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Sunday, November 1, 2020

The Stewardship Of Time

Click below for the first sermon in the series “Taking the Stew out of Stewardship”. Many people think of stewardship only in terms of offerings for some worthy cause. The principle of stewardship applies to every area of life.

We know that God created everything so that makes Him the owner of everything.   In his grace He placed man in His creation to manage and care for it so mankind is the manager or steward of all that God created.  God wants us to know that we are stewards of everything that He has provided and that includes time.

For an audio recording of the sermon click the YouTube link at the end of this manuscript.

You can see the entire service from OCTOBER 25, 2020 on the Christ Church YouTube Channel    

Scripture Reading:  

Ephesians 5:15‭-‬21 NKJV See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.  And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.


(Eph. 5:15–16 NIV) “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” 

If our faith should make a difference in every aspect of our lives, it should shape how we think about and live out citizenship, too. For me that means to vote, which I suspect most of you have done!  But if you haven’t voted I urge you to do so.  There is still early voting throughout the county.  For a list of the places you can go to or call the Los Angeles County Registrar 1-800-815-2666

Voting is certainly necessary but, Christian involvement can't stop at voting. The issues we face, such as racism, police brutality, COVID-19, abortion, assisted suicide, religious freedom, personal financial upheaval, loneliness, and so many others, cannot be solved by government alone. The Church has plenty of work to do aside from politics, in communities and families, not to mention plenty of praying to do too. Though our responsibilities certainly include more than voting, they certainly do not include less.


We know that God created everything so that makes Him the owner of everything.   In his grace He placed man in His creation to manage and care for it so mankind is the manager or steward of all that God created. 

Genesis 1:26‭-‬28 NIV Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”  So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.  God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

God wants us to know that we are stewards of everything that He has provided and that includes time.

However we view it, “time flies,” moves on, and there is just so much of it. God has given each one of us a measure of time to live in these bodies, because unless Jesus returns first we will all die.

So how are we using our time? 

What will happen to us when we are called before the judgement seat of Christ to give account of our use of the time we were given?

2 Corinthians 5:6‭-‬10 NIV Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

  1. Time: Where do we get it?

The first principle of stewardship is this: God is the owner, and we are stewards. God owns everything; we are his tenants, here on earth. We are accountable, therefore, to him for the use of his gifts, and this includes the gift of time. God created time and gave it to us. This is a necessary gift and of the utmost importance because all other gifts are conditioned upon it. 

God gives to all equally. Others may have more talents, or spiritual gifts but we all have the same amount of time. Every person has sixty minutes to the hour, twenty-four hours to the day, and seven days per week. No matter how rich we are, time cannot be bought. No matter how poor, we cannot receive less. The president of our nation or the CEO of the largest corporation has no more time than you. 

Jesus was both urgent and careful about the use of God-given time. On one occasion, he said, 

“As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work” ( John 9:4 NIV). 

Where do we get time? God gives it. It is his gift.

  1. Time: How shall we use it?

The use we make of time is our stewardship of it. In this we may be faithful or unfaithful. We may use time in the wrong way; we may use it in the right way.

Unwise use of time 

Paul told the Ephesians;

Ephesians 5:15‭-‬16 NIV Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

 But sometimes we fail to make wise use of the time that God has given us.

      1. For one thing, we can sometimes just wish or waste our time away.  

Time dragged by when we were children. It seemed that Christmas would never come, and we were wishing the days away until it did. The same was true for our birthdays, or until some party, or until school was out. We were always wanting to grow up. We were wishing the time away.

Young children aren’t the only ones that wish time away. When we were teen ageers we fell in love, or thought so. A few years have to pass before we could marry, so we wished the time away instead of having the patience to say, “Let’s enjoy what we have now. We didn't realize how much responsibility came along with it. 

      1. We can be careless with time. Henry David Thoreau said, “You cannot kill time without injuring eternity.” Victor Hugo said, “As short as life is, we can make it shorter still by the careless waste of time.” 

There are three things that may take the enthusiasm from the life of the Christian: first, carelessness with prayer; second, carelessness with money  and third, carelessness with time. Often these three things make for a dismal life.

      1. We can be ruled by time. We Americans have more time-saving devices and less time than any other people in the world. 

We need a better perspective on time. We have an abnormal desire for hectic activity. We admire the person who is always rushing off to keep an appointment. We assume that person must be very successful. We are time-conscious people.

When we use time in the wrong way, time passes and with it our expectations and hopes, unfulfilled, just as buds fall from the trees without having become fruit.

    1. On the other hand, we may use time in the right way. 

Let’s read our text scripture again; 

Ephesians 5:15‭-‬16 NIV Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

How can we “make the most” of our time and opportunities? We must do four things.

      1. We must determine our priorities. We must decide what to do first. We cannot do everything, so we must decide what we will give time to, and then do it.

An old proverb says, “One has to spend money to make money.” It's the same with time you have to spend time to save time. 

The efficient person who gets the most done in a twenty-four-hour period is the person who has learned to make time work for him or her through careful scheduling, budgeting, and planning. We make time for those things that we consider most important.

Here's an example from scriptures about setting our priorities.  

