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Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.

Many people think of stewardship only in terms of offerings for some worthy cause.

The principle of stewardship applies to every area of life.

“Taking the Stew out of stewardship” is the theme for next few Sunday mornings.

Today we are talking about The Stewardship of Time.

Text

Ephesians 5:15-16 (AMP)

15 Therefore see that you walk carefully [living life with honor, purpose, and courage; shunning those who tolerate and enable evil], not as the unwise, but as wise [sensible, intelligent, discerning people], 

16 making the very most of your time [on earth, recognizing and taking advantage of each opportunity and using it with wisdom and diligence], because the days are [filled with] evil.

Scripture Reading

Ephesians 5:15-21 (AMP)

17 Therefore do not be foolish and thoughtless, but understand and firmly grasp what the will of the Lord is. 

18 Do not get drunk with wine, for that is wickedness (corruption, stupidity), but be filled with the [Holy] Spirit and constantly guided by Him. 

19 Speak to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, [offering praise by] singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 

20 always giving thanks to God the Father for all things, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 

21 being subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Prayer

Father, we thank You for the opportunity to think together about You this morning.

We thank You, that we may have fellowship in thinking about. Phase in our stewardship that is so relevant, so applicable to the life of each and every one of us.

We pray that we may realise, whether we are only at the beginning of our lives or whether we are nearing the end, that time is running out, that as it says in Job 14:1, “Man is of few days, and full of trouble”

Bless the offerings that we bring today, for we ask it in the name of Your Son.

In Jesus name we pray.

Amen.

Introduction

Time flies by these days. 

This year has gone by so fast while at the same time feels like it’s been an eternity.

And like a block of land, there is only so much of it, time if not an infinite thing for us.

God has given each of us a measure of time.

How are we using it?

What will happen when we are called before the Judge of all the earth to give an account of our use of the time we were allotted?

  1. Time, where do we get it?

Who gives time to us?

The first principle of stewardship is this, God is the owner, and we are the stewards.

God owns everything, we are His tenants.

We are accountable, therefore, to Him for the use of His gifts, and this includes the gift of time.

God created time and gave it to us.

This is His fundamental gift, and all other gifts are conditional upon it.

God gives to all equally.

Though others may have more talents, we all have the same amount of time.

No matter how rich we are, time cannot be brought.

No matter how poor, we cannot receive less.

The prime minister of our country, or the CEO of a massive company has no more time than you.

Every person has sixty minutes in the hour, twenty four hours in the day, and seven days in the week.

Jesus was both urgent and careful about the use of God’s given time.

On one occasion He said in John 9:4 (AMP)

4 We must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work.

Where do we get time?

God gives it.

It is His gift.

2. Time, How shall we use it?

The use we make of time is our stewardship of it.

In this we may be faithful or unfaithful.

We may use time in the wrong way, we may use it in the right way.

  1. On the one hand, we use time in the wrong way.

Ephesians 5:16 (AMP)

16 making the very most of your time [on earth, recognizing and taking advantage of each opportunity and using it with wisdom and diligence], because the days are [filled with] evil.

This is what Paul said, but sometimes we fail to do this.

  1. We can just wish away our time for half a lifetime.

We grasp at life, but fritter it away.

Time dragged by when we were children.

It seemed that Christmas would never come, and we were wishing the days away until it did.

The same was true for our birthdays, or until some party, or until school holidays.

We were always wanting to grow up.

We were wishing the time away.

But this way of thinking isn’t confined to children.

2. We as adults, can be careless with time.

As short as life is we can make it shorter by wasting it.

Three things may take the excitement from the life of a professing Christian.

First, carelessness with time.

Second, carelessness with prayer.

And third, carelessness with money.

Often these three sorry sisters live together and make a dismal household.

3. But still again we can be tyrannised by time.

Westerners, especially Americans and Australians have more time saving devices and less time than any other people in the world.

We need a better perspective on time.

