Posts Tagged 'Time'

Apocalypse Talks: The Mean Time

Apocalypse Talks: The Mean Time

Matthew 24:45-51

How do we value ONE YEAR? Ask a student who failed a grade. How do we value ONE MONTH? Ask a Mother whose baby arrived prematurely. How do we value ONE WEEK? Editor’s of weekly newspapers know. How do we value ONE HOUR? Ask someone who lies terminally ill waiting for a loved one who is late. How do we value ONE MINUTE? Ask someone who missed a plane, a train, a very important engagement that would never be rescheduled. How do we value ONE SECOND? Ask and Olympic Medalist, someone who just missed having an accident, or someone saying good by to a loved one they will never see again.

How are we using the Mean Time?

* We’re Choosing To Serve ~ Matthew 24:45-47

  • 45 WHO is to be faithful and wise? Is this just about ministers? Or does this include everyone?
  • 46 frankly, as Congregationalists, we might read into this a bit: we are, each of us, directly servants of our Master: Christ is the head of the church (Eph. 1:22; 5:27; Col. 1:18; 2:10); we ALL serve, so this applies to all of us – Jesus wants us to be faithful and wise
  • 47 less a reward and more a responsibility; the Master will give us more to be faithful and wise with – our reward isn’t what we get charge of, but our increased responsibility is also more intimate relationship. Our reward is Christ Himself!

* Or Losing Our Nerve ~ Matthew 24:48-51

  • 48 “wicked”=WORTHLESS; is a servant who doesn’t serve a servant? Instead of caring, he’s clock-watching
  • 49 watch out for those wielding authority as a weapon instead of the tool to take care of the Master’s estate;
  • 50 here’s the concern: in the back of the mind, the servant KNOWS the Master will return “someday”
  • 51 (cf Jer. 34:18) those who break covenant are subject to being broken themselves!

We, as God’s servants, enter into a covenant with Him. We give our very LIVES to God… and this is a serious commitment! The Lord expects us to honor our covenant with Him; that we are grafted into His Life so that we would bear fruit. How shall we use our Mean Time?

Prayer Practicum: Covenant Prayer

Prayer Practicum: Covenant Prayer Sermon Audio Here

Galatians 3:15-20

In a contract, we exchange promises; in a covenant, we give OURSELVES to each other; God GAVE Himself for us (John 1:1, 14), and we are to give ourselves to God (Romans 12:1). Let’s look at four aspects of

Our Response-Abilities in Covenant Prayer

We Respond in Obedience ~

  • John 13:36-38 – Not just promises
  • Peter makes promises; how does that play out?
  • Instead, 1 Peter 1:2 tells us we have been chosen for obedience
  • 2 John 1:6 ~ Christian love IS to walk in obedience to Christ
  • So What? Jer. 29:12 God WANTS us to pray; when we pray, we obey

We Respond with Time ~

  • Acts 3:1 – notice the reference to the TIME of prayer
  • Psalm 5:1-3 – What time do you see here?
  • 1 Thes. 5:17 – challenge to pray always
  • So What? make and keep regular appointments with God in prayer

We Respond With a Place ~

  • Acts 16:13-16 – a formal place of prayer; how formal is YOURS?
  • 1 Kings 8:27-29 – How does this “place” affect prayer?
  • Matthew 14:23 – How does Jesus’ example affect ours?
  • So What? the LOCATION doesn’t matter; Pick a place to pray!

We Respond With Heart Preparation ~

  • Habakkuk 2:20 – how do we prepare for God’s presence?
  • Psalm 103:1 – how does this interact with Hab. 2:20?
  • So What? ask yourself: are you “all in” in prayer? what’s holding you back?

