: Works are the evidence of our faith. Hearing, faith, repentance, baptism, grace, works – are all part of a beautifully woven tapestry. You can’t have one part without the other or it won’t be complete – we won’t be complete. The Pharisees didn’t understand. I stand amazed at how God has pity on the repentant sinner. Jesus ate with those that the Pharisees would have nothing to do with – the adulterers, the poor, the alcoholics, drug addicts, murderers, thieves, liars, gossips, selfish people like…us. He loved them. He healed many. But he was not as kind to the self righteous – those who came to the temple daily, followed the law, prayed and judged others – who by their acts somehow felt they earned the “right” to be righteous. But they were empty tombs – their many words and works were empty because their hearts were focused on themselves and not on God.Our actions are the reflection of our heart. A heart that desires to live in God’s time where our minds are set on Him, our wills are bent to His, our souls are washed in His grace. And finally our lives reflect our faith so that we can live as His daughters and become His light to a dark and desperate world. (Prayer)Note Slide 8
18 Time with godDo you remember a special meal you ate with, say, your boyfriend or fiancée or husband? I imagine it was the best meal you ever ate! You remembered it for days afterward – remembered it with joy and pleasure. But what if you didn’t eat anything the next day – or the day after that? What if you said, “Well, I’ve eaten as much as I could possibly eat and had as much joy as I could ever feel – so, I don’t ever need to eat again or have another meal with the one I love.” You know that very soon you would begin to feel weak and sickly, and if you didn’t eat again you would become malnourished and eventually die. The life that shines through to the world and to our Father will be the one that we feed the most.
19 Forces inside & out“Be not conformed to this world; but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2There are two forces in our lives – outside, being conformed to the world, and within, being transformed. How we react to these two forces will determine how we act in this world and where we will spend eternity – our forever TIME.
20 Packing My DayEphesians 5:15-16 Be very careful, then, how you live, not as unwise butas wise, making the most of every opportunity…Romans 12:1Therefore, I urge you, sister, in view of God’s mercy, to offer yourself as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God for this is your spiritual act of worship.