Stewardship Of Time
By Calvin Perrigo
We’d ask an interest in your prayers. We want to look at the Stewardship of Time for a few minutes. Our reading lesson is from the 3rd Chapter of Ecclesiastes, the first nine verses. I wonder how much time we’ve wasted since last week at this point.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboreth?”
We would assume by the reading of these nine verses that we have time for every thing. And probably that’s misleading to some people, when we read Ecclesiastes 3:1-9, but it’s simply saying that there’s a right time for everything. But it does not promise you and I all these times that are mentioned in this reading lesson. But there is a right time for them, wherever they may exist. When we think about time this morning, we want to also emphasize that it is given of the Lord, one breath at a time, one moment at a time. And if there is given, of the Lord, in those little bitty segments, it’s obvious that we cannot hord it. We cannot put it on deposit. We cannot store it back somewhere and say “I’ll use that when I have a better opportunity.” Because the Lord gives us life, as we mentioned last Sunday, because He distributes time to us a moment at a time, we too ought to use our time for Him. We ought to utilize everything that we do in the direction of glorifying our God. If unto Him be Glory, then we need to think about how we use our time upon this earth.
Some people have the idea that there is just one day out of seven that we ought to think about the Lord. Many people don’t even consider that any more. That Sunday doesn’t mean anything besides what Saturday or Monday means. But every day, whether it be 7 days a week, 30 days a month, 365 days a year, that time is allotted to us by God, and it ought to be used for the Lord. All of our time ought to be directed toward Him. And it’s something that we take for granted to often. Our children, our grandchildren don’t see any value in time. It’ll be the same tomorrow as it was today, and if I could just get through this period of time, it’ll be better later on. Well, it’ll be worse later on, for the physical and the mental powers of men deteriorate day by day.
Let’s think about the nature of time for a minute. What is one or two natures of time that come to our mind? The older you are here today, the more that you’re going to agree with what I’m about to say concerning some natures of time. First of all, it’s fast. How fast does time travel? It travels faster than any way that man can calculate it, when we really get down to the bottom line of how fast time is. There is no way that we could measure it. We don’t have the speedometer of life that we could hook up to something and say, “Time is going this fast”. But, it does move very fast. It is unstoppable. That is another nature of time. You cannot stop time. People roll way back today with their tape machines, with their sound and video, “Let’s replay that one again”. You don’t do that in time. You cannot roll back time. So, it’s fast, it is unstoppable, you can’t stop it, you can’t rewind it, and further more, it is short. Now, these three characteristics of time ought to be sufficient for you and I to begin to think about time, and how we ought to utilize that, in the time that God has allotted upon this earth.
How fast is it? Well we read from the Book of Job that, “A man born of woman is a few days and full of trouble.” Comes forth in what fashion, “Like a flower, and is cut down, fleeth also as a shadow and continueth not.” Now, that’s two scriptures that tell us that time is fast, from the Bible. We come forth like a flower, we’re cut down, and we flee like a shadow. In the 11th verse of the 11th Chapter of Job, we find something else concerning time. In the 7th Chapter of Job we have it described as a weaver’s shuttle. Now I know nobody here knows what a weavers shuttle looks like. Have you ever seen one? So, there’s no need of me going into detail about how fast a weavers shuttle goes across the material that it’s weaving together. But in Job 7 we find life described as that. “My days are swifter than a weavers shuttle and are spent without hope.” So, Job declares some things about how fast time is from the 7th Chapter and also from the 14th Chapter that we quoted a minute ago. So, time is very fast, and if it’s fast, if it’s important to God, if it’s unstoppable, and if it’s short, then we need to be about the Master’s business. Will you agree?
Jesus at the age of 12, in the Temple in Jerusalem, confounding the lawyers and the scribes and the doctors of the law, now those leaders had been gathered around there listening to this young boy talk, and his parents finally found him a day later, and they began to rebuke him kindly, and he says, “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” He was already fulfilling some of his ministry in this world even at the age of 12. And he knew that he had a time limit, and you and I, we should know that we’ve got a time limit. And we need to think about those things.
Now, what three characteristics of life have we looked at? We’ve looked at first, that it is fast, secondly, that it is unstoppable. We cannot stop it. Thirdly, that it is short. So, we can calculate by those three characteristics that life cannot be stopped. It goes fast, and it is short. And that leaves us with a few alternatives as far as our stewardship of time is concerned. We must then apply ourself. Let’s see if we can.
