“How’s Your God Time Lately?” – sermon 10-16-16

Time is a funny thing and often plays cruel tricks to our mind. Don’t you remember when you were young and time never seemed to move fast enough? Can’t wait to grow older to do something? You know get your drivers license? Date? Get out of school? Middle age. Kids grow up, get them out of the house, sports over so you don’t have to go to every event? Well, let me speak for us elderly people, for us we often think that it would nice if time would simply slow down. I ran into Teresa Davis, Greg’s wife, and asked her how retirement was and she immediately said, “I wish I could retire. There’s not enough time.” Well, I want more time, time to enjoy life.

Time, I got in late last night, morning came too early.
6:03 awake & short prayer, get over to church
6:18-7:33 get powerpoints loaded and sound system prepared, practice sermon, tidy up loose ends for church
7:34-8:02? If time left…some devotions & prayer
8:03-8:43 Shower, fix my hair, dress, catch a little early morning news
8:44 check out the FLC crew
8:50 Greet at church
9:15-11:30 Church & be a general nuisance

Now more than ever we schedule the busy day full, full with things only to end it all with sleep, fitful as it may be, only to start again tomorrow. I am guessing that your life falls into the same busyness with little room, and maybe at the end of the day you have checked some things off. We talk of no time, lack of time, not enough time, or being out of time. The average work year has increased 700 hours in the last 2 decades. The US leads the civilized world in annual work hours.

Now you can check off church for the week and many might have offered up a prayer this morning that church starts exactly at 9:15 and if the long winded preacher does his job in less than 20 minutes, we can get out of here at 10:15 or at least 11:15 if I stay for Sunday school.

The Greeks had 2 words for time: chronos, is time…it’s??? Their other word was kairos, kairos is in essence “what time is it for” We started church at chronos time of 9:15, kairos time is now it is a time for worship. Notice our opening song. Kairos – signifies a time between, a moment of indeterminate time in which something special happens. So my question for you is up until right now, have you been watching the clock or have you been analyzing the order of worship or have you been thinking ……. let’s move this along…..Jeff is wasting time.

Do you ever take kairos time? Extra time, indeterminate time for things special. Time to stop and be able to forget the schedule and take in nature, play with a child, sit with your spouse, simply enjoy life in the moment. We have come the think progress is when we find our chronological schedule nourishes our idols, our desires, our busyness, our perceived needs. When there is no kairos time we become: Stressed, Tired, Frazzled, Anxious, Angry, Depressed. Does that describe your life? Are you missing Kairos time? With God? your spouse, your children or grandchildren?

So the 21st century wisdom people try to tell you that you should fix your time management problem. Get a self-help book:
1. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free Activity
2. The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People
3. The One-Minute Manager
4. (my favorite title)The 25 Best Time Management Tools and Techniques: How To Get More Done Without Driving Yourself Crazy

Take your pick! Chances are good, following these books will probably reduce your symptoms, but I firmly believe they won’t cure you. They are like when I take 4 ibuprophin for my lower back pain, instead of going to the chiropractor to get it fixed. So what does God’s word say about our busyness, our disease of filling up our time with what we think is important “stuff.” Understand that Philippians says: I can do all things through him who strengthens me. But you can’t fly on your own nor can you do all things being all things to all people. The quicker you figure that out the better off you’re going to be.

1. Make sure you have eternity in your heart – begin with the end in mind.
God let Solomon figure this out in Ecclesiastes 3:10-11: I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with. He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” Number one thing you can do is remember that God’s business is to be your business and little else matters as much as we think..

In Job 14:5 Job figured this out about man and our life: Since their days are determined, and the number of their months is known to you, and you have appointed the bounds that they cannot pass.” Accept that God has given you only so much time here on earth, it is not infinite so use it wisely. James said that we are but a mist, then eternity awaits, you know billions and billions of years. Put eternity in your heart. Did the busyness of the last week really reflect God’s view of your present purpose for Him in His kingdom?

Out of the 144 hours granted last week, honestly consider if your one God was your Lord, or did you often worship our 21st century idols of: money, success, bigger house, nicer car, kids, beauty, hobbies, work, technology, anything. They will be gone one day. Did you love your neighbor in the same way as you loved yourself? Did you take the time to love your neighbor that does not know Jesus or has left their relationship with Jesus? It’s His last command and demand.

