BEATING THE CLOCK

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TEXT:                                     Psalm 118:24

INTRODUCTION:

There is a game show wherein contestants were given a selected amount of tasks to accomplish in a certain amount of time, thus beating the clock.

In sports you try to beat the clock. You’ve probably heard the saying as the clock ticks down, and the team is making a comeback, “The clock is our worst enemy.”  Any good coach or any good player will try to beat the clock. They will try to make that last second field goal or that last second basket.

Then it seems like in our life we’re always trying to beat the clock.

  • You have the rush to catch your flight.  
  • You have the rush to make it to the practice or the game or what ever other activity your kids are in.
  • Sometimes you may even rush to get to church on time. You yell, “Hurry up, we’re going to be late again for church.” That can really put you in a mood of worship. 

It would seem that is what our life is about, BEATING THE CLOCK.

Time is valuable. For an example; the Doctor informs you of your terminal illness. The first quest you want to know is… “How much time do I have?” TIME IS LIFE.

You can run out of money but still have time. You can run out of electricity, and still have time. But if you RUN OUT of TIME you have NOTHING. Besides managing our money we need to manage our time. You can make more money but you can’t make more time. You can make more friends, but you cannot make more time.

Job 14:5, since his days are determined, “the number of his months is with You.” God has given each one of us an allotted amount of time. So what you do with your time He has given you is important, because TIME MANAGEMENT is IMPORTANT to GOD. We master our minutes, or we become slaves to them; we use time, or time uses us.

God wants you to use your time wisely and that will be our topic this morning in one little verse in the Bible. In that verse we find three ways to beat the clock. Read Psalm 118:24

The first thing we need to do is, WE MUST:

1.    APPRECIATE EACH DAY AS A GIFT FROM GOD.

Notice the only day that is mentioned in this verse is THIS DAY. He does not talk about yesterday or tomorrow, only this day. Every minute that you have, every breath you take, is a gift from God.

God says we should treasure time as a valuable commodity. You number your years (or at least some of you do), but God says every day is so precious, we should treasure it and number it.

Treasure every moment that you have! “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift…That’s why it’s called the “present!”

“You can make more money but you can’t make more time.”

Have you ever heard the expression, “time is money?” It’s not true. Time is much more valuable than money. It may be hard to make more money, but it can be done. But it is totally impossible to make more time. TIME is more valuable than money. A.W. Tozer wrote: “Time is a resource that is nonrenewable and nontransferable. You cannot store it, slow it up, hold it up, divide it up or give it up. You can’t hoard it up or save it for a rainy day–when it’s lost it’s unrecoverable. When you kill time, remember that it has no resurrection.”

So, understand that you should treat time as a gift from God and the most valuable asset you are given in this world…Why?

Because, your time, my time, our time is LIMITED.

How many of you have heard of the law of supply and demand. When something is in short supply and the demand is high – the price goes up. The more scarce something is – the more valuable it is. It is that simple. Gold and diamonds would be worthless if they were as common as rocks on ground. Time would not be so precious if we never died – but we do. James tells us:

“You don’t know what will happen tomorrow. What is life? You are a mist that is seen for a moment and then disappears.” James 4:14 (GW)

If I were to hand you a calendar – could you mark the date that you will die on it? No – of course not. We do not know the day. I have been around when doctors have given a prognosis that a person would die in a short period time – and yet that person will linger on beyond the expected date. I have also conducted funerals for people who seemed healthy and yet have died suddenly. Only God knows the time and date. Proverbs chapter twenty seven says: “Don’t boast about tomorrow, for you don’t know what a day might bring.” Proverbs 27:1 (HCSB)

There are thousands of people who died today – who yesterday had no idea that today was to be their last day. Many of them were younger than you. I wonder if they would have spent yesterday differently – if they had only known.

Obviously, we make plans as though we are going to live many more years to come – but that might not be the case. Our time on earth is limited and it is uncertain.