The longest life of any human being is short enough. And we know that it is that way, yet the life of a human being is long enough to Glorify God and it’s long enough to bring disgrace to the human family and to bring reproach upon God. It all depends on how we use it. How do you use your time? Are you a good steward of time? Have you wasted any time since last week? Is everything you’ve done been to someone else’s benefit and to the Glory of God since last week? Have you really wasted any time? Do we even think about it being important when we think about, have we wasted any time?
God has a purpose for the human being upon the earth. What is that purpose? He was created in His image and after His likeness. He was created to Glorify God. He has no other purpose in life but to Glorify God. So, if our time has been used for any other purpose than to Glorify God, then we HAVE WASTED OUR TIME!
Let’s consider some truths from the 90th Psalm. In Psalms Chapter 90 we find the average life of the human being, given by the Word of God. In the Psalms we find that a man’s time is allotted upon this earth, and here is the reading of it. From Psalm 90:10 “The days of our life are threescore years and ten;” Why, that’s out of date for our modern man, what does that mean? It means that the average life of a human being is 70 years, 60 plus 10. 70 years “and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” So we find here from God’s word that the average life expectancy is 70 years. 70 years. If a person dies before that, there is something wrong. Do you know what the average life of the deceased members of this Church is? Do you know anyone that’s lived past 70 in this Church? I know of one person. Sister Lassie Franklin lived 72 years and the rest of them are under 55. Now, why are those things that way. I’ve already stated that if a person lives less than 70 years there’s something wrong. And that’s not casting any accusations on anyone. But, it simply tells us that God allows man 70 years in time, and maybe 10 more by reason of strength. And if people die younger than that, then there’s something amiss, there’s something wrong. It could be a multitude of things, and our purpose today is not to go into those things, but when people die younger than 70 years old, there’s something wrong. Sin has claimed a life before the allotted time that God gave it.
So, let’s think about the 70 years. Let’s think about the 80 years. Let’s think about longer life, and I’m sure that we want to think about how we might be able to extend our life if we just get 70 years or 80 years or whatever. The Bible tells us from the New Testament, in the 6th Chapter of the Book of Ephesians, that you can extend your life as a person if you will honor your parents. Now, what is that today? Why, a child here 3 years old will look at their parents and mock them and do all manner of things in spite toward their parents and their grandparents. But, the first commandment that God gave the children of Israel, that had a promise attached to it, was that one that says “Honor your Mother and your Father that your days may be long upon the earth.”, as Paul wrote it to the Ephesian brethren in the 6th Chapter of the Ephesian letter. So, if you have any idea of extending the time on earth, you can’t do it unless you honor your father and your mother. There’s no need of fighting God’s system. It’s just the way that it is and it’s written in the Bible that way. So, if we want to think about prolonging our life and our time, then let’s consider the promise that God gave with that commandment: “Honor your Father and your Mother that your days may be longer upon the earth.” So, we find the device then, or the promise from God whereby we might be able to live our 70 years upon this earth, or longer. And we surely want to think about Glorifying and honoring our God, regardless of how long our life is. There will come a time in anyone’s life where they don’t think toward how they are reflecting God to the world that they live in. That’s what life is all about. If you are not going to be an advertiser of God this afternoon, or tomorrow, then your purpose for worrying about time is not correct. If you’re not going to think about bringing some Honor, and Glory and praise to God, but what you do in time then your purpose upon this earth is incorrect and you’re living for the wrong reason. You’re spending your time for the wrong thing.
So, let’s think about how fast life is. How unstoppable it is. And how short that it is, and let us work while we have time. When do we work? Tomorrow, we’ll always work tomorrow. We plan to do better tomorrow. We’ll reach our goals tomorrow. Those are hopes, and it’s good to have hope, if we don’t become a person that hopes that things will be better tomorrow, and waste all of our time. When do we work? We work in time or we don’t work. I find no work evident in what we have recorded of Heaven. I find no work recorded with the rich man suffering in Hell. We work in time, so time is important, as far as labors of God are concerned. It is important that we know that we labor in time. If we work, we are going to work in time, and no other place. What other places are there in life? The past, and the future. In between the past and the future is something we refer to as “present”, and that’s all the time that we have. It’s a now or never deal as far as time is concerned. How is your stewardship of time as far as working right now?
