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  "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;"
 . . .  Colossians 1:10  . . .
 
Living Life That Counts For Time & Eternity

Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Sermon Delivered 3/6/04

Years ago I came across an old high school yearbook. As I leafed through the pages I came across a picture of one of my uncles, my dadís youngest brother. I came to his picture on one page and the caption in quotes was "never do today what you can put off until tomorrow."

I am fearful that many people live by that motto. Regrettably, I have followed that motto from time to time. And, I must tell you that is erroneous advice! Paul offered this counsel to the Ephesian believers and I believe it applies to us today. "Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. 15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." Ephesians 5:14-17

Note the redeeming it is a translation of the Greek word that means to buy up or to make the best use of. Hence, we are to make the best use of the time we have! Hereís why!

Life Is Short

The Bible graphically illustrates the brevity of life. I will share an Old Testament and New Testament illustration.

  • A Shadow -- 1 Chronicles 29:15 "For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding."

Note that "our days on the earth" are characterized as being at shadow. Shadows appear just for a brief time and then quickly gone. Also, shadows are uncertain, dark, and of no lasting substance. There is a sundial in our perennial garden. How quickly the shadow travels around the dial.

The truth is that our life is a pilgrimage. We are just passing through. As a shadow so swiftly passing away, so will our days upon this earth.

  • A Vapor -- James 4:13-16 "Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. 16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil."

Look at verse 14. Life is compared to a vapour. When I was a kid, when I would get sick, my mother would bring a vaporizer into the room. She filled it with water and then usually put in a spoon fool of Vicks. The steam would come rolling out of the nozzle of the machine and then very soon disappear into the air. The only thing that lingered was the smell of the Vicks.

Now, letís look at the context. The phrase go to is a translation of the Greek word which means "come on." Hence "come on now." James is reproving those he is addressing because they are living their lives without taking in the will of God into consideration. You will note that the focus was making MONEY according to verse 14. Then in verse 15, he tells them what they should do.

In short, we are to place all our actions and designs under the control of Heaven.

Our Days Are Numbered

Turn in your Bible to Job 7:1 - "Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?" Job poses a rhetorical question, understanding that the answer is "yes." There is a set time for us to come into the world and a set time, for our going out of it. Again, letís look at the words of Job -- "Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;" Job 14:5. The Preacher states the same truth in Ecclesiastes 3:1-2a "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2 A time to be born, and a time to dieÖ." The only problem is that we do not know when our time is up. Only God knows. However, a person can shorten their "appointed time" by living a wicked life! Let me refer you to the Preacher again in Ecclesiastes 7:17 "Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?"

Ezekiel the prophet warned -- "Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? 11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?" Ezekiel 33:10-11

How Should We Then Live?

  • Ask God To For Help

Psalms 90:12 encourages us to appeal to God for help -- "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." So, exactly what is the nature of the request posed here? It is an invitation to God asking Him to help us to come face to face with our own frailty, and the shortness and uncertainty of life. It is easy to fritter away time, and accomplish nothing of lasting value! But, when you are in tune with God, you realize how important it is to use your time wisely with eternity in view.

  • Glorify God

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

1 Corinthians 10:31 "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

  • Build Your Life On Biblical Principles

Colossians 2:8 "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."

Matthew 7:24-27 "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."

  • Serve The Lord

Romans 12:11 "Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;" Once we are saved, God expects us to get busy for him. How are you serving the Lord?

  • Take Up Your Cross Daily

Luke 9:23-26 "And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? 26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels."

Friend, are you living for the Lord?
 

 

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First Baptist Church of Oak Creek

10550 S. Howell Ave. - Oak Creek, WI 53154

Phone: 414-762-7575

Pastor: David L. Brown, Ph.D.

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