New Hope Notes

Increasing Your Time
No Higher Calling

Pastor Wayne Cordeiro
March 4, 2007 - w0709

How many of us would say, “I could use more time.”  I’d say just about all of us!  I think the most often asked question is, “What time is it?”  We’re constantly asking what time it is because there’s always something on our minds that we feel we need to get to or take care of.  The question of time is important. In fact, how you steward your time is possibly the most important thing in life because life is time.

 

“…be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, for the days are evil.  So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Eph. 5:15-17)

 

The reason you need to take control of your time is because if you don’t, the world will do it for you!  The world of advertisement is all about influencing the thoughts and desires of people.  If the advertiser can get you to feel or think a certain way, they can influence your desires and behaviors. They can influence what you treasure.  You’re going to have certain treasures in your life but hopefully they’ll be influenced by what God is telling you, not what this world or advertisers are telling you.

 

Today’s message is about increasing your time and I will be using the word “TIME” as an acrostic for using and managing your time wisely according to God.  The first principle is…

 

 

T:  THE TREASURE PRINCIPLE.

 

The Treasure Principle says that whatever you treasure, you'll always have (or make) time for.  Isn’t that so true?  For example, your son has a lot of math homework and he’s complaining to you that he hates math but then the girl he’s been dreaming over at school calls and says, “I hear you’re really good at math.  Could you meet me at the library to help me with my math?”  Or the husband who is sick at home and cannot mow the lawn today (for the 3rd week in a row) but his friend calls and says, “Hey man, surf’s up!  Let’s go!”

 

Isn’t it true that what we treasure – hold as valuable – we always seem to have time for or are able to make time for?  Given that, it is important that we establish the right treasures in our life.  On the other hand, if you don’t establish the correct treasures in your life, the world will establish them for you!  Wrong treasures that will steal your time; for example, wrong relationships that are not God-honoring.  And once time has passed, it is irretrievable.

 

So how do you establish right treasures?  Ask God.  “God, what do you see that is valuable?  What is your plan or what do you want for my life?”  Then when God responds… (1) write them down, (2) identify them, and (3) pray that God will increase your love for them or those things.   

 

“My son, keep my words and treasure my commandments within you.  Keep my commandments and live…” (Prov. 7:1-2)

 

“My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you” (Prov. 3:1-2)

 

In these passages, God promises “length of days”, “years of life”, and “peace” to those who follow His teachings and treasure His commandments.  The key here is you must establish those treasures because if you don’t, the world’s ads, the wrong relationships, and your own lustful self will take your time and waste it.

 

So where the first principle to time is the Treasure Principle, the second is…

 

 

I:  THE INVESTMENT PRINCIPLE.

 

The Investment Principle urges us to steward our time well by investing it in the things of God, and if we do, our reward will be days…years…and peace. 

 

“…teach us to number our days, so we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” (Ps. 90:12)

 

“Hear, my son, and accept my saying and the years of your life will be many.” (Prov. 4:10)

 

In our culture, we commonly use terms such as “buying” and “saving” time.  Pop artist Jim Croce wrote a very popular song that had a lyric, “If I could save in a bottle…” Ironically, just a few months after he wrote and recorded that song, he died in a plane crash at the age of 30.  In reality, you can’t really buy or save time; the only thing you can really do is invest it. 

 

Imagine if you were given $86,400 a day to spend.  The only catch is, anything you have left at the end of the day will disappear.  We are a consumer society that spends time, not invests it.  Like in the consumer world of products and goods, anything you spend your money on will depreciate; whereas, anything you invest in has the potential to multiply.

 

Don’t let the calendar fool you into thinking that you have more time (e.g., 365 days) than you really do.  You only have as much time as you make use of it.  We can invest it or waste it.  The bad news is…time flies.  The good news is…you’re the pilot!

 

Where the second principle of time urges us to invest it well, the third principle is…

 

 

M:  THE MULTIPLICATION PRINCIPLE.

 

The multiplication principle suggests that the only way to multiply your time is to invest it wisely.  Each of us is given 168 hours per week but we use an average of 56 hours of it sleeping, 24 hours on eating and personal hygiene, and about 50 hours working and traveling to and from work.  That leaves us with about 38 hours a week or just over 5 hours a day.  You have about 5 hours a day to invest.  What are you investing it in?  If you’re like the average American, you’re investing about 3 hours of that into watching television!