Jesus makes the statement in the 9th Chapter of John, the 4th verse, concerning his schedule and his purpose upon this earth, and you and I can relate to that. We’re in time. We’re here today. We’re upon this earth, we’ve already been born, we haven’t died yet. So, we’re living. We’re in time, and we can put ourselves in the classification that Jesus was in when he made this statement: “I must work the works of him that sent me,” When, tomorrow? he says “while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” V.5 “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” So, Jesus gives us a formula here as to when we must work for the Lord. “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day:” Have you been sent in life by the Lord? If you are a saved soul here today, you’ve been sent forth by the Lord, in this life to bear witness to the SAVING GRACE OF GOD! All people are not called to preach, but all saved individuals are representatives of their SAVIOR and their LORD JESUS CHRIST and His Father in Heaven. Sent forth, to be a witness of that light that brought them from death unto life.
Psalms 90:12 gives us a formula to find our working position in life. We mentioned Psalms 90 a moment ago as the length of life. In the 12th verse we hear the Psalmist pleading to God for something. He asks God for something. You and I should ask him for the same thing today. It won’t be the riches and the honor and the glory and the power, just as Solomon didn’t ask for those things, when he was praying to lead Israel. Properly, this request in Psalms 90:12 simply reads like this: “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” The Psalmist, recognizing that God gives 70 years, and maybe 80 by reason of strength, then asks God to teach us to number our days that we may, stack it up in the field of riches, stack it up in the field of prestige, stack it up in the field of education, stack it up in the material world, NO, he says, “Teach us to number our days that we may apply our heart unto wisdom.” And we need to consider our stewardship of time very seriously in the day and time that you and I live in. Because it is a precious commodity, it is ours, and we are in time, and it cannot be recalled, it cannot be stopped, it cannot be replayed. We cannot live through another segment of time that we’ve already gone through. So, we just pass through one time, and the present is of utmost importance to you and I, as God’s people.
Why should we spend our time dealing with uncertainties? Why won’t we listen to the Lord? Why will we spend so much of our time in uncertainties? Listen, what does the Proverb say, here is some uncertainties, and here’s why things are uncertain with you and I. In Proverbs 14 we have the 12th verse to read like this: “There is a way that seemeth right unto man; but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Now you talk about some uncertainties now, you just go your way, you just figure and you think along the human line. Think about all the uncertainties you’re going to encounter in time, when you lean to your own understanding. “There is a way that seemeth right unto man;” What else have I got to depend upon, but how I see things, or how I feel about things. If man, left to himself, would spend all of his time in uncertainties. He won’t be certain about anything. Because those things that he dwells therein lead unto death. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death.” So, we don’t need to spend our life in uncertainties, we need to apply ourselves to the things of God, and use our time for His Honor and for His Glory. And if we could come to that position, then God will be Glorified in the time that he gives us. Whether it be 33 years, whether it be 60, years, whether it be 70 years, whether it be 80. I’m sure there’s been people that have lived in this earth for a short period of time that Glorified God, far more than a 100 year old person did, and we believe it’s because they applied themselves. God gave them the wisdom that they recognized they needed, and they were able to apply their hearts unto wisdom, by counting their days and knowing that in time they had the opportunity to do things for the Honor and the Glory of God.
So, don’t dwell in those uncertainties. If there is a way that seemeth right unto us, and the ends of that is death, then let’s cast those things aside, and let’s look to God for some instruction, and for some things that will let our life be of service to God by helping our fellow man upon this earth. We serve God when we serve someone else. God doesn’t need anything, as far as what you and I might be able to lay down at his feet, but his children need things, his creation needs things, and those people that we fail to apply ourselves to, may go without the necessary things because we fail to apply ourselves.
Are you an individual that has an uncertain feeling today, as to about what you ought to do with your time? Why are we so handicapped today by what we do with time? There are many reasons for that. Satan has got a good one going: “I didn’t feel led to.” Have you ever prayed to God and the answer was total silence? Have you ever made out a schedule or something as far as time is concerned, and ask God “Is that going to be alright?” And He doesn’t say anything? You take it, “It’s okay then isn’t it God?”