2. Ask yourself “How do I want to spend my life in light of eternity?”
If your relationship with Jesus is most important then how do you really classify your schedule? What is really “urgent” and what is really “important.” Are you tired? A vacation will not particularly “fix” it. Did you know that 54% of the people who take a vacation come back more tired and worn out that when they left. You? (hands) Who had yesterday off “work”? (hands) Now how many of you were more tired last night than you were Friday night? How many of you retirees feel as if you are busier in retirement than when you were working?

Put first things first which really means put God first with no other God behind it. I am sure that many of you have seen the Steven Covey jar. (EXPLAIN)

3. Turn your chronological calendar over to God.
Martin Luther said: “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” Is your calendar so filled that you feel like you are driving your car by slamming on the gas until you get to a turn and then you slam on the brakes? Go-kart story. Notice I didn’t stop going, I am not saying God wants you to stop but God wants you to drive God smart.

God’s calendar has time for interruptions and therefore relationships. He wants you to be like Jesus. Jesus lived from one interruption to the next, with no apparent plan except to go to Jerusalem and die for our sins. He zigzagged, deteoured, delayed and lived at the whim and fancy of those he noticed. He stopped His parade for a meal with Zacheaus from the tree. Who touched me? Lazarus can wait four days. He wandered and he blessed. He noticed people.

Jesus left plenty of kairos time in His life for new relationships and He wanted to meet new people. Along the way he noticed: blind men, lame men, wild men, fishermen, tax men, prostitutes, pleading fathers, grieving mothers, dying children, singing children, ANYONE captured His attention. He filled His life with Kairos time, not chronos time. Do you? Is that you?

If you don’t address the things in your life which are taking up your non God time and just say “NO”, you won’t have the time for kingdom work. Do I need to repeat that sentence? Jesus said yes to interruptions, He noticed, He said yes to God’s kingdom work. If you aren’t then you aren’t keeping your eye on eternity, you haven’t turned your calendar over to God, you haven’t the time for relationships and you can’t notice.

Everyone needs personal time, family time, sharing time and most importantly God time. It is time to turn off and separate from some gadgets, TV, computer, I-pad and yes even cellphone. The average American looks at their cellphone 46 times a day. A study said in America smartphones are checked 8 billion times per day. Separate from some of the noise of life. It is time to prune activity branches. Is short term urgent overwhelming your long term vision? Is it time to get less things done but do right things?
Ephesians 5:15-17: Look carefully then how you walk, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Colossians 4:5: Walk in wisdom towards outsiders, making the best use of time. So simply be available, plan for free time.

Finally, do you really stop and thank God? Does anyone honor the 4th commandment? Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. Let’s stop here for just one second. Let’s define what God meant. God did not mean that you wake up on Sunday and you get to church, go home and eat, watch the Nascar race or the Colts game, catch 60 minutes, and some more TV shows. Sabbath is not just taking Sunday off. That’s just legalism.

There is a key part of the Sabbath scripture that we forget, “keep it holy.” Keep it holy means that this is 24 hours in a week, not necessarily Sunday. It is where your attention and life and actions and heart and thoughts are solely focused on God. It is when you mentally stop and focus on God. Stop. If you don’t, God will stop you or the world will stop in your tracks. Your time driven life is to be for 24 hours purposely driven towards honoring God. Sabbath is not vacation, remember those vacation statistics?

Sabbath restores perspective. Vacation just postpones the inevitable busyness of life. Sabbath restores, it mends, it stops you from breaking and no, it is not laziness. Without Holy rest we miss the rest of God: the rest he invites us to enter into more fully so that we might know Him more deeply. “Be still and know that I am God.” Some knowing is never pursued, only received. Sabbath is both a chronos day and a kairos attitude so we can be caressed by God.

Sabbath is as essential to your well-being as food and water. I assume that most here today are just plain tired and overwhelmed and so Sabbath is just one more thing to do. Honor and trust Jesus when He said: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 6:33: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”
1. Make sure you have eternity in your heart – begin with the end in mind.
2. Ask yourself “How do I want to spend my life in light of eternity?”
3. Turn your chronological calendar over to God.
Next Sunday, I pray that you might have a different answer to “How’s your God time lately?”

Post a comment