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Imagine there is a bank that credits your
account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to
day. Every evening deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use
during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course!
Each of us has such a bank. Its name is
TIME. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it
writes off as lost whatever of this you have failed to invest to good
purpose. It carries over no balance.
“No rollover minutes w/ God!”
It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a
new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you
fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours. There is no going back.
There is no drawing against the “tomorrow”. You must live in the present on
today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health,
happiness, and success! The clock is running. Make the most of today.
I heard a story about a man who worked at a
factory. One of his main jobs was to blow the factory whistle at 5:00 to
indicate the workday was over. He walked to work each day and passed a
jewelry store where a beautiful grandfather clock was displayed in the
window. Every morning, he stopped and set his pocket watch to match the time
on the grandfather clock. One morning the storeowner was out front sweeping
the sidewalk and the factory worker asked him how he kept such accurate time
on the grandfather clock. The jeweler said, “Oh, I set it every afternoon
when the factory whistle blows at 5:00.” [That could lead to trouble!]
People live by the clock, because time is important to all of us. Benjamin
Franklin said, “Do not squander time, for it is the stuff life is made of.”
Many frustrated people seem to always fight the clock, habitually, as a way
of life. They stay up late, then they sleep as late as they can and then
rush frantically to school or work, gulping down an unhealthy breakfast in
the car, applying their make-up (or using a razor) at the stoplight, talking
on their cell phone at the same time.
As I study Jesus’ life I am amazed that He never seemed to be in a hurry.
Although He was doing the most important job in history (redeeming the
world), and although He knew He only had a few years to do it, He never ran.
He made time to consider the flowers and the birds of the air. He had
time to put his hands on the little children and bless them. Time was His
The Bible gives us some great insight into how time can become your friend
rather than your enemy. Basically, God exists in a realm that is not bound
by time or space. God doesn’t wear a Rolex or even a Timex. He doesn’t have
a Day-Timer or a PDA. He is the Creator of time, and He is greater
than time. So, the first step in making time your friend is to totally
immerse your life in God. In Psalm 90, we read:
Psalm 90:1-4, 10, 12
Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in
all generations.  Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou
hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting,
thou art God.  Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye
children of men.  For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday
when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
The days of our years are threescore years
and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their
strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
So teach us to number our days, that we may
apply our hearts unto wisdom.
Let’s use the four letters in the word TIME
to help us learn it’s importance.
God says we should treasure time as a valuable commodity. You number your
years (or at least some of you do), but God says every day is so precious,
we should treasure it and number it.
To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a
student who failed a grade.
To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a
mother who gave birth to a premature baby. How valuable is an hour? Ask the
businessman whose flight was delayed an hour and he missed an important
business deal. How valuable is one minute? Ask the man who had the heart
attack in the restaurant and an EMT happened to be sitting at the next table
and CPR saved his life. How valuable is a second? Ask the person who barely
missed a head on w/ an oncoming car. How valuable is a millisecond? Ask the
Olympic swimmer who missed qualifying by six-tenths. Time really is
valuable. So learn a couple of things about what this means for your family:
Treasure every moment that you have!
Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift.... That’s
why it’s called the “present!”
“You can make more money but you can’t make
Have you ever heard the expression, “time is money?” It’s not true. Time is
much more valuable than money. It may be hard to make more money, but it can
be done. But it is totally impossible to make more time. TIME is more
valuable than money. A.W. Tozer wrote:
“Time is a resource that is nonrenewable and nontransferable. You cannot
store it, slow it up, hold it up, divide it up or give it up. You can’t
hoard it up or save it for a rainy day–when it’s lost it’s unrecoverable.
When you kill time, remember that it has no resurrection.”
So, understand that you should treasure time as the most valuable asset you
are given in this world. The next letter in TIME is:
We use a lot of phrases with time that aren’t really possible. You can’t buy
more time and you can’t really find more time. We speak of making time, but
that’s impossible, too.