Let me tell you, If you pray to God for anything, YOU’D BETTER HEAR AN ANSWER! If you don’t hear an answer, then you say “God’s not pleased with my plan.” God is not really involved in what I’m asking for. For God will answer when he agrees with you. But there are times when God does not answer. So, silence from God does not give permission to squander your time and to use it for some other purpose rather than to Honor and Glorify God.
So, let’s leave the uncertainties and let’s think about some things positive. Let’s think about some hope. Let’s think about projecting. Let’s think about something that we can use to the Honor and Glory of God, as far as our time is concerned. And if we will think about those, we will escape the dreadful death of the wicked, as far as their hope is concerned. What do we find concerning the hope of those that live in uncertainties in this world? Listen to the 7th verse of the 11th Chapter of Proverbs. “When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of the unjust men perisheth.” Where is your hope? Is it beyond life? Is it all tied in time? Here, we read when the wicked man dieth, his expectations shall cease. Now, how would you like to live in this world and have no hope beyond it? How would you like to live out your time, without any expectation of anything else, but laying down and dying? Do you see much incentive there? “I’m not going to work my fingers to the bone and leave it to somebody to fight over.” So there would be no incentive to anything in life if there wasn’t some hope beyond life. So, the wicked man doesn’t consider those things, and when he dies, his expectations perishes. And when the unjust die, his hope has ended. But, if we will apply ourselves in time, and be good stewards of the time that God gives us, then we can do some things in this life, and we won’t have to live in uncertainties.
Did you know what to do this morning? Did you know what to do yesterday with your time? Have you ever heard anyone say, “I’ve got a little time on my hands”? How foreign does that sound today with our busy, busy schedules? Are we doing an injustice to ourselves, to our fellow man, and to our God, by having such a schedule that we can’t keep any of it as we ought to?
I do believe to be a good steward of time, that we need to do some scheduling. There are some people that will not, under any circumstances, agree with scheduling your time. But, I think that we can find that God has some scheduled time. That He, has some things scheduled in life, and that there are many, many things taught in the Bible, as far as you and I making plans to utilize our time. And we need to think about that.
We can, scripturally, schedule our time in life, if we so wish to. We can read throughout the New Testament of plans, by the Apostle Paul, especially. And we know by those plans that are recorded therein, that he was concerned with time. One time, he was pressed for time and he couldn’t stop and visit some places. He didn’t have time to go up to the Church of Ephesus, so he sent word, along for the Elders to come down to Miletus and meet with him, because he had to be in Jerusalem at a particular time. And he was fully aware of his time. You and I need to be aware of our time. In order for our time to be directed for the Honor and Glory of God, we’re going to have to make a choice. It’s either God or mammon. To try to serve both is destruction. For people tried to serve God and tried to serve mammon, as far as your time is concerned, is destructive to God. If we are going to try to do both, then God is going to be left out. That’s just the truth of it, because of human nature. If we try to serve God and mammon, as far as our time is concerned, God is going to get the short end of the stick. But, if we are determined, as the soldier in the military system is determined, to please their commander or their government, then we can apply ourselves to time.
Paul writing to Timothy, in the 2nd letter to Timothy, Chapter 2, I believe it’s verse 4. He says, “A soldier does not entangle himself with the affairs of this life.” Do you know one thing that is choking this Church to death? Entangled in the affairs of life. The Church comes last in most people’s time planning. Do you think that God sanctioned that type of living? Do you think that God sanctions when we say, “I just don’t believe I’ve got time to do that for the Lord.” We’re meeting today for the 25th service. Not counting Sunday School. You add those 8 Sunday Schools to it and you’ve got 33 times we met since New Years. You figure the hours from here back to New Years, and you figure the time. I have allotted 3 hours for Sunday School and this church service, and we haven’t been here past 1:00, I don’t believe this year, maybe we got close to it one time. And on Wednesday nights we’re seldom here over 2 hours. From 7 to 9 would be a long service. Conference might run just a little longer on Saturday night, but we have allowed sufficient time, and if we allowed those on the long end, we would have spent 1 hour out of every 28 being here in a service. Now, do you think that’s a big percentage or a little percentage of time? 1 hour for every 28 hours since New Years, have been spent in this Church House. Have you made them all? Is there a person here that hasn’t missed a service this year? Has it really been hard on you if you haven’t? 28 hours of service time here, at this Church House. That’s against 1300 and something hours back until New Years. That’s about how many hours have been calculated in time in 1985, 1320 I believe it is. Out of 1320 hours, we’ve spent 28 hours here at Church. Oh, that’s just too much to ask out of anybody. “I just could not schedule myself to do such things as that.” We’re talking about being entangled with the affairs of this life. If we cannot see ourselves contributing to that little bit of time, that we have calculated, that we’ve met here in this Church building since New Year’s night. But, if we are going to try to serve mammon and God, then I’ve already said, God is going to come out the loser.
