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Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

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Now is the Time

Ephesians 5:15-18

Magazines and television programs review the past year as well as make predictions about this one…

Illus: For example, back in 1967, experts predicted that by 1985 technology would have taken over so much of the work we do that the average American work week would be only 22 hours long, & that we would work only 27 weeks a year. As a result, one of our biggest problems would be in deciding what to do with all our leisure time.

We’re always in a hurry, "Excuse me. I’ve gotta run."

Illus: Someone observed, "We’re the only country in the world that has a mountain named `Rushmore.’"

So here we are, already 6 months into 2002. What do you think the future holds for this church? For your life?

There is a passage of Scripture that I believe can be of help to us as we look forward to the rest of 2002 - if we’ll listen to it. The passage is Ephesians 5:15-18.

Paul gave Godly advice on how to live as Christians.

There are four important lessons that we need to consider:

1. Realize that our time on this earth is limited.
The Psalmist wrote, Psalm 39:4. And then again, "The length of our days is 70 years - or 80, if we have the strength... they quickly pass, & we fly away."

Illus: About a year ago People Magazine published an article entitled "Dead Ahead" telling about a new clock that keeps track of how much time you have left to live. It calculates an average life span of 75 years for men & 80 years for women. So you program your sex & age into the clock, & from then on it will tell you how much time you have left. It sells for $99.95.

If they could make a clock that could tell that time accurately, they would make a fortune.

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: 14Whereas 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. James 4:13,14

2. Make the most of every opportunity.
Paul gives us a reason, "because the days are evil."

A. Jesus said that Satan is a robber & a thief, & one of the things he tries to rob from us is our time.

B. Even good things can make demands on our time.

Illus: Mary & Martha… Jesus told Martha that “only one thing is needed.”

Illus: Richard Swenson, a medical doctor, has written a book in which he discusses one of the major problems of our time - anxiety & stress. He calls it "overload.”
1. We’re overloaded with commitments.
2. We’re overloaded with possessions.
3. We’re overloaded with work.
4. We’re overloaded with information.

I believe we want to make the most of every opportunity, so what are we to do? What Suffers. Usually the church.

3. Understand what the Lord’s will is.
What do you think God’s will is for you. Do you think He wants your mind so saturated with worries & anxieties that you can’t think spiritual thoughts? Do you think He wants your calendar so crowded that you don’t have time for the important things?

A. Read the Word
B. Pray
C. Obey

Learn how to live today. The two greatest enemies of time are regrets for things we did in the past, & anxiety about what will happen to us in the future.

In fact, many of us are engaged in the little game of, "I wish it were." "I wish it were next week," or "I wish it were next month," or "something." Kids go to school & say, "Boy, I wish this day were over."

4. Be Filled with the Spirit.
The “filling of the Spirit” in the life of a believer is “the controlling influence of the Spirit.”


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First Baptist Church of Barberville 137 East Broad St. PO Box 97, Barberville, FL 32112 * 386-749-3928