1. You can’t save time - you can only invest it
Time is more valuable than money, but it’s like money in that it can be
spent and invested. It’s different from money though, because while money
can be saved, time can’t. It you don’t use it, you lose it. Forever. In the
early 1970s Jim Croce wrote a song that said, “If I could save time in a
bottle, the first thing that I’d like to do, is to save every day ‘till
eternity passes away–just to spend them with you.” Those are great lyrics,
and it would be nice if we could save time, but you can’t. In fact, a few
months after he wrote that song, he was tragically killed in a plane crash
in Natchitoches, Louisiana at the age of 30. You can’t save time.
We have all kinds of time-saving appliances…like microwave ovens. Guys love
to take short cuts in order to “save time.” Show me some of the time you’ve
saved–where is it? You can’t save it you can only spend it and invest it. At
a graduation commencement at his alma mater, Wheaton College, Billy Graham
said: “Time is the capital that God has given us to invest. People are the
stocks in which we are to invest our time, whether they’re blue chips or
penny stocks or even junk bonds.”
2. Where you invest your time reveals what is most important to you
There are 168 golden hours in each week. The average person will spend about
56 of those hours sleeping, about 24 of those hours in eating and personal
hygiene, and about 50 of those hours working or traveling to work. That
means there are only about 35 hours a week of “discretionary” time left
over. That’s about 5 hours per day. Where are you investing those hours?
If I were to follow you around and observe you for those 5 hours, after
about 10 days, I could tell you what is most important in your life. You
might not like it, or agree with it, but for some of you, surfing the
Internet is most important to you. For others of you, watching television,
or reading magazines is what’s most important.
How much of that discretionary time are you devoting to your Lord? How much
are you devoting to your family? A study of 1,500 households at the
University of Michigan found mothers working outside the home spend an average of 11 minutes a
day on weekdays, and thirty minutes a day on weekends with the children (not
including mealtime). Fathers spend an average of 8 minutes a day on weekdays
and 14 minutes a day on weekends in different activities with their
Have you ever heard this excuse? Some dad or mom will say, “I don’t spend
much time with my family, but the little time I do spend is ‘quality time.’”
I don’t really like that phrase, because it is most often used as an excuse
for not spending much time together. “Quality time” is really a misnomer,
because all time has the same quality. Consider this second…was it of higher
quality than the previous second…or of this second right now? It’s like
talking about “quality money.” If I offered you a hundred dollar bill, would
you say, “No, it’s wrinkled.” I’d rather have that new, crisp $5 because
it’s of better quality.” Hello.?!
I prefer the phrase “fun family time” or “meaningful family time” but there
is no substitute for investing a large quantity of time with your family. If
they are important, you’ll indicate it by the amount of discretionary time
you give them. The next letter in family TIME is:
I reminded you this morning that all the money we receive comes from God and
we only manage it. The same can be true of time. God is the creator of time,
and He alone controls it.
A time management expert was teaching a seminar for executives. He placed a
large, clear open-mouthed jar in front of the group. Next, he put seven or
eight large rocks into the jar until it was full. “Is the jar full?” He
asked. Everyone nodded. Then he took pebbles and filled up the jar with the
small rocks until they reached the rim. “Is the jar full?” By now, they
didn’t answer. So, he poured fine sand in. “Is the jar full?” Some nodded.
He proceeded to take a pitcher of water and filled up the jar again. “What’s
the lesson about time management?” he asked. Hands shot up, and everyone
agreed “No matter how busy you are you can always fit more things into your
schedule.” “Wrong.” he replied. “The lesson is: unless you put the big rocks
in first, they never will fit in. You must figure out what the big rocks are
for you.” What are the big rocks in your life? Giving time to God? Giving
time to your marriage and to your children? If you don’t put those big rocks
in first, someone else will fill up your jar. Understand:
1. Every moment is a gift from God that must be managed wisely
There is an entire field of study called “time management.” In almost every
business in America, consultants are
hired to teach busy executives how to better manage their time. Time
management is a hot topic. In his book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective
People, Stephen Covey writes: “Time management is a misleading concept. You
can’t really manage time. You can’t delay it, speed it up, save it or lose
it. No matter what you do time keeps moving forward at the same rate. The
challenge is not to manage time, but to manage ourselves.”