When we schedule our time, what do we put first? Unless we put God first, then we are out of position to start with. Our jobs are secondary. Our house payments are secondary. Our health is secondary. Oh preacher, you know better than that! I don’t know better than that: People, I DON’T KNOW BETTER THAN THAT. IF I PUT MY GOD ANYWHERE BELOW THOSE THINGS, I EXPECT TO GET THE SAME RETURN FROM HIM!!!! If I eat down in fourth position, I expect to get a forth of a blessing from him. But, if He’s in number one position, I KNOW WHAT HE WILL DO. So, where would I put Him, as far as my time is concerned? I’ll put him number 1. Will you? Be careful, before you say that. In time, would you put God in the number 1 position? Am I determined to build my life around God and what He’d have me to do? In my stewardship of time, is it for the world and mammon or is it for God? Can I, by the help of God be influenced by God, not by what the preacher says? You can’t legislate anything to people, as far as another human being is concerned. But God CAN CHANGE MINDS AND HEARTS. He can put the Church schedule first in life. And weekend visitations, and traveling, has God sanctioned those for you? Do you feel good when you go on Sunday and come back on Sunday? Does God sanction those things EVERY TIME? Do you get permission from God to leave and to go anywhere or do anything and miss a Church Service? Does he allow that? Don’t charge him falsely. Don’t accuse him if he hasn’t.
But God is involved in our lives. Remember last Sunday we said he was the giver of it? Today we’ve said he gives a time, a moment at a time, a breath at a time, if you can get it down that close. So, he gives that, then why should not we put him in the number 1 position, and say, “I’m going to build my life around God.” And he will allow you to do that. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you”, is a true statement. It’s that way, and we need to think about those things when we are scheduling our time.
Are we going to put Him in it, or are we going to leave Him out of it? How much time do you allot for prayer per day? How many minutes is it. Somebody tell me what your schedule calls for praying every day. You’ve got a time limit. How much do you spend in prayer to God every day? How much do we spend in eating every day? How much do you spend in sleeping every day? How much do you spend in working every day? No prayer? No time for prayer? No time for meditation? No time for thinking about the goodness of God? How is your stewardship of time? Do you get up early in the morning, before day break, to get some project going? Why not put a project for the Lord on your schedule? Why not say that I’m going to get up at 5:00, and I’m going to study the Bible until 5:15, then I’m going to pray 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there. I’m going to have secret family devotions, as we’ve agreed to in the Covenant there. And I’m determined to put that in my schedule, and to raise my children and my grandchildren, and let my friends and neighbors know that God is in my life, and the time he gives me is important to Him, and also to me.
Now do we have those kinds of schedules? You know when the Soaps come on don’t you? I know when the News comes on, I know when certain programs come on, and I work myself around to be sure I get there, don’t you? Well, now which is most important, the eternal things of God, or those things that we’ve mentioned? I know when meal time is, I get hungry before time sometimes. And sometimes, I say, “I believe I skipped a meal today.” Those things are important to me. Why cannot God then be as important as those little frivolous things are to us?
In our stewardship of time, we ought to have a place for God. We ought to pray every day that we live. We ought to read some of the scriptures every day that we live. We ought to have a time of meditation every day that we live, that we might think just a little more seriously about what God is, what He has done for us, what He will do for us, and how great He is. Unto him be the Glory. So, we find that we need to schedule some time.