Life in this world will come to an endvery few people have escaped this world without dying – even Jesus died. We live like we will never die – but this is not reality. Unless Christ comes before I die – I will die. No – it is not that I am looking forward to dying – I don’t walk around with morbid thoughts of death every day. But I know that chances are that I will die some day – and I need to prepare for it. I can’t stop it – but I can prepare for it. And every waking hours that we would have must be an opportunity for us to give thanks unto the Lord for the another day that He has added in our lives, Amen!

Then we need to…

2.    INVEST EACH DAY TO THE GLORY OF GOD.

There are two verbs in our text that describes the present and the past tense. Those are the words “is” and “has”. The only day you have to enjoy is today.

You hear about people talk about saving time. YOU CANNOT SAVE TIME. You are allotted a certain amount and you cannot add to it or you cannot take away from it. Now you can spend your time, either foolishly or wisely, but you can’t save it.

You can’t store time. You can’t stretch time. That is why Paul gave this warning found in Ephesians 5:15 “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

The phrase of “redeeming the time” is an accounting term. It means to cash in every moment you can to get the most of your time.  God gives each one of us 864,000 seconds of the day in our life account. And we need to make sure that we spend it in the best way we can.

So if you can’t save time, the only thing that you can do is to INVEST it.

Time is more valuable than money, but it’s like money in that it can be spent and invested. If you don’t use it, you lose it. Forever.

Illustration:

In the early 1970s Jim Croce wrote a song that said, “If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I’d like to do, is to save every day ‘till eternity passes away–just to spend them with you.” Those are great lyrics, and it would be nice if we could save time, but you can’t. In fact, a few months after he wrote that song, he was tragically killed in a plane crash in Natchitoches, Louisiana at the age of 30.

We have all kinds of time-saving appliances…like microwave ovens. Guys love to take short cuts in order to “save time.” Show me some of the time you’ve saved–where is it? You can’t save it you can only spend it and invest it.

Illustration:

At a graduation commencement at his alma mater, Wheaton College, Billy Graham said: “Time is the capital that God has given us to invest. People are the stocks in which we are to invest our time, whether they’re blue chips or penny stocks or even junk bonds.”

WHERE YOU INVEST YOUR TIME REVEALS WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU. (The first person that comes into your mind at the beginning of the day is important to you…who are you thinking?)

There are 168 golden hours in each week. The average person will spend about 56 of those hours sleeping, about 24 of those hours in eating and personal hygiene, and about 50 of those hours working or traveling to work. That means there are only about 35 hours a week of discretionary time left over. That’s about 5 hours per day. Where are you investing those hours?

If I were to follow you around and observe you for those 5 hours, after about 10 days, I could tell you what is most important in your life. You might not like it, or agree with it, but for some of you, surfing the Internet is most important to you. For others of you, watching television, or reading magazines is what’s most important.

Now let me ask you a personal question, “How much of that discretionary time are you devoting to your Lord?”

One tip from Zig Ziglar is this. “Each day write down what you NEED to do and then prioritize it. And at the top of that list should be your relationship with God. Start each day by asking God what He needs you to do.”  So many times Christians make the mistake of not making time for God. I would read my bible but I don’t have the time. I would come to church but I have to much to do.  Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Time is so valuable. The clock never stops ticking. That is why you should never procrastinate by not doing what you should today and waiting till latter.

This is a mistake that many make concerning their relationship with God. Good intentions don’t end up with good results.

To all of you who had been here for the first time, who’s not yet having a relationship with Jesus…Maybe you’re planning someday to get saved by entering into a personal relationship with God is just as lost as the person who has no desire to.

The Bible tells us that TODAY is the day of salvation.

Then the last way to beat the clock is to:

3.    CELEBRATE EACH DAY IN THE GOODNESS OF GOD.

The enjoyment of the day has nothing to do with your circumstances. Our text says, “I will Rejoice.” No matter what happens, no matter how bad your day may appear, you ALWAYS have something to rejoice about.

