Summer Sermon Series
Pastor Tim Potter
- August 28, 2016
Our Priority? Every Opportunity!
As we study how to glorify God with every part of our being, we turn next to training our soul for Christ-likeness.
The Hebrew culture understood the soul (nephesh) as the unity of a person. The Greeks viewed the parts of human beings in opposition: the body imprisoned the soul (psyche). In Genesis 2:7, the soul was formed when God breathed His spirit into the body.
Rolland McCune writes, "Man's individuality, or his individual identity as a person, comes by the union of body and spirit. The soul in biblical thought expresses man's individuality as a human being, his humanness, which itself resides in his spirit. Thus, while the spirit is the locus of man's rationality and personality, the soul is related to his individuality. Man's personal self-conscious, volitional, emotional individuality is expressed through the soul. Perhaps this is why soul often stands for the whole of a person in the Scriptures." (A Systematic Theology of Biblical Christianity, volume 2)
How do we develop our soul toward greater Christ-likeness? We will examine three areas of our lives as individuals: how we use our time, talents, and resources. All of these are not ours, but God's, since He has bought the entirety of us with Christ's blood. How must we honor Him?
Stewarding Our Time
There are many noteworthy quotations on the nature and use of time. A secular author said, "Time is all we have. Master your time, and you will master your life. Time is what you make of it. You don't have time, you make time. it's your most valuable resource." Even Kung Fu Panda has a valuable insight about time: "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the 'present.'"
We can view time as a resource to invest, something to be filled, a commodity, or a gift. Another person said, "Time cannot be turned off or on like a machine or replaced like a man, and it is irretrievable." Neither can we save it. We utlilize it, either well or poorly, then it's gone. Time is a gift. It is not to be used for our own advantage, but stewarded for eternal reasons.
Do you ever ask yourself why you are so busy, yet nothing seems to be completely done? Life fills up quickly with all our obligations to work, family, church, friendships, volunteering, and leisure. We each have a certain capacity to invest ourselves in our lives. Here is the difference for the believer: we always have an eternal purpose in what we do, and that is to glorify God and reach souls for Christ.
"Primarily, the Bible views time as the limited succession of days through which human experience of the world flows. Human beings are allotted their appointed span of time. "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away." Ultimately, God controls human destiny. Through sin, history has become the record of the activity of fallen human beings. God displays his redemptive grace toward lost humanity through the medium of history as well. His sovereignty over history is seen in the historical acts of redemption."
God is eternal. He is not bound by time. His decrees will happen on His timetable, in history and in each person's life. He wants all of you to be used for His purposes. We all ask fundamental questions like Who am I? Why am I here? What should I do? Sin makes these things confusing, but God's plan is actually simple.
Rehearsing biblical answers to these questions should be a regular spiritual discipline in our lives, as long as they point back to Scripture and God's purposes for our lives. 2 Corinthians 5 says that every Christian should have a mindset of spiritual reproduction. According to 2 Corinthians 3, we are all ambassadors of Heaven, anywhere we go and all the time.
The believing audience of James' letter had become distracted from the proper investment of their time. James 4:13-17 is not condemning business pursuits, planning, or travel. Instead, it condemns doing all these things as a practical atheist, without any care for surrounding souls. We need to know the Lord's will in any activity we add to our busyness. Take the mind of Christ with you as you make your plans for the next months and year.
- What makes you busy? Are the many quality things we're doing making some necessary things expendable? Are we doing the necessary things with a greater goal in mind? Your pursuit of education, marriage, athletic goals, philanthropy, work, and wealth must all be underpinned by eternal purposes.
- What do you do for leisure? Are these environments where you can do the will of God?
- Consider how you can have an eternal purpose in the busyness of your life. Take the mind of Christ with you as you make your plans for the next months and year.
Tools for Further Study
Cross References to Explore
- 1 Corinthians 6:20, 1 Peter 1:18-19 – We have been bought by Christ's blood.
- Psalm 90, 2 Peter 3:9 – God's eternality.
- Mark 10:45 – Christ's purpose and ours.
A Hymn to Encourage: "For the Sake of His Name"
Go to the world for the sake of His name;
To every nation His glory proclaim.
Pray that the Spirit wise
Will open darkened eyes,
Granting new life to display Jesus’ fame.
In Jesus’ power, preach Christ to the lost;
For Jesus’ glory, count all else but loss.
Gather from every place
Trophies of sov’reign grace.
Lest life be wasted, exalt Jesus’ cross.
Love the unloved for the sake of His name;
Like Christ, befriend those whose heads hang in shame.
Jesus did not condemn,
But was condemned for them.
Trust gospel pow’r, for we once were the same.
Rescue the lost for the sake of His name;
As Christ commands, snatch them out of the flame.
Tell that when Jesus died
God’s wrath was satisfied.
Urge them to flee to the Lamb who was slain.
Look to the Throne for the sake of His name;
Think of the throng who will share in His reign.
Some for whose souls we pray
Will share our joy that day,
Joining our song for the sake of His name!