Sermon:  Redeeming the Time

Summary:  God created time and gives it to us as stewards.  If we don't purposefully 
order our time, we will find that we have no time to do what is important and will barely 
have the time to do what is pressing.  We need to order our time according to God's 
purposes and values and unapologetically subject everything that falls outside of this 
to the back burner.

Know:  Time is the most precious resource we have, which is why we need to regularly 
evaluate and order our time according to God's purposes.

Feel:  The need to p

Do:  Evaluate self on unordered time.  

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 90:12

Text:  Eph 5:15-17

Intro:
1.  Story of man always frantically trying to get everything done.  Frazzled
	a.  Always came to work a few minutes late.  This continued several days
	b.  Boss yelled, "Don't you know what time we start work around here?"
	c.  Man said - "No, They are always already working when I get here."
	d.  Frazzled, late, and disorganized.  Never seemed to have enough time
2.  Can you relate to that?  Does it ever seem you never have enough time?
	a.  There are so many thing that need to get done, and I just can't
	b.  Get tired, frazzled, emotional, etc.
	c.  Might not be as bad as this person, but maybe we can relate a little
3.  This morning we are going to look at our use of time
	a.  Review:  
		1)  We are looking at ordering our inner lives
		2)  Spent 2 weeks talking about aligning our motivation with God
	b.  Does God have anything to say about ordering our time?
		1)  It may seem like this is not something God is concerned with
		2)  Remember that time is a creation of God and we are stewards
		3)  Like the air we breathe, time is an abundant, precious resource
4.  Text:  Eph 5:15-17 - Redeem the time
	a.  Exagarazw - To redeem, deliver, purchase freedom, rescue
	b.  Idea is to deliver your time from captivity
	c.  Need to order your time intentionally
	d.  How?

I.  Recognize the consequences of un-ordered time
	A.  If you don't redeem time, life may be disorganized.  Traits
	B.  Traits of a disorganized life
		1.  Clutter - House, desk, car, horizontal surfaces
		2.  Series of undone, forgotten tasks and appointments
			a.  Broken commitments, deadlines, etc.
			b.  Often offer lame excuses
		3.  Invest energy in unproductive tasks
			a.  Will want to feel like "doing" something
			b.  Might something that gains public attention 
			     - Immediate praise - But not something real important
		4.  Feel poorly about your work
			a.  Trouble accepting compliments, not best work
			b.  Beat self up thinking about how could do it better
			c.  Low level fear that you will be found out
		5.  Rarely enjoy intimacy, even with God
			a.  Don't have time for relationships
				- Loved ones understanding when you are busy
				- Loved ones usually not demanding as boss, clients
			b.  Donít have time for intimacy with God
				- God doesn't complain
		6.  Life comes under the influence of dominant people
			- At the mercy of people who make demands of your time
		7.  Surrender to the demands of all emergencies
			a.  "We are governed by the tyranny of the urgent"
			b.  What is urgent may not necessarily be the most important
			c.  What is most important doesn't get time
	C.  If I have any of these symptoms, maybe I need to learn to redeem my 
	     time better
	D.  How?

II.  Understand your mission - Luke 18-19
	A.  Lk 9:51-19:41 is a big travel narrative
		1.  Jesus determined to go to Jerusalem in 9:51
		2.  Instead of just going up to Jerusalem, tons of things happened
		3.  Here are some highlights I want to point out
			a.  Chap 10 - Takes time to send out 70 on training mission
			b.  10:38f; 13:10, etc. - Takes time to visit people in homes
			c.  (13:22) - Stopping and teaching in each of the villages
			d.  Was interrupted many times on his trip to Jerusalem
				- (17:11-19) - Lepers call out to him, he healed them
				- (18:31-43) - Blind man call out to Jesus, healed
				- (19:1-8) - Picks Zacheus and stays at his house
	B.  It seems by the time of the blind man, disciples getting impatient
		1.  It would seem Jesus is not managing his time well
			a.  All of these interruptions, and Jesus stops
			b.  They are supposed to go to Jerusalem for a festival
			c.  All of these interruptions along the way, and Jesus stops
		2.  But Jesus never seems frantic or stressed
			a.  Never seemed to have to play "catch up"
			b.  Never get the sense that Jesus is "behind schedule"
			c.  No appointment secretary, airplanes, teleconference
			d.  Jesus even managed to spend time regularly in prayer
		4.  Jesus was redeeming the time
			a.  Goal was not just to go to Jerusalem - something bigger
			b.  (Lk 18:9-10) - Jesus had a clear sense of mission
			c.  He ordered his time according to his sense of mission
			d.  He was not losing control of his time
	C.  ILL:  Imagine you go to a ball game
		1.  Home team is playing well.  But something is wrong
			a.  Team shoots ball, but there is no rim on backboard!
			b.  They continue to play well
			c.  They shoot, people clap, but no score
			d.  Might have gone in if there was a goal there
		2.  Ridiculous - Any sport is pointless without a goal
			a.  Rim, home plate, end zone, etc.
			b.  Players know their mission and their goal
		3.  Same with our Christianity
			a.  If you don't have clear sense of mission - won't meet it
			b.  God has dropped the ball in your hands - now what?
			c.  Need a sense of purpose, goal, mission.
	D.  Nearly every successful business has a clear mission statement
		1.  What about you, can you articulate your mission in life?
		2.  Jesus had no trouble articulating his
		3.  If you can articulate your mission, will be able to order your time
		4.  Many tools available to guide you - it's not that complicated
		
