I must learn to manage time to have an abundant life. You have only so much time. How many have ever said something like, ‘The TIME just got away from me!’? Or, ‘I am wasting time!’ I squandered much of my time early in life. How about you? Could you have done better with your time?

GET A LIFE
By Pastor Delbert Young

What Do I Need to Learn? part 2

Time, What Do I Need to Learn? part 2

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What Do I Need to Learn 2?

John 10:10; Psalm 139:14-15; Matthew 26:18; Psalms 90:10; James 4:14

The Space Shuttle Columbia was the first space worthy space shuttle in NASA‘s orbital fleet. Its first mission was April 12, 1981. After twenty-seven successful missions, Columbia launched again on January 16, 2003. During launch, a piece of foam the size of a briefcase, broke lose striking the left wing and damaging the Shuttle’s thermal protection system. Engineers suspected damage, but decided nothing could be done. After a 16-day exploration of space, the Columbia and its crew returned to Earth. On February 1, 2003, while streaking through the sky at 12,500 mph, Columbia disintegrated during re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere over Texas. All seven crew members aboard perished.

The awful truth is that the crew was doomed from the start of the mission. However, they each died doing what they really loved and wanted to do. “The truth is we are all doomed from liftoff. The day of our births starts the countdown running down to the day we cease to live on this earth. The question is, will you die doing what you really love and want to do?” Or, will you just die? Today, let’s talk about another way the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy life from you.

John 10:10   The thief COMETH not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Jesus guarantees us the thief comes. How would you react if you awoke and a thief was in your house? Would you be terrified? If the thief got away with your valuables, would you be angry? I experienced that a few months ago. One Sunday, Judy and I went home from church. We walked into our home. Judy went into our bedroom and yelled to me, “Delbert! We’ve been robbed!” Sure enough, a thief(s) broke into our home and took some valuable things. I still curse them every time I think about it, but that does not get my stuff back. A lot of people curse the devil, but that doesn’t get their stuff back. I now use my deadbolts. I installed a burglar alarm. I post prepared for the coming of the thief – too late.  It’s that way in life. Jesus said we can GET A LIFE, but we must be aware of the thief’s coming.

Last time we looked at a way the thief comes. We talked about how we need to learn some things and the first thing we need to learn was the ability to UNLEARN things like wrong attitudes, problem emotional responses, and generational origin issues. Today, let’s talk about another thing we NEED TO LEARN.

LEARN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT. I am convinced that God created you with the raw talents to do and acquire everything you need to have the abundant life. How foolish it would be to say that God wanted someone to be a brain surgeon, but not give that person the mind, ability, or means to accomplish it.

Psalm 139:14-15  Thank you for making me so WONDERFULLY COMPLEX! Your workmanship is marvelous – and how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.

God has made us WONDERFUL! The problem is #1, we don’t know it and, #2, because we don’t know it, we squander the resources he gives to us.

TIME. One of the biggest misuses of the resources God gives us, to stop the thief, is how we handle the amazing resource of TIME. We do not appreciate time. Did you know there are 699 verses in the KJ version concerning time? That means time is of huge, huge importance to God. Jesus respected time. His time was of utmost importance to him.

Matthew 26:18  And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, MY TIME IS AT HAND; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.

Jesus was extremely aware of time during his life. He made the most of his time. You and I MUST learn to manage time to have an abundant life. You have only so much. How many have ever said something like, “The TIME just got away from me!”..? Or, “I am wasting time!”

Psalms 90:10  SEVENTY YEARS are given to us! Some may even reach EIGHTY. But even the best of these years are filled with pain and trouble; soon THEY disappear, and WE are gone.

They disappear/we are gone… you are directly connected with years and time. I am not speaking negatives on anyone. I know we have people right here at Life Gate who are already beyond the eighty. Yet still, this fits for many and I want to be realistic. My dad died at 76 and my mom died at 70. I want us to work on something together. I need you to see your time given you as a stack of eighty dollars in $1 bills, each $1 bill representing one year of your life. How have you SPENT your life thus far? For example, where did your first $15 go? You did not have much say about how it was spent and that’s a good thing. Other’s decided – parents, guardians, teachers, etc. That person(s) took about 15 years of your life (time) and determined, to a major extent, your future. Parenting is important. Hopefully, they did not waste your time. There is no limit to what you “COULD HAVE LEARNED” during those years. Nonetheless, how many now over 40 years old wish you could go back and redo that $15? One of my largest regrets in life is that my first $15 was not spent well. Somehow, I missed the importance of those years. I should have learned so much more. I squandered much of that time. How about you? Could you have done better with your first $15? Let’s burn those squandered dollars. I figure I got about $5 worth out of those first $15 given me. $10 was just burned away – gone. Who got the $10? The thief! The thief stole life from me – precious life that I cannot get back.

James 4:14  Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For WHAT IS YOUR LIFE? It is even aVAPOUR, that appeareth for a little time, and then VANISHETH away.

What is your life? What a question! By age 16, already some of life is gone – vaporized, vanished. You even had some acquaintances who died in car crashes or somehow. What is your life?