How are you as far as being prompt with your appointments? To make an appointment and be late for it is a reflection on your God. Why? Because you agreed to be somewhere at a time, and you don’t show up there, and people think about your God. Because you talk about him, you tell them how he saved your soul, how much He loves you and how much you love Him, and how much he’s meant to you in your life, and what He’s supplied you in life, and He’s just talked about by us in this world. So, when we think about a stewardship of time, we ought to strive, by the best in us, and ask God to help us be there on time. I once read of a successful man years ago, and the only reason he had for his success, we’re talking about financial success, business success, and he said he attributed his success to being 15 minutes early for every appointment he ever made. Would you be here 15 minutes early at the next service? Would you be 15 minutes early for your job in the morning? Would you be 15 minutes early to do something, whatever it may be tomorrow? Would you make it a pattern to get there 15 minutes before time? We ought to be prompt, keeping our appointments. We ought to be prompt at getting to the place of worship on time. Because we have agreed to meet at a particular time, we ought to see that we get there. Time is important. Why can’t we get there on time? Because you have got your priorities wrong. You spend too much time here, and not enough time there. That’s why you’re late. That’s why you’re not ready when you get here, because your priorities got out of balance, and you spent too much time doing something over here, when it should have been aimed at BEING THERE ON TIME! Is that not true? I’m talking about myself also. Most of the time, when I’m late somewhere, it’s because that I inserted something else into my schedule that I thought I could work in there, to make both appointments and the commitment. The reason that we fail to reach a place on schedule, is our planning or scheduling. We cut something a little short down here, and we had a flat tire. That used to be one of my great phobias, when I first began to preach, especially when I had a 7:00 a.m. radio program; “What if the car don’t start? What if I got a flat tire? You know how I solved that? 5:00 a.m., I was up. I checked the vehicle. If it’s adverse conditions now, I check the vehicle. The morning that it went down to 22 below zero, I was in that automobile at 5:00 a.m. and had it running. That does not mean that it would start at 9:00 a.m., but at least it gave me some satisfaction that I had checked it out. If the battery had been dead at 5:00, I would of have that much time to call someone and get a ride down here. What if you go out there and have a flat tire, and you’re supposed to be there in 5 minutes, and you’ve got a flat tire. There’s no way you could make it. If you lived a mile and a half away like I do, you couldn’t get here on time if you wait until 5 minutes, and you go out there and your car won’t start or you have a flat tire; What happens? God understands those things. NO! GOD DOESN’T WANT YOU TO DO THAT WAY. He wants you to be sure that everything is mechanically right as far as possible, and then give yourself enough time to be wherever you’re supposed to be for Him. If you go to work in the morning, without God, I’d be ashamed of you. And He would be too. But, we need to think about being prompt.
Now, lets think about the familiar thing that’s in every bodies mind today. Almost everybody’s, and that’s R & R. R & R. What does that mean? Rest and relaxation! Time wise. Do you know where you get your sanction from? You get it from God, or YOU DON’T TAKE IT! You get your sanction from God on your rest and relaxation, or don’t get it. Well then, is God a slave driver? Would he just have me drive myself to death? No, he won’t do that. No, He cares about you. And if you have 70 years allotted, and you’ve got about 49 more to go or 20 more to go, he wants you to finish that course, and do it with joy. And He’s got the information for you, as far as R&R is concerned. In Mark Chapter 6:31, we have a New Testament circumstance that merited some R&R. Most of them are not merited today by us. And we know that. We just have to “get away”. From what? If I had to get away from God, I’d check my citizenship. If I had to get away from God, I’d check my citizenship! Why, he’ll church you to death won’t he? I’ve heard that. I hear that. Church us to death. If I had to get away from God I’d sure worry about my eternal soul’s destination. Because it’s going to be a long time there. Think about it. Why would all those things be different? Why would it be such a drastic change from life to eternity where God is concerned? Listen to what Jesus did for his Apostles here, Mark 6:31: “And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.” Have you missed a meal because that you were just too busy? Yes, we miss meals, we grab a sandwich here, we grab a bite there, and we eat it out the door and going here and there. Don’t even have enough time to eat. And here was what was happening in the days Jesus was with his Apostles. “For there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.” And they departed to a desert place by ship, privately. Now, we’re talking about the Lord saying, “come on over here, you need a little time to