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How important is it to you to keep up with what time it is?
*      *
     A businessman drives all night to meet a client.
He arrives 2 hours early, so he decides to stop in the local park and catch some shuteye.
Just as he dozes off, there’s a knock on the window.
Outside the car he sees a jogger.
“Excuse me, but do you have the time?” “Yeah, it’s 6:27.”
The man settles back almost falls asleep when there’s another knock on the window.
Another jogger.
“I’m sorry to disturb you.
Do you have the time?” “Yeah.
It’s 6:34.”
The man rolls up the window and realizes this could rob him of his nap.
So he makes a sign: “I DO NOT KNOW THE TIME.”
He sticks it in the window and again nestles himself back in the seat.
Just as he begins to snore here comes another tap on the window.
Sure enough, another jogger.
He angrily rolls down the window and yells, “What do /you/ want?”
The jogger smiles and says, “I just wanted to let you know: it’s 6:42.”[i]
We learn early to keep up with what time it is.
They teach you to tell time so you can know when you’re supposed to be where.
They install bells and whistles and alarms to be sure you know when to come and when to go.
We buy watches for our arm, clocks for every room, and place calendars on the wall to remind what time of day, what day of the month, what month of the year we are passing through.
Yet there is a sense in which you and I still lose track of not of time, but of the value of time.
We can forget the value of a moment, or a day, or a week, or a year.
We say we have more time than we have money, but how do you really know that?
Perhaps this is why Moses prays this way in
*Psalm 90:12* So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Moses is not just asking for help in counting his days, but for help in making his days count.
Numbering our days means taking seriously the stewardship of the time God gives us to live on earth.
I want to talk to you this morning about the stewardship of this valuable resource we call time.
I want to help us all see how important it is for you to keep track of this precious God-given gift we call /time/.
Let’s begin by reading *Ecc.
*            *How can you and I number our days and gain a heart of wisdom?
To begin with, we must understand
*I.              **OUR TIMES ARE IN HIS HAND (Ecc.
             It is said that when Queen Elizabeth I of England was dying she exclaimed, “All my possessions for a moment of time!”[ii]
*            *But all of her possessions, all of her money, all of her prestige could not buy one more second of time.
If you want to learn to number your days, you begin by remembering Who holds your time in His hands.
*Ecclesiastes 3:1* /To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:/
/            /Who chooses those seasons for your life?
Who is in control of the times of your life?
God is.
2-8* tell us the time you are born and the time you die is not in your hands, but His.
God has wired into life the proper time for laughter and weeping, sorrow and dancing, even when to love and when to hate.
*Ecclesiastes 3:11* /He has made everything beautiful *in its time*.
Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end./
/            /This verse portrays God as Lord of both time and eternity.
He is in charge of the times of your life.
He holds the keys to the mysteries of time and eternity.
He is the expert in how you need to spend the time you are given.
/Your times are in His hands.
            You see, time is more than just one event happening after another.
Time is God’s will and God’s purpose working in the world, God’s will and purpose working in your life.
/Your life is not just a series of random happenings---God has them in penned onto His calendar.
Many of the most important times in your life are not in your hands, but His.
You may not know when those important days will come, but He does, because He has planned them long before you were ever born.
/            /*Psalm 139:16* /…And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them./
/            Numbering your days means seeking God’s wisdom about how to make the best use of your time.
James’ advice holds true for your time: /
*James 1:5* /If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.//
/            / A man asked God how long a million years was to Him.
God replied, "It's just like a single second of your time, my child."
So the man asked, "And what about a million dollars?"
The Lord replied, "To me, a million dollars is just like a single penny."
So the man said, "Well, Lord, could I have one of your pennies?"
And God said, "Certainly, my child—in just a second."[iii]
/Your times are in His hand, for He is not only Lord of time---He is Lord of your times.
Once you grasp the reality of God’s sovereignty over time, you also have to understand another important reality about your time: /
Time is the coin of your life.
It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent.
Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.
- Carl Sandburg[iv]
Jesus Christ is Lord and Master of Time, but you are the steward of the time He gives you.
He is in charge of how much time you have, and what happens /to /you; */you/* are responsible for how you /use/ the time He gives you.
The Bible gives us this important advice about the stewardship of your time:
*Ephesians 5:15-16* /15 See then that you walk circumspectly /(with careful thought and purpose)/, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time /(making the most of every opportunity)/ because the days are evil./
How do you make the most of every moment?
First, you need to put some careful thought into how you use the time God gives you (/walk circumspectly/).
God gives you time to manage wisely, not waste foolishly.
/Redeeming the time= making the most of every opportunity/ (*NIV*)/.
/Plan out how you will use your time, use your time with purpose and thought.
Don’t just let time pass; use it for God’s glory and for your good.
Secondly, you need to understand: if you don’t use your time wisely, you will end up using it foolishly.
/The days are evil= time that is not used wisely will lead you into evil.
/If you fail to make the most of every moment, you waste one of God’s most precious gifts.
Days that are not used to serve God will eventually end up being used to serve the devil.
So exactly how do you make the most of every moment?
It will take some thought and planning.
First, you make the most of every moment by making God a priority in your schedule.
Take time each day to listen to Him by reading the Bible, and speaking to Him through prayer.
Make time to go to church, make time to serve Him in some specific way.
You make the most of every moment by making your family a priority.
Make your spouse, your kids, your extended family a priority when you make out your schedule.
Make time for your family.
You make the most of every moment when you take time for rest.
One of the 10 Commandments is to take one day in 7 to rest.
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