Love God With Your Time (All of the Time)

Introduction: Love Language
Last week in our “Love God” series we saw what Jesus’ love language is John 14:15, “If you love me obey my commandments.” Although obedience as a condition of loving Jesus may sound unusual it’s actually quite natural because obedience springs from love and love motivates obedience. Furthermore, we do our dead-level best to obey the 49 commandments of Jesus because doing so: (1) Makes us better people. (2) Protects us from danger. (3) Demonstrates to heaven, hell, and earth alike that we love him the most.
 
Who Is Leading You?
So now we come to the part of our series that is insanely practical. This is where we bring all of this splendid theological, theoretical love talk down to where the rubber meets the road. Before we do, each of us needs to answer a very important question: “Who is your leader?” or “What is leading you?” Each of us is being led by someone or something even if it is our very selves. So if a space alien came down and demanded, “Take me to your leader” to whom or to what would you take him? This is the most important question because if Jesus is our ultimate leader, we’ll understand the topics that we are about to discuss today and over the next few weeks. If not, not so much.
 
WLS: We Don’t Own Anything
When we think of the practicalities of the Christian life we do so in three major categories called, Time, Talent, and Treasure, a.k.a., “Whole Life Stewardship.” Time is the gift God has given us steward to exist on this planet. Talent encompasses our skills, aptitudes, thinking, and spiritual gifts. Treasure is the material and non-material things we steward including our money, bodies, and relationships.
 
About Time
Today, let’s spend time on how to practically love God with our time. Although the gift of time will vary for each of us (Four Score and Ten?) it’s the most valuable gift we have. Without it, we really can’t enjoy our talent and treasure, at least not for very long because time represents life. Therefore, if we are killing or wasting time what are we really killing or wasting? Harvey Mackay said of time: “Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.”
 
Groucho Marx once joked, “Time flies like an arrow and fruit flies like a banana.” He must have gotten that from King David who described time as a vapor and morning dew. Thus, he prayed in Psalm 39:4, “Lord, let me know my end, and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.” Moses prayed likewise in Psalm 90:12, “Lord teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.” And Paul encouraged in Ephesians 5:15-17
 
15 Be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly but understand what the Lord wants you to do.
 
These biblical writers weren’t advocating that we become experts in time-management, but that we spend our time in a certain way. Essentially there are only two options: Spend it on God or Spend it on Self. Leo Christopher once said, “There’s only one thing more precious than time, that’s who or what we spend it on.” If we are going to be “wise” and “not foolish” as Moses and Paul encouraged, we should spend our time living for God. And we will IF we love him.
 
Spending Time With
There is a principle that we need to grasp: We naturally spend time with and on the people and things we love the most. This is a law of the human heart the way gravity is a law of physics. As a free moral being, I naturally spend time with my wife because I love her.
 
Spending Time with God In Prayer
If Jesus is our leader we need to know what he loved and therefore, spend most of his time on? His greatest love was his Father thus he spent mucho time with him in prayer. Yes, he asked his Father for strength and guidance. Yes, he made requests to his Father on behalf of others and himself. But mostly, he spent time in prayer because he loved being with his Father. Lately, I have been realizing that prayer, although hard work and necessary for spiritual growth, is a strong indicator of the amount of our love for God, both in terms of quality and quantity. So if we are growing in our love for God, which is the hope of our series and absolutely the best thing that could happen to us, are we beginning to see an uptick in the time we spend with God in prayer?
 
Spending Time with Jesus Doing Ministry
Jesus loved spending time with his greatest love, his Father. Do you know what his second greatest love was? Ephesians 5:25, known as the “marriage imperative,” makes it clear, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Jesus loved the church so much that he freely and sacrificially allowed himself to be executed for her. Why? Because the church, even with all of its warts, pimples, and flaws, is his Bride, Body, and Temple. The church is his Salt, Light, and City set on the hill. It is his faith, hope, and love counter-cultural, alternative, missional and redemptive community. His church is global and local, invisible and visible, and resides on both earth and heaven. The church is the hope of the world and there is not even a close second. The church is the second greatest thing in heaven, the greatest thing on earth, and the greatest threat to hell. Jesus loves his church so much that he sent his Spirit to empower it, guide it, protect it, and grow it. Jesus spends mucho time with his church because he loves it so much. How do we know this? Because of his promise in Matthew 18:20, “Where two or three are gathered in my name I am with them.” Where is Jesus right now? Right here, because he loves us so much.
 
Conclusion:
If you did a quick time management study what would it reveal in terms of how much time you spend in prayer with the Father? If the results were “non-existent” or “not enough” or “very little” then it’s time to create a prayer habit out of this most glorious of all spiritual disciplines by setting a time and place daily. You will be so glad you did.
 
What might that same time management study reveal about the amount of time you spend at church with Jesus, especially if we took off the one-hour weekly Sunday Service? Again, if it is “not enough” or “very little” then it’s time to spend more time here at church helping Jesus expand his ministries. We got tons of ministry visions but we need your time to make them come into reality. And here’s the most awesome thing. The more time we spend helping Jesus grow his church, the more he will reward us in this life and the one to come. Remember, Jesus does have us until he has our schedules. Sign-ups are in the back of the church.
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