The Bible uses another word. Instead of managing your time, it speaks of
“redeeming” the time, which is an even better idea. Paul writes: “See then
that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time
because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:14- 15)
The phrase “walk circumspectly,” means to be constantly looking around to
make the most of every opportunity. Emmett Smith was a great football
running back, but he’s not the biggest or the fastest, or the strongest.
What he excels at is running with his eyes open, and he is one of the best
at seeing holes as they open and then running through them. That’s the way
we should live, looking for every opportunity to invest time wisely, then
darting through them. When an opportunity passes, it can’t be reclaimed–it
is gone forever. That’s what it means to redeem the time.
2. If you don’t manage your time - someone else will manage it for you
You can’t save time, or even waste time–you are going to spend it somewhere
and invest it in someone. If you don’t control your schedule, someone will
always be happy to do it for you. Some people complain they just don’t have
enough time to spend with their family. You’ve got exactly the same amount
of time as everyone else; you just aren’t managing your time wisely or
managing yourself wisely.
The most important time you will invest will be in your family. Many of you
remember the song, “The Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin. Part of it
“My child arrived just the other day.
He came to the world in the usual way.
But there were planes to catch and bills to pay.
He learned to walk while I was away.
He was talking before I knew it, and as he grew
He said, “I’m going to be like you, Dad.
You know I’m going to be like you.”
My son turned ten just the other day.
He said, “Thanks for the ball, now come on let’s play.
Can you teach me to throw?” I said, “Not today,
I’ve got a lot to do.” He said, “That’s OK.”
And he walked away and he smiled and he said
“You know I’m going to be like you, Dad,
You know I’m going to be like you.”
The final verse says:
I’ve long since retired and my son’s moved away.
I called him up just the other day.
I said, “I’d like to see you, if you don’t mind.”
He said, “I’d love to, Dad, if I could find the time.
You see, my new job’s a hassle and the kids have the flu,
But it’s sure nice talking to you, Dad.
It’s been real nice talking to you.”
And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me,
He’d grown up just like me.
My boy was just like me.
Maybe you’ve heard the song, but here’s the rest of the story: Harry
Chapin’s wife, Sandy, actually wrote the words to that song after their son
Josh was born. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy. When their son was 7,
Harry was performing 200 concerts a year, and Sandy asked him when he was
going to take some time to be with his son. Harry promised to make some time
at the end of the summer. He never made it. That summer, a truck hit Harry’s
Volkswagen bug and he was killed.
The final letter in TIME is:
The time you spend with your family should be enjoyable. It should be the
best time of your life. Here is a couple of ways to enjoy your family time.
1. Say NO to family time-robbers
There will always be something else to do. There will always be somewhere
else you can be, but if you are going to make spending time with your family
a priority you are going to have to learn the power of that little two
letter word, “NO.”
You need to understand that when you say, “YES” to family time, then you
have already said, “NO” to everything else. But many dads and moms allow
interruptions and other demands detract from their family time. A thousand
years from now, what is going to be more important, spending time with your
family, or watching some television show?
Nobody on their deathbed ever said, “I wish I had spent more time at work.”
Several years ago, Ken Griffey, Jr. was invited to the “Players Choice
Awards” where he was to be awarded the player of the decade award. That’s a
big deal…on national television. He beat out players like Barry Bonds and
Mark McGwire. But when he found out when the award was to be given, he
declined to attend. He had something more important to do. His five-year-old
son, Trey, was playing in his first baseball game, and Ken wasn’t going to
miss it. Good for him!
You need to learn to say, “NO” to some of the things that take you away from
your family. Here’s another reason to work on enjoying your family time:
2. Say YES to happy memories!
Our kids are only going to be with us for a few years, so we must make the
most of it.
