Sunday, February 01, 2009

Redeeming Time

This week we finish up our series called "Live Like You Were Dying" with a small group curriculum focusing on living a life with the proper priorities.

Big Idea:
The Bible reminds us about the brevity of life, but it also teaches us about the urgency of life so that we do not squander our God-ordained opportunities. We are called to live life with a sense of kingdom priority.

Summary:
Time is one of the most precious gifts given to us by God. No matter our social or financial status, we all have the same amount of time given to us in each day – 24 hours. Using our time unwisely can have devastating effects and prevent us from fulfilling our kingdom purpose in this life. Interestingly enough, we don't see a significant emphasis on saving time or managing time in the Bible. However, God does call us to REDEEM time. What does it mean to redeem time? Simply put, it means that we take back our time from Satan, the world, and sin. A life spent in sin or chasing after the things of this world is a wasted life filled with missed opportunities. We know that what we do today echoes throughout eternity. Therefore, using our time wisely will not only result in satisfaction in this life, but also rewards and eternal life with God. We must make a conscious effort to use our time properly and to take advantage of our God-given opportunities.

We can redeem our time by getting our priorities right and allocating our precious time to things that matter. Jesus told us that the two things that matter most are loving God and loving others. Therefore, we should be spending our time with Christ and doing things that bring Him glory, while also showing others love. In fact, time not given to God and His purposes will often be stolen by Satan, resulting in discontent and squandered opportunities. Have you squandered God-given opportunities? Have you wasted some of the precious time given to you by God? Here's some good news; there is still a chance for you to redeem your time – today! Christ came to redeem, and in Him, we can redeem our time. Take it back and capitalize on the plans and purposes God has laid out specifically for you. Live the rest of your life with a sense of priority.

Discussion Questions: (read the scriptures & discuss)

Ephesians 5:15-17
Contrast how the “wise” spend their time versus the “unwise”. Discuss how we can learn what the Lord wants us to do. According to the Bible, is there a place for “down-time” in our lives? What should that down-time look like? Do you have any God-given opportunities that you have been neglecting?

Colossians 4:2-6
What do our actions towards others have to do with redeeming time? What kind of opportunities should we be looking for? Discuss opportunities you have had to redeem time by ministering or helping others.

Matthew 25:14-30
How does this parable of the talents teach us to wisely use opportunities in the limited time we have been given? What is the result of continuing to disregard the gifts and opportunities God has given us? Who suffers when we don't redeem time and invest it in the kingdom of God?

Taking Action: Spend some time this week reviewing your use of time. Write out how you are spending your time. Don't let your time keep slipping away. Identify time that can be captured for His kingdom purposes and REDEEM it.

Ministry Time

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