yourselves.” God speaking, God speaking, not Satan. Oh, not the bright lights of those, did you see Nell last night? Had a live show. Tried something live. Baptist ought to come live and quit taping. We ought to come live, in a service, rather than having it so that it’s already been taped and we took out every little error. Every little “uh” and “ah” and we scratched that off the tape. But, you know how television shows are today, they pre-tape them, and they cut out all those. Why, if it wasn’t for that there wouldn’t be any blurs and blunders and all those things. Even got programs now, sticking all those blunders together, where people made mistakes and they can’t show it on the air. Well, Nell came live last night with her’s. What’s the name of the show? Who, “Gimme a Break”. Well, here’s what I wanted to tell you about Nell on her show last night; She wanted to go to Hawaii on a vacation. She thought a man died and left her $5,000. and Satan got a hold of her and she bought the tickets before they had the proof that the man was dead. But what she said was this, while approaching God, She said “the Moslems go to Mecca, the Catholics go to the Vatican, The Baptist’s go to Hawaii.” And I want to include Las Vegas. There’s what Nell said about Hawaii, “But Baptist’s go to Hawaii.” That’s not funny, it’s not funny. I’ve known Baptist’s to sacrifice Revivals and go to Hawaii. I’ve known Baptist’s to sacrifice a lot of things and go to Las Vegas. But, we’re talking about God’s R&R. Now did God sanction those things? Or did Satan do that? When you get permission from God for your R&R, he’ll take you to a private place, where you can rest and relax. He’ll take you to the still waters. He’ll take you to the green pastures. And he will allow you to relax to where that you can utilize your time well for Him tomorrow than you’re able to today. And that’s what Jesus did here with these 12 Apostles. They went into a desert place by ship, and they were there privately. So, when you think about the quiet time that you need, apply Psalm 23:2. What does the Psalmist say there concerning his shepherd? “He leadeth me beside the still waters, he restoreth my soul.” What about the green pastures? Those are some R&R that God can help an individual with. There are some places that God can allow you to rest and relax and meditate, and get ready for the next time that God says, “I’ve got a little job for you to do here, how about doing it at 10:00 a.m.” “No, God I can’t do that until 11:00.” “I want it done at 10:00.” Does He ever talk back to you like that? Don’t you ever think that God is going to lower Himself to talk back to you. That is the reason Satan talks back and you think it’s God. God does not lower Himself to talk back to you in an argument. But Satan fills the bill.
So, when you think about your R&R, you get your permission from God, and everything will be fine with him. You can relax and you can come back, refreshed to do more, more than you did before. But be sure that it’s from God and he says, “Come apart to a private place here, and rest a while.”
Sinner, how about time for you? If there be a lost sinner here, all you’ve got is right now. You cannot dwell on yesterday, you cannot depend on tomorrow. Now, is the accepted time. Now is the day. Today is the day of Salvation. You’re in the present time, and you’ll get saved presently, or you’ll never be saved. So, for the lost sinner here, as far as your stewardship of time is concerned, you must, you must realize that God is a present God. That you’re in the present, and that you can’t get saved except in present tense. Right now is the only time you can get saved. Well, you’re misleading our children, preacher, by saying if they don’t get saved today, they can’t get saved. No, I’m saying when you get saved, it is NOW. It wasn’t yesterday and it can’t be tomorrow. That’s what I mean by those terminologies. That it is Now. And you cannot plan to be saved tomorrow. You cannot go back and say, “I believe the Lord saved me yesterday, because I felt this, my ear twitched just a little and my little toe had a tingle to it. Let me tell you, God deals with the heart, he does not deal with the flesh. Lord, when he deals on that heart, the sinner is going to know what happened. Don’t go back checking on those physical feelings somewhere and say, “I think I got saved somewhere yesterday because I felt that run up my back, and the hair crawled up my neck, and such things. I’m talking to you, sinner, about your stewardship of time. If you come under the influence of God and the Gospel message; If God convicts your soul, you should surrender, you’d best give it up to him, because he knows about your time schedule and he has committed himself to save your soul because the Gospel – you have been influenced by the Gospel, the Spirit has convicted you of your sins. You stand condemned before God and then you plan to put him off another six months! You think your God is going to deal like that? When God draws, he does not draw you to a closed door. He draws you to an open door. With arms out stretched he draws you to him bosom for the purpose of salvation. He does not draw you over here, and then find a closed door. God does not do such when he draws a sinner to the point of repentance. When God pulls you to himself, God is going to be there…..(End of Tape)