James writes in James 4:14
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.
Turn to the person next to you and say, “You don’t have very long to live!”
So, let’s make some happy memories of TIME…Time to Treasure, Time to Invest,
Time to Manage, Time to Enjoy!
practical recommendation to help:Add some margin to your life.
§A lot of people are on overload
and headed for a crash. Consider these statistics:
§We spend eight months of our
lives opening junk mail, two years of our lives playing phone tag with
people who are busy or who are not answering, five years waiting for people
who are trying to do too much and are late for meetings. We have much
technology and are easily accessible, yet still not succeeding in saving
time. We need to learn where the “off” button is on cell phones!
We’re a piled-on, stretched-to-the limit
society. We’re chronically rushed, chronically late, chronically exhausted.
Many of us feel like Job did when he said,
I was not in safety, neither had I rest,
neither was I quiet; yet trouble came. [it keeps coming!]
Overload comes when we
have too much activity in our lives.
Simply put, we’re stressed by the pace of
Is there a solution? Yes.
The solution is to put some margin
into your life. Margin is breathing room. It’s keeping a little
reserve that you’re not using up. It’s not going from one meeting to the
next to the next with no space in between.
Margin is the space between your load and
your limit. Hopefully your load is not heavier than your limits. But the
truth is that most of us are far more overloaded than we can handle, and
there is no margin for error in our lives.
“Marginless” is being 30 minutes late to the
doctor’s office because you were 20 minutes late getting out of the
hairdresser because you were 10 minutes late dropping the children off at
school because something unexpected came up and ruined your perfectly timed
out plan. That’s marginless. A good plan leaves some margin…room for error!
“Margin is having breath at the top of the
staircase, money at the end of the month, and sanity left over at the end of
“Marginless” is not having time to finish the
book you’re reading on stress. Margin is having the time to read it twice.
“Four benefits of putting margin in your life”
·Peace When you’re not hurrying and worrying
all the time, you have time to think. Time to relax. Time to enjoy life. We
had some birds come into the building last week. We were busy looking for
something in the attic, in a rush…they started singing, and it was just like
we’d been given an invitation: “Just relax. Unless you’re sitting directly
under the bird, relax.”
Unrelenting stress harms our bodies. We all know that, yet we let it
continue day after day after day. Many times the only time we get margin in
our lives is when the heart attack almost happens or does happen or the
blood pressure skyrockets. Why do we wait until our health plummets before
we make this decision?
The truth is, your body needs downtime in
order to heal. Race cars make pit stops occasionally in order to get
repaired. You can’t fix anything going 200 miles an hour. Yet we try to be
repaired while we’re still racing through life. Margin builds in time for
Lack of margin is one big reason for the collapse of the American family
today. When we don’t make relationships a priority and make time for each
other, our relationships suffer. The truth is relationships take time, and
margin provides the time to sit and talk, to listen and enjoy one another,
and to provide the comfort we each need.
When you’re overloaded by activity, you can only think of yourself. You’re
in survival mode, just trying to make it through another day. But being
available to God for his use makes all the difference in this world. When
you have no margin in your life, when God taps you on the shoulder and says,
“I’d like you to do this for me,” your first response isn’t joy. Your first
response is, “Oh, no! Another thing to do! Sorry, God—I’d like to do that,
but I’m just too busy.” We end up resenting the great opportunities God
brings into our lives. But when you have margin, you’re available for God to
You don’t have to live on overload. You don’t
have to live in survival mode. Begin today to build a buffer around your
schedule. Then enjoy the benefits of margin—and see what God does next!
TIME is God’s precious gift…thanks for taking
the time for this message…may God use it now to change our lives for all
[outline and some content courtesy David
Dykes, and Rick Warren]
All Sermons and Slideshow Presentations Copyright Jerry
Shirley and Grace Notes Ministries unless otherwise credited.