We make a fetish of hectic activity.

We admire the person who is always dashing off to keep an appointment.

We assume that person must be successful.

We are time conscious people.

When we use our time in the wrong way, time passes and with it our expectations and hopes, unfulfilled, just as buds fall from the trees without having become fruit.

B. On the other hand, we may use time in the right way.

The NIV renders our text, Ephesians 5:15-16 (NIV)

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 

16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

How can we “make the most” of our time and opportunities?

We must do four things.

  1. We must determine our priorities.

We must decide what we shall do first.

We cannot do everything, so we must decide what we will give time to, and then do it.

We have all heard the saying, “you have to spend money to make money.”

Likewise, we must spend time to save time.

The efficient person who gets the most done in a twenty four hour period is the person who has learned to make time work for them through careful scheduling, budgeting, and planning.

We don’t have time to do what we consider most important, we make it.

2. We must change pace in our activities.

This is necessary if we are going to avoid high blood pressure, heart disease, and a stack of other illnesses.

At least once under great pressure Jesus told His disciples, Mark 6:31 (AMP)

31 He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a little while”—for there were many [people who were continually] coming and going, and they could not even find time to eat.

Have you ever wondered how some people manage to get so much done in the average day, so much more than others?

How do they do it?

They pause.

They take time to think, to meditate, to pray.

From these periods of apparent inactivity, they draw rich resources of mind and spirit that give purpose and direction.

A change of pace is necessary.

3. We must concentrate on the primary things.

Life is continually saying to us, “Now hear this!”

And we had better listen.

Jesus urged us to concentrate on the primary things, Matthew 6:33 (AMP)

33 But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.

He was saying that He was not going to waste time worrying about the fools mistakes and sins of the past but, concerned with the main thing, He was going to press on towards the goal ahead.

4. We must dedicate out time to God. 

Paul said 1 Corinthians 10:31 (AMP)

31 So then, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of [our great] God.

We need to offer God everything, not only ur abilities, our money, our energies, but also our time.

This is hat we mean by the stewardship of time.

3. Time, what will result?

What will the fruit be of a truly Christian stewardship of time?

  1. First, we will multiply ourselves in His service.

We will multiply our usefulness both to God and to our fellow humans.

The person who is organised, motivated, and dedicated in the use of time can accomplish more than three people who are careless and frustrated where time is concerned.

B. We will advance the work of the kingdom.

A businessman was a tither.

He had learned tithing from his father.

But the conviction grew within him that he should do more than tithe his money, so he made a decision to tithe his time as well as his money.

He decided to give each Tuesday afternoon of his busy week to soul winning and to enlisting businessmen who he knew for Christ.

The first week he visited three men.

He won one of the three to Christ, and the next Sunday he was the happiest man in the city as he went to the front of the church with that man and his family to make a public profession of Christ.

But he didn’t stop at just winning them to Christ, he won them to his conviction about tithing and giving a tenth of one’s time to the Lord.

And those he won, won others.

C. Last of all, we will bring glory to God.

The faithful steward of time is fruitful, and a fruitful Christian life brings glory to God.

Jesus said to His disciples the night before He died, John 15:8 (AMP)

8 My Father is glorified and honored by this, when you bear much fruit, and prove yourselves to be My [true] disciples.

In the final analysis it is only by deliberately paying attention and giving our primary allegiance to eternity that we can prevent time from turning our lives into a pointless joke.

If we do this, everything else will fall into place.

Conclusion.

This is the stewardship of time, but I would be a poor steward of time if I was to close this message and fail to urge those who may be unsaved that the time to be saved now, or those who need prayer for themselves, not others but for themselves, the time is now.

Paul told the Corinthians, 2 Corinthians 6:2 (AMP)

2 For He says,

“At the acceptable time (the time of grace) I listened to you,

And I helped you on the day of salvation.”

Behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation”—

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

2020 IS A YEAR OF CLARITY

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