Proverbs: Time

INTRODUCTION: ILLUSTRATION of someone putting $86,400 in your bank account everyday, but you must spend it all in a day.  We are given 86,400 Seconds in a day

Proverbs is a book of wisdom. It is our heavenly father looking down on us and giving us timeless truths to apply to our lives. Many people have a false belief that the disciplined life is a life that is lacking joy.  However, actually the disciplined life leads to freedom, not slavery.

At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent. You will say, “how I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction! I would not obey my teachers or listen to my instructors. I have come to the brink of utter ruin in the midst of the whole assembly (Proverbs 5:11-13)

So let us look at what we can learn about time in the book of Proverbs.

First, we see that the Sluggard will not begin things.

How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man. (Proverbs 6:9-11 ESV)

Before we start let us ask the question, why does this matter? Is tonight about looking at scripture and maybe finding a few hacks to help us have a happier, easier, comfortable life?

No, I would argue that this matters because time management is one of the main enemies of becoming a disciple maker and it is most obvious where it is needed most.  It is a pattern of waiting on the sidelines until you are specifically asked to step in.  Even worse than that, it can be a pattern of trying to duck out of responsibilities or to run away from challenges.  Men who think conflict should be avoided, or who refuse to engage with those who would harm the body of Christ or their family, not only model passivity but also fail in their responsibilities as protectors.
Instead of being a sluggard we are called to run to the battle.  Running to the battle means routinely taking a step toward the challenge, not away from it.  Instead of running and hiding, it means running into the burning building or into any other situation that requires courage and strength.  That does not mean being a fool who just rushes in, but simply being a leader with the instinct to go where the need is.

Second, In order to make the most of our time we need to face things.

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.   (Proverbs 27:1)

The sluggard is full of excuses not to do what he needs to do.

We need to develop the habit of doing the hardest task first.

Practically this makes since.  Take on the hardest task while you still have the time and energy to do it right.  Doing the hardest task first also keeps you from becoming a sluggard.  As we have already seen the sluggard cultivates passivity.  Passivity is a killer of the disciple maker.  Reject passivity.  Attacking your hardest task of the day without delay will build your resistance to passivity.  Waiting until the end of the day only reinforces your sinful tendencies towards being a sluggard.
However, do not just be good with tasks, be bold with people.  Make the hard relational move first, too.  Do not be passive within interpersonal relationships.  Some people are willing to do the hard task first, but avoid difficult situations that involve other people.  Whether it means having a tough conversation, apologizing, sharing the Gospel, or even exercising church discipline, you should do your hardest task first.

So questions for you to consider:

Are your (parents, coach, pastor, teacher), your motivator or your encourager and equipper?

Which athlete to you believe will be better in the future? The one that needs to motivated, prodded, and constantly needing attention, or the one that is self-motivated and all the coach has to do is equip him and correct his mistakes?

Do you know when the time is right? Do you know when the time is right for hard work? Do you know when the time is right to get rest?

Will Jesus overwork us? Do we have to worry about doing too much for Jesus?

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)

William Carey: ” Expect great things from God; Attempt great things for God.

Practical Advice from a 33 year old pastor: What Changes Wednesday?

1. Pick a good Biblical church
2. Quickly join
3. Live life off campus w/members
4. Excel in classes
5. Get to know professors–coffee etc
6. Do a few college activities for non-Christian relationships.
7. Embrace weirdness: evangelize
8. Don’t drink and pursue pure relationships