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Illustration:  The Greatest use of a life is to spend it on something that will outlast it.(Matt 6:20, storing up treasures)---“There’s no present like the past.”

Stewardship of our time, is more than just filling our day planner full, and not being lazy.  (Solomon in Eccl said in God’s economy…there is a time and a season for everything.)  I firmly believe that good stewardship of time, is in its most basic application, stewardship of our life. 

Therefore, from God’s perspective, the measure of a life lived well is not determined by its length, but by its depth.  In the final judgment what will matter most is the depth of our devotion to God—how we stewarded our days in faithful service to Him, for Him and in His name.  (Last 2 verses of Eccl.!!!)

If we are to be truly wise stewards we have to ask: What is really going to matter at the end of our earthly days?

I.  Look carefully how you walk.  As Wise  (Pres. Act. Imp)

    Carefully—accurately, to strict conformity to a standard or norm, (your going to follow some rule!  Which are you following)  w. focus on careful attention

Luke 1:3-having followed, all things closely; (get the story right)

Acts 18:24-25—he spoke and taught accurately. (preach the story right)

Look carefully—(you only get on chance to do it. We have been warned!)

II.  Making the best use of the time.—reiterates the Imp Look carefully, modifying how we are to be wise.  By buying up the time or opportunity.  v.8b identifies the opportunity—“Walk as children of the light.”

        Be careful how you walk—Luke 11:33 gives us a warning!!!  

        How avoid the danger of walking in false light?—John 8:12 tells us!

                Buying up the time—implies the preciousness of time.  Rather than just simply living out our days, we seize every moment.  You buy up that which is precious to you.  It is amazing how our time can be almost “easy come, easy go, until we get down to the last few hours, and then we would pay anything for one more.  Tim McGraw sings a country song called “Live like you were dying,” 

He said I was finally the husband that most the time I wasnt

and I became a friend a friend would like to have

and all the sudden going fishin, wasnt such an imposition

and I went three times that year I lost my dad

well I finally read the good book, and I took a good long hard look

at what Id do if I could do it all again.

Tim has it almost right, just wish he would have capitalized on his last phrase.  But make no mistake, Jesus says follow him…that is stewardship of time.

Then this clause--Because the days are evil—tells us why we need to “Look carefully, being wise, and buying up the time. “The days are evil!”

1 Jn 5:19--"We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.  Make no mistake, the days are truly evil!!!

III.  Don’t be foolish-Understand what the will of the Lord is.

                Matt 13:18-19—Parable of the sower—hard ground.  God can change your ability to understand.  v. 15 --Turn to Jesus, and be healed.

I need to remind myself everyday, that I am spending time.  Time is a commodity that can only be spent.  

Jonathan Edwards-Resolved, never to do anything which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.  (19-23yrs old.) 18th cen. pastor

There is a unique story in Luke 13:10-17 Jesus was in the synagogue teaching on a Sabbath and he noticed a woman crippled and bent over for 18 years.  Jesus stopped his teaching and healed the woman, setting her free from the disability.  The ruler of the synagogue became indignant and said to all the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done, Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” 

Jesus answered him, “Should not a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?”  Luke goes on to say that Jesus’ adversaries were humiliated that day.  And others rejoiced at what Jesus did.  You have six days in which to get done all you need to get done, can you not just give Jesus one day, one day that he made for you.  Too much to ask of you to give of your time back to God.  Stewardship is more than just money.

When it comes to Stewardship of Time, the most important question is not the degree of practical efficiency but the measure of spiritual effectiveness.

What is really going to matter at the end of your earthly days?  When the book of your life is closed, the final chapter written down for all time, what will be read?  Will it be a best seller!  Or will it just be another dime store western, or harlequin romance.  Another corporate success how to book?

When we answer to God for our lives, what will be found of greatest value?

Jas 4:13-17 --"Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—"yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. --"Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” --"As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. --"So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

What is your life?  You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

I think for each and everyone of us, the true measure of our life should not and cannot be measured by the results we see in this life.  I believe only in heaven will the true measure of our lives be revealed. 

Let me encourage you, if your still breathing, and your heart is still beating, you still have time.  You think if God is a good steward of time, he brought you here right now, just to waste your time?  There is no wasted time in God’s economy.  Every breath is of value.  Use them wisely.

Maybe we do need to start living like we were dying. 

I never said you have quit that job, become a monk, or a nun, or even a pastor.  Go to that same job tomorrow, just don’t live like you’re the same person.  LOOK CAREFULLY… …look to the norm of norms, the standard of truth, God’s written word, and then walk wisely!  We are in the final hours of this age, John 9:4, night is coming when no man can work, therefore work while it is day.

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