Let’s go on with another $15 – the $16 – $30 age. That is the age we convince ourselves we know everything and our parents are stupid idiots only good to feed us and give us what we want. I was convinced my parents were old, ignorant, and disconnected. They just did not understand. I don’t know from were that lie comes, but I do know now that I was the stupid idiot and knew nothing about life at that age. Sadly, some of us have to get 30 something before we figure that out.

Amazingly, it is in those most confusing years of life, you make some of the hugest decisions about your life. You marry, have children, decide your occupation, religion, political stand, etc. You spend thousands and thousands of dollars on… what? Maybe you buy a house, etc. Sadly, by the time that time is over, you have spent another $15 of your hopefully $80. How did you do with it? How much vaporized? Over a third of your life is gone and you can’t get it back. How much did you squander? Did you get the wrong spouse? Wrong kids (kidding!)? Wrong job? I got the wrong job initially, but figured that one out. I wasted many of those years. Too late! It’s gone! Money (years in our scenario) burned (I’ll use a paper shredder to keep from smoking up the place). How much did you burn? $10 more? It’s gone. Who got it? Who took it? The thief did exactly as Jesus said he would. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy.

Ages 31-45 are interesting. We should get wiser with age, but… I don’t know sometimes. It does seem those are the years God can get through a little more easily. I think it’s because we are figuring out we don’t have many real answers. Those were the years I truly began serving Jesus. I actually discovered my reason for being on the planet in that time. My life mission was established. It was an important time. Isn’t that the way it should be? When Jesus comes into our lives, we should turn life around. Had it not, I would be wondering. Though I did better, I look back and see wasted time. Let’s say at least another $5 vaporized. Who took it?

Something happens in the mid 40’s. It’s an awakening. Maybe parents die. Cousins, maybe friends die. You realize your body is not immortal and you slowly realize maybe half your stack of $80 is gone. Your children are growing up and maybe in college. You begin to feel successful or not so successful. Sometimes grandchildren come along, which really emphasizes how time marches on. We sometimes refer to this time as a “mid-life crisis” and smart people do some very stupid things. Again, we find more wasted time. Years begin to pass like months and we say and ask things like, “Where did the time go?” More of the stack was wasted. Maybe another $5-$10 taken by the thief.

Ages 46 – 60 are interesting. Now your children struggle with their own lives, marriages, children, occupations. Your energy level isn’t what it used to be. Medical “procedures” are experienced. Wrinkles, body tone, aches, pains, and weight gain become enemies. Then suddenly a word begins to go through your mind… RETIREMENT! Retirement? Oh my goodness! I’m getting old! Time becomes much more precious and as we do with a literal $80 when all is gone but $20, we pinch it tighter. We think how we “should’ve” spent more of it with mom and dad. We “should’ve” done this and that and wish our children had not moved away. Of course, it’s to late and that time has vaporized. More time gets away. Let’s say another $5 is just gone.

I’ve spoken to this point from experience. I can only speak from what I have observed from here on. Ages 61-75 are the “golden years,” or so they say. Some people stay active. Some stop learning and begin dying. I know it’s not this way with everyone, but I watch a lot of people just sit and waste away what time is left. A few do the opposite and take full advantage of the time ($ in our scenario) left. Let’s do away with another $10.

We are down to $5 now. Then $4. Then $3. Then $2. $1 and then… How much of your $80 did the thief steal, kill, and destroy? According to my figures, I got $35 and the thief got $45. If that is close to accurate, the thief stole, killed, and destroyed over half of my life and I am a preacher and know better. Jesus said, “He comes…”

You hand some time out every day at the “check out” of life. What have you gotten to show for it? Perhaps, a better question is what will you do with what you have left?

I want to challenge your thinking. How would you like to SPEND a year in accomplishing the vision for your life? I was reading a book and that question was posed. I never thought about that, but I can predetermine, to a great extent, how and upon what I will SPEND a year if I will learn to “budget” my time. You better manage it, or it will be gone. People who use a Day Planner can tell you where they will be next week, or next month. How about a “Year Planner,” or even better, a “Life Planner.” What if, just what if, you wrote in your “Life Planner” where you will be in life at a specific time, say 3 years from now? That is exactly what Jesus did. We read the verse earlier.

Matthew 26:18  And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, MY TIME is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.

Sadly, so sadly, most people never manage their future. Instead, the thief comes and takes it away.Do you take the best advantage of the time given you? Where are you spending most of your time? Do you spend your time to accomplish you life’s dream, or does it vaporize? How much time did the thief take from you last week, last month, last year, yesterday? Do you take control of your time, or do circumstances and people control your time? How much of your time does God get?The entire point is you will never GET A LIFE until you learn to manage the resource of your time.

I want to make one more point from our $80 scenario. The things you leave after you are gone – the $5 (1-15), $5 (16-30), $10 (31-45), $10 (46-60), $10 (61-75) – is determined by what you did with your time. What the thief stole, killed, and destroyed from you is forever gone. What you leave for the kingdom of God, your children, for future generations is summed up in what you did with your TIME. How much did the thief steal? How much did you utilize to GET A LIFE?

Other Related Sermons:

Revelation Chapter 22 – River of life, Street of gold, I come quickly – video audio notes

What Do I Need to Learn? – sermon video audio notes

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young

Reggie McNeal, GET A LIFE, p. 165