Luke 10:38‭-‬42 NIV As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”   “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,  but few things are needed—or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

      1. We have to change our pace. This is necessary if we are going to avoid high blood pressure, heart disease, and a host of other ills. At least, that we know of, under great pressure Jesus told his disciples, to chill and rest.

Mark 6:30‭-‬31 NIV The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

If even Jesus needed to stop and rest don’t you think we need rest, too?  We need to follow His example and set boundaries on our time, in order to live lives full of what we were meant to do, not what we think we’re supposed to do.

We are actually commanded to rest;

Deuteronomy 5:12-15 (NKJV)12  'Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you.13  Six days you shall labor and do all your work,14  but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.15  And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.

The Commandment about the Sabbath Day says as much about rest as it does anything else, in fact this Commandment is  the one with the most written about it.

Have you ever wondered how some people manage to get so much done in the average day, so much more than others? How do they do it? They pause. They take time to think, to meditate, to pray. 

Philippians 4:6‭-‬7 NIV Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Psalms 46:10 NIV He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalms 19:7 NIV The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

Rest may appear to be a period of inactivity but it is during these times of rest that we draw the rich resources of mind and spirit that give purpose and direction.

Leonardo da Vinci was once accused of wasting time and he replied: “When I pause the longest, I make the most telling strokes with my brush.” 

We need a change of pace so that we make wise use of the time God has given us.

      1. We need to concentrate on the main things, not the noise of life that says “Now hear this!” And we had better listen. 

Jesus urged us to concentrate on the main things the primary things: 

Matthew 6:33‭-‬34 NIV But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

This is both a command and a promise and I can tell you from personal experience that this works.  It will work for you too but you have to try it.

The Apostle Paul said this;

Philippians 3:12‭-‬14 NIV Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

It was like he was saying that he was not going to waste time worrying about the foolish mistakes and sins of the past but, concerned with the main thing, he was going to press on toward the goal ahead.

We can live our lives the same way.

      1.  We must dedicate our time to God. We need to offer God everything, not only our abilities, our money, our energies, but also our time. This is what I mean by the stewardship of time.

  1. Time: What will result?

What will be the fruit of stewardship of time?

    1. First, we will multiply ourselves in his service. 

We will multiply our usefulness both to God and to our fellow humans. The person who is organized, motivated, and dedicated in the use of time can accomplish more than three people who are heedless, careless, and frustrated where time is concerned.

    1. We will advance the work of the kingdom. 

Here’s an example. Let’s say you give a tithe of your income, whatever and wherever it comes from; salary, retirement income, wherever, you give a tenth of it to the church or a ministry.  But you become convicted that you should do more.  You decide to tithe your time.  You may decide to take a day to man a prayer line or, you take a day or an afternoon to go to a mission and serve, or a homeless shelter and serve.  In your service you get the opportunity to share Christ with some  of the people, and some of them come to Christ because you made the decision to not just tithe money but time.

How might you serve today? A servant's life isn't glamorous; it's often difficult. It is about someone else and their pain, their needs. Your work will likely go unseen by the world around you, but Jesus sees.  

Matthew 25: 34-40 "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.'   "Then these righteous ones will reply, 'Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?' "And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!" 

    1. Last of all, we will bring glory to God. 

The faithful steward of time is fruitful, and a fruitful Christian life brings glory to God. Jesus said to his disciples the night before he died, 

John 15:8 NIV This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. 

In the final analysis it is only by deliberately paying our attention to and giving our primary commitment to eternity that we can prevent time from turning our lives into a pointless exercise.  If we do this, everything else will fall into place.


I have been talking about the stewardship of time, but I would be a poor steward of time if I should close this message and fail to urge upon those unsaved that the time to be saved is now. 

Paul told the Corinthians, “Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2 ASV).

Salvation is God's gift of everlasting life.  It is freely available to all who want it.  Salvation is a matter of personal privacy between an individual and God.  Everyone who goes through life will decide where to spend eternity before checking out of here.  For those who accept God's free gift of Eternal Life, they will go to Heaven, the most wonderful place imaginable.  For those who reject salvation or neglect to choose God's free gift of Eternal Life, they will be condemned to the Lake of Fire.  There is no guess work involved.  The decision to accept Eternal Life must be made personally, or all will be lost.

The Lord Jesus Christ made salvation possible.  He came to earth from God and paid for the sins of the world on the Cross.  When Jesus Christ was crucified, everyone's sins were judged in Him.  That means that everyone's sins are paid for and the door is wide open for salvation. 

Jesus served as the perfect sacrifice washing the dust, grit, sand, and dung of humanity's sin away.

Salvation is as simple as believing in Jesus Christ.  The decision is personal.  The solution is real.  The scripture says:

Believe in the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved (Acts 16:31).  And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).  For you see, in this way God loved the world that He gave His uniquely born Son that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have Eternal Life (John 3:16).

If you have never believed in Jesus Christ, you can have Eternal Life right now by simply believing in Jesus Christ.  Tell God the Father that you are believing in Jesus Christ.  That's all there is to it.

For the scripture says 

Romans 10:9‭-‬10 NIV If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

If you have done that for the first time. Go tell somebody. 

Sermon Audio

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