III.  Budget Your time 
	A.  Time is a precious resource we have stewardship of
		1.  We budget our money
		2.  We should also budget our time 
	B.  Helpful suggestions
		1.  Recognize your strengths and limitations
			a.  When are you at your strongest or weakest?
				-  If a morning person, use this time for prayer
				-  What part of the week, year, etc. strongest?
			b.  Spend time reflecting on your rhythm, stresses, etc.
			c.  Is there a better time to do certain tasks?
				- More emotionally in tune on Saturday, Monday, 
				  when? - Use that for date, or family time
				- More alert in morning? - Prayer time
			d.  Basically - pace yourself
		2.  Identify the non-negotiables - What is most important
			a.  The most important things are not always the most urgent
				- Can ignore them, and nothing bad happens
			b.  eg: Family is more important than job
				-Wife & children understanding when you not there
				- Ignore spiritual disciplines, nothing adverse happens
				- Job more demanding & urgent, but not as important
				- Over time, this will take its toll 
			c.  Time with God, family, etc. is sacred - unapologetic
		3.  Have a workable criteria for ordering my time
			a.  Identify what is important and allocate time for it
			b.  Identify what is not important, and avoid it
			c.  Time Management Model - Stephen Covey
			d.  All of your activities that come up should be placed in one 
			     of the quadrants
Urgent Not Urgent
Important 1 - DO NOW - Subject to confirming the importance and the urgency of these tasks, do these tasks now. Prioritize according to their relative urgency. 2 - PLAN TO DO - Critical to success: planning, deciding direction and aims, etc. Plan time-slots and personal space for these tasks. NotImportant
Not Important 3 - REJECT AND EXPLAIN - Scrutinize and probe demands. Help originators to re-assess. Wherever possible reject and avoid these tasks sensitively and immediately. 4 - RESIST AND CEASE - Habitual 'comforters' not true tasks. Non-productive, de-motivational. Minimize or cease altogether. Plan to avoid them.
C. ILL: Heard story about teacher with jar and a bunch of rocks? 1. All different sizes and some gravel - Said they would all fit 2. Just started inadvertently putting all rocks in - Didn't fit 3. Started over, putting largest rocks in first, they all fit 4. Lesson? - Have to put the big rocks in first or it won't fit a. Order your time - Do the big stuff - Important stuff first b. The smaller stuff may seem more urgent c. If you do the smaller stuff first, will find you don't have time for the bigger important stuff D. Budgeting your time is not complicated 1. Often it is not a choice between what is good and bad a. Often it is a choice between what is good and better b. What is the better thing to do, the best thing? 2. Begin with prayer for God's guidance 3. Needs to come from the sense of God's purposes and calling 4. What are the big rocks in your life? What are the smaller ones? Concl: 1. Question: What if you are given bank account with $1440 balance? a. It started with that balance every day b. None of it carries over to the next day c. What would you do? Many would withdraw it and use it d. We have such a bank account - 1,440 minutes a day given to us 2. Problem is not that there is not enough time - We all have same amount 3. We need to order our time according to God's mission (invitation) 4. God has given your time - Are you going to redeem it fully? A helpful resource: http://www.franklincovey.com/fc/library_and_resources ========================= Small Group Notes: Redeeming the Time Summary: God created time and gives it to us as stewards. If we don't purposefully order our time, we will find that we have no time to do what is important and will barely have the time to do what is pressing. We need to order our time according to God's purposes and values and unapologetically subject everything that falls outside of this to the back burner. Open - If you could change how many hours are in a day, what would you do and why? Explore: James 4:13-15; Eph 5:15-17 1. "Redeem" means to rescue, deliver, or purchase the freedom of. What does this suggest about the nature of your time and how you should order it? 2. As big as Jesus task was, he never appears to be frazzled, never appears to be "behind" to the point he has to "catch up." He seems right on track in spite of all of the "interruptions of people coming to him and still manages to find time to get away by himself for periods of time. Why do you think is? 3. What guided Jesus in how he used his time? Apply 4. Describe how any of these statements/symptoms of unordered time hit close to home for you? 1) There is a lot of physical clutter in my life 2) I have a series of undone, forgotten tasks or appointments 3) I invest energy in unproductive tasks 4) I feel poorly about my work 5) I rarely enjoy intimacy with others, even with God 6) My time comes under the influence of dominant people 7) I surrender to the demands of most or all emergencies 5. Complete the following statement: "I am least effective in managing my time in _______________________." 6. What do you consider your number one mission in life? How does (should) this inform how you order your time? 7. What are some ways you can redeem the time God has given you? What criteria can you use? How might the chart below help?
Urgent Not Urgent
Important 1 - DO NOW - Subject to confirming the importance and the urgency of these tasks, do these tasks now. Prioritize according to their relative urgency. 2 - PLAN TO DO - Critical to success: planning, deciding direction and aims, etc. Plan time-slots and personal space for these tasks. NotImportant
Not Important 3 - REJECT AND EXPLAIN - Scrutinize and probe demands. Help originators to re-assess. Wherever possible reject and avoid these tasks sensitively and immediately. 4 - RESIST AND CEASE - Habitual 'comforters' not true tasks. Non-productive, de-motivational. Minimize or cease altogether. Plan to avoid them.
Prayer: Psalm 90:12