“Blessed Savior, I pace back and forth at the altar of commitment. I really do want a fixed habit of prayer. At least, that is what I want right now. I’m not sure if that is what I will want two weeks from now. I do know that without some kind of consistent communion with you I will not know holy obedience. So, as best I can, I promise to set aside time regularly for prayer, meditation, and spiritual reading. Strengthen me in this covenant. Help me to so delight in your presence that I will want to come home to you often. In your name and for your sake I make this covenant. Amen.”1

 
 
 
 
 

1. Richard Foster, Prayer, the Heart’s True Home, pg. 77

Learning from Luke: Seek the Easter Kingdom

Learning from Luke: Seek the Easter Kingdom Sermon Audio Here

Click here to play the file


Luke 12:22-34

Frederick the Great of Prussia once visited a school, and singled out a little girl, held up a stone in front of her, and asked, “To which kingdom does this stone belong?” “To the mineral kingdom,” came the quick reply. “And to which kingdom does this apple belong?” “To the plant kingdom.” Next the king pointed to the picture of a horse and asked her to classify the horse. “It belongs to the animal kingdom,” said the girl. Then, after a pause, the king demanded, “And to which kingdom do I belong?” Now the girl hesitated. Finally, she answered, “You belong to the kingdom of God.” The king was deeply moved by this unexpected reply and said to the girl, “Pray God that I may be found worthy of such an honor.”

Anyone who accepts the work that Jesus has done on the cross can be a part of that Easter Kingdom.

As A Part of the Easter Kingdom, We Can See That:

He is Lord of Everyday Life
Luke 12:22-24~ don’t worry about stuff

  • v22 Jesus’ focus: don’t worry about life
  • v23 Life is MORE than stuff (cf. Abundant Life John 10:10)
  • v24 how valuable are you? Do you agree with God on this?

=> If you had a bank that credited your account each morning with $86,400, that carried no balance from day to day, allowed you to keep no cash in your account, and finally every evening canceled whatever part of the amount you had failed to use during the day. what would you do? Draw out every cent–of course!
Well, you have such a bank and its name is “Time.” Every morning it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it rules off–as lost–whatever of this you had failed to invest to good purpose.

He is Lord of Common Time
Luke 12:25-28~ how do you spend your time?

  • v25 we are not in control
  • v26 what is impossible for us is a little thing to God
  • v27/28 God cares for you because of who HE is

He is Lord of Constant Care
Luke 12:27-31~ think about how God values you

  • v29/30 God knows your needs
  • v31 Agree with God about His priorities

=> Queen Victoria, after hearing one of her chaplains preach on the second coming of Christ, said, “Oh, how I wish that the Lord would come during my lifetime.” When asked why, she replied, “Because I should so love to lay my crown at His feet.”

He is Lord of Everlasting Hope
Luke 12:32-34~ let go of stuff; hold onto God

  • v32 We don’t trust God because of FEAR; yet God trusts US
  • v33 trade your old stuff for PERMANENT treasure
  • v34 your heart is connected to your stuff (how do you define yourself?); Jesus reminds us to be connected to GOD, and let HIM define us

Think about your daily life: how do you spend your common time? Are you burdened with constant care over what you feel you need? Let go of anything that weighs you down, and be lifted in the Hope of the Risen Savior. Set your mind and heart on God’s trust in you to live as a citizen of Heaven right here, right now.

What Time Is It?

What Time Is It Sermon Audio Here

Time Is Passing
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Consider the famous Einstein quotes about time. One of the first that comes to mind is:
“Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.”
A less known, but well appreciated quote is, “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”
But the most apropos quote for us today: “Time is an illusion.”

What Is It Time For?

Time is For Passing, Pleasure, and Purpose
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ~ Look at the Time, Activity, and Season

  • Time=Chronological
  • Activity=delight/pleasure
  • Season=an appointed occasion

“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” ~ Henry van Dyke

Time is For Preparation
Revelation 21:1-6 ~ At The End of Time

  • v1 all this is temporary
  • v2 God preparing for our arrival
  • v3-4 God’s presence with us reason for joy
  • v5 time to make everything new – old will pass away
  • v6 Jesus is our context for life

What time is it? Time to live as if Today is the Day!
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” ~ Mother Teresa


Pastor Ed Backell

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