Today you might not be feeling well physically, financial, spiritually, mentally or otherwise. Just stop for a moment tell your situation to relax, to hold on, to cool down, to be still and know that today is the day for you to rejoice. Problems or no problems today is day that the Lord has made, rejoice and be glad in it. You might be feeling unloved, unrecognized, unimportant, unworthy, and all the various kinds of ‘UN…’ My friend listen, today is the day to rejoice, today is the day to laugh, today is the day to smile, and today is the day to sing joyful songs. Go to the mirror look straight into your face tell yourself ,Today is the day to rejoice, today is the day for success, today is the day to be happy and thank God.

Today is the day for you to be glad. It is your day to forget all worries and think of the promises of God in your life. Today is not to be wasted in worrying about your food, money and tomorrow’s or yesterday’s issues, yesterday heartaches and pain. Rejoice for today is your day, this is a new day!

Illustration:  “Attitude Is Everything” by Francie Baltazar Schwartz

Jerry was the kind of guy you love to hate. He was always in a good mood and always had something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, “If I were any better, I would be twins!”

He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, “I don’t get it! You can’t be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?”

Jerry replied, “Each morning I wake up and say to myself, Jerry, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.’ I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.”

“Yeah, right, it’s not that easy,” I protested.

“Yes it is,” Jerry said. “Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line—It’s your choice how you live life.”

I reflected on what Jerry said. Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that Jerry did something you are never supposed to do in a restaurant business—he left the back door open one morning and was held up at gun point by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body.

I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, “If I were any better, I’d be twins. Wanna see my scars?”

I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. “The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door,” Jerry replied. “Then, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices—I could choose to live, or I could choose to die. I chose to live.

“Weren’t you scared? Did you lose consciousness?” I asked. Jerry continued, “The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the emergency room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read, ’He’s a dead man. “I knew I needed to take action.”

“What did you do?” I asked.

“Well, there was a big, burly nurse shouting questions at me,” said Jerry. “She asked if I was allergic to anything. ’Yes,’ I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, ’Bullets!’ Over their laughter, I told them, ’I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.”

Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. ATTITUDE, after all, is everything. Jerry knew the secret—BEING HAPPY AND HAVING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE IS A CHOICE.

Quote:

“Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.” ~ Unknown (IT’S A MATTER OF CHOICE…A DECISION TO MAKE) (Be it in a difficult business wave, a new work load, a challenge in your career, a tough exam, in love life, yes…in everything, choose to be happy, yes, there would be risks involve, but look beyond the negatives and highlight the positives!)

When you make yourself stop and think,

  • I can always thank Him that I am alive.
  • I can thank Him for the breath I take.
  • I can thank Him for His provisions; the roof over your head, the clothes on your back, or the food on your table.

We all have things we can rejoice in. And every time that we think we have it bad, we don’t have to look far to see someone else who is in worse shape than you are.

Much like the man who was feeling sorry for himself because he had holes in his shoes, only to look and see a man in a wheel chair who had no feet at all.

CONCLUSION:

No matter what you are going through in your life, God has a purpose. It does not matter is you are 6 months old or 60 years old. All time is short. You need to learn how to beat the clock.

If you are here this morning and you have not entered into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ; now is the only time that you know for sure that you can change that. There is no gauntly of a tomorrow, there is even no gauntly of a tonight. Now is the time to make that decision, because it could be your last.

All time belongs to God. You see, there was no such thing as time until God made it. “This is the day which the Lord hath made.” This is God’s day. Everyday is God’s day. We are told to “redeem the time.” You and I are going to answer for our use of time.

 

 

 

Acknowledgments:

  • Dean Meadows
  • Rich Anderson
  • Wade Hughes, Sr.
  • Richard Gardner
  • “Attitude Is Everything” by Francie Baltazar Schwartz

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