 

Your time is what everyone is vying for.  It is perhaps your most precious asset.  How valuable is a year?  Ask a student who has flunked a year of school.  How valuable is a month?  Ask a cancer patient.  How valuable is a week?  Ask a mother with a premature baby.  How valuable is a second?  Ask anyone who’s had a brush with death. 

 

You only have 5 hours a day to invest.  Don’t squander or even just spend it.  Invest it.  But what do we invest it in?  Well, 80% of what you do, everyone else can do.  15% of what you do, someone else can do with a little training.  That leaves 5% of what you do as things only you can do, e.g., to be a parent to your child or to be a spouse to your husband or wife.

 

It is this 5% that you will be held accountable for.  That is your legacy.

 

·   INVEST IN THAT LAST 5%, FOR THAT WILL BE WHAT GOD MULTIPLES.

 

1.      Grow Spiritually (1 Tim. 4:7)

Only you can grow yourself spiritually.  Take time to do your daily devotions and just sit and visit with the Lord.

 

2.      An Inspiration Package (1 Sam. 30:6)

This idea acknowledges that we are responsible for our ourselves and bringing a vibrant, inspired “me” to all the situations.  To that end, we need ways to recharge our batteries to be able to rise above any situation that we come across.  My “Inspiration Package” includes reading, exercise, daily devotions, spending time with inspirational people, solitude (with my family) and giving.

 

3.      Love Your Family (Eph. 5:22, 25)

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth” (Eph. 6:1-3)

The bible is very clear about the value of family.  If you invest your time here, God will multiply it.  Sometimes, as parents, we forget the value to just spending time with our children.  Here’s one example:  A father and son spent a day together fishing.  When asked about it later, the father said, “What a wasted day!”  When asked about it, the son said, “One of the best days of my life!”

 

Then the last principle of T-I-M-E is…

 

 

E:  THE ENJOYMENT PRINCIPLE.

 

The Enjoyment Principle reminds us to take time to enjoy life because each day increases in value the more we take the time to appreciate it.  Give thanks for the challenges in your life, in addition to the blessings.  Take in a sunrise or sunset and soak in its beauty.  Sit and appreciate your meal; don’t just gobble it down.  Enjoy your company; take time to savor each moment.

 

If you rush through life, you will miss out on the memories.  And as you get older, you will rely more on memories than experiences – but if you don’t take the time to build those memories, you won’t have any to call on.  A friend once told me, you can enjoy almost anything in life twice:  once as it happens and later again as a memory. 

 

In the busyness of life, we sometimes don’t know if we’re coming or going.  We all seem to need more time yet we’re so exhausted that we don’t know if we can handle any more.  Increasing your time does not require extending the 24-hour day so much as it requires us to examine how we’re using our time and determining how we should be using our time.  Four principles of managing time in a way that is honoring to God is represented by the letters T-I-M-E.

 

T    reasure Principle:  You’ll always have time for the things you treasure so be sure to treasure the right things – what God treasures.

I     nvestment Principle:  Steward your time well by investing in the things of God, eternal things.

M   ultiplication Principle:  Invest your time in the things of God (e.g., spiritual growth, inspiration, and family) and He will multiply your investment.

E   njoyment Principle:  Take time to enjoy life and your experiences because once the time passes, you will not have a chance to experience that moment again.  

 

 

DISCUSSION SUGGESTIONS

 

1.      Treasure Principle - says that whatever you treasure, you'll always have (or make) time for.  What do you treasure/spend most of your time on?

 

2.      Investment Principle - urges us to steward our time well by investing it in the things of God.  What are you investing your time in?  How is it furthering God's kingdom?

 

3.      Multiplication Principle – suggests that the only way to multiply your time is to invest it wisely.  How are you multiplying your time?

 

4.      Enjoyment Principle - reminds us to take time to enjoy life because each day increases in value the more we take the time to appreciate it.  How are you practicing the enjoyment principle?

 

5.      80% of what you do, everyone else can do.  15% of what you do, someone else can do with a little training.  5% of what you do, only you can do (e.g., be a parent to your child).  Include the following things in your personal 5%:  growing spiritually, inspiring yourself, and loving your family.  What are you doing well and what do you need to work on? 

 

 

"All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong with our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17 NLT)

 

Sermon Notes Ministry: Debbie Chang, Leighton Loo,

Doreen Rabaino & Jay Tsukayama