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Redeem Time

One of the greatest challenges of leadership is the proper management of your time.  This has been verbalized many different ways.  Dr Ronnie Floyd said, “Pastor, rise up in your leadership and quit focusing on secondary things.”  Through the years I have heard several say, “Make sure you are making the main thing the main thing.”  Another is, “Don’t allow your busyness to keep you from the real business.”  If you do not take charge of your calendar someone else will!

Redeeming the time is a challenge to make full use of it and not to waste opportunities.  It is a call to allow God to guide us in prioritizing our schedules.  We must have filters in place to help us better determine into what we should and should not invest our time.  First, what is unimportant and not urgent?  Second, what is unimportant but urgent?  Third, what is important but not urgent?  Fourth, what is important and urgent?  We must make sure we are using our time wisely.

The question then is – how do we redeem our time?  How do we prioritize our time and make sure we are focused on what we should be focused?  There are plenty of ways to waste our time and to invest our time in things that will never produce the results we desire.  In Growing New Churches (training materials by Dynamic Church Planting International) Hal Seed shares these tips on dealing with time demands.  He gives “Ten Biblical Guidelines for Managing Your Time.”  Here are the first five:

  1. Our time is precious! Ephesians 5:16-17, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”  Colossians 4:5, “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.”  Redeeming time requires that you trade something for something else.  Are you trading your time for things of no value or for things of significance and eternal value?
  2. We will give an account of how we spend our time! 2 Corinthians 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”  All of us have three basic resources; our talents, our treasures, and our time.  Are we being good stewards of our time and using it for His glory?
  3. We must seek God regularly to guide our use of time. Jeremiah 10:21, “For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.”  The idea of “brutish” here is that they had lost their senses.  They were being stupid because they were not asking the Lord to direct them in what they should do!  Wayne Grudem has said, “I find the most helpful thing I do regarding the use of time is to spend time in prayer each morning bringing my plans and my ‘to do’ list before the Lord and seeking His direction.”
  4. We spend the most important time each day with God. Mark 1:35, “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.”  What is God saying to you in your daily walk with Him?  Todd West in a recent message challenged our church to discern between a “good” idea and a “God” idea!  The only way to do that is in His presence.
  5. Rest is important for our long term health and therefore our time management. Hebrews 4:9-11, “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.  For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”  This is not meant to be a legalistic practice but is meant to help us make sure we are recharging ourselves spiritually, emotionally, and physically.  What do you do that helps you to recharge?  Here is what a recent tweet from our church said, “If you don’t come apart, you’re likely to come apart!” (Matt 14:22-27)

     In deciding how you will redeem your time, it is my prayer that this quote from Henry Cloud in Boundaries will challenge and guide you, “When we create boundaries, we aren’t saying to the world, ‘I can’t help you.’  Instead, we’re saying, ‘I must focus intentionally on the specific things God has placed right now in my direct influence.’ By saying no to people and to things that are not contained within God’s distinct vision for our lives, we’re actually saying ‘yes’ to His sovereignty.  He knows the best way for His will to be accomplished. For us to assume we can handle more is rebellious and counterproductive!”