Relational Mission - A Way of Life
Relational Mission - a way of life sets out the values and vision of our family of churches from Mike Betts book.
Stewarding your time well
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Some see time as an enemy – just not enough of it.
Fast and the Furious not just a movie franchise, become a way of life
Desparate for time savers
Instant coffee – only takes a minute or so more to brew real coffee, costs the same.
Getting a tan – Tanning Bed – Spray tan – end up looking like Donald Trump
Went out for a Nando’s – what a disappointing experience – quick, home in 45 mins!
Hurry sickness Test?
Two words for time in the Bible
Chronos – hours, minutes and seconds created by God. “How much time until lunch?”
Kairos – the moment, opportune time, the right time – “Is it time for lunch?”
Kairos is about moments that need to be seized
a teaching moment with the kids
reaching out to a hurting colleague
answering a Facebook comment that is begging for the gospel to be shared
processing something that has happened well, so you learn from it, not repeat it.
Be positive or negative, big or small – first date, wedding day, birth of a child, favourite holiday, death of a loved one, divorce, argument with a co-worker. Kairos moments are not neutral – they have emotional impact. In fact that is how we often first recognise them!
Live in the Chronos
24 hours in a day – Bible tells us it is good to number our days
Given a healthy rhythm – work, rest and relationships
Work Gen 1:28; 2:15
Rest – trust Jesus, play and sleep
Relationships – with God and others Gen 2:18,25
Pace of life – called to be led by the Spirit
Issue of orphan heart or sonship with how we use our Chronos time
Orphans – selfish, doormat, wasting time gratifying needs of security, self worth, significance in counterfeit, orphan like ways.
Sons Gal 4:4-7 God sending his Son was a kairos moment so you could become a son and call God Abba Father.
Jesus coming to the world was a Kairos moment – happened during the Pax Romana – the age of peace because the of the roman empire, so it could spread quickly worldwide
God sent Jesus – fully God, born of a woman, so fully man. Born under the Jewish Law and perfectly obeying it, so he was sinless, so that when he was killed on our behalf, it could be for our sin, not his own. He did that so we could be legally declared guilty and be reconciled for relationship with a perfect, holy and loving God the Father,
But it wasn’t just for our legal status, it was so we would be adopted, adopted, chosen to be part of God’s families – as sons, not slaves. Free to enjoy relationship with God and in the context of todays’ message – free to use our time wisely as sons and not as slaves. Free to make choices about our time and not slaves to evil or trying to gain approval of others.
Danger of just living in Chronos
Effective time management – getting the most done in 24 hours.
Wasting time instead of resting.
Missing Kairos moments.
Really helpful passage on stewarding time well.
Challenge to walk carefully, wisely to make the best use of KAIROS time.
We need to walk with wisdom, because the days are evil. The temptations are more in your face than they used to be.
If you lack wisdom, then James tells us to pray for it and God will give it.
Making the best use of Kairos time
As Christians we can learn to recognise Kairos moments, good and bad, big and small.
Some are bumps, learning opportunities, teaching moments.
Relationship failure, argument, loosing your rag…
Danger if we don’t make the most of the kairos moment is that the bad thing happens again and again and affects us badly again and again. In this life, bad things happen and sometimes they repeat, especially if we don’t learn from them. Not recognising their kairos nature and learning from it can often lead to a downward spiral.
Some of you have had issues with repeated bad relationships for instance, that’s really painful. Sometime we need some help to process the big bad Kairos moments so we don’t get stuck in a cycle.
Let me illustrate the point with a church gathering Kairos moment. Paul is calling us to recognise when a Kairos moment is happening and and walk wisely through them.
Jan & I got invited to a Brazilian Pentecostal church in the evening two weeks ago by Sylvana & Aaron.We took Rythem along for the ride. They had told the church we were coming.
When we arrived we couldn’t find the door – there were no signs.
But when we did find the door and get in we were greeted by the pastor and ushered to the best seats at the front. A deacon rushed over with a coffee table and placed glasses and bottled water on it. When I drunk a little water during the hot and sweaty worship – the same deacon rushed over and refilled my glass from my bottle. At the end of the meeting they were having a meal and more deacons came over with plates of food for us and cokes. In the car on the way home, we reflected on what we had observed and learned from the evening, turning it from a chronos happening to a Kairos moment. Some we went through the things we do better and the things we can learn from and maybe could tweak here. A few weeks ago a visit was confused where to go as church, football and wrestling people were all arriving and going in three different directions. So we’ve already learnt how to make our venue easy to find and it’s great to have a steward at the bottom to greet you and the huge sign making obvious from the far end of the car park where to go.
While we were with the Brazilians, we witnessed the passion of the singers and band. They were all worshipping their socks off in attitude and actions. We need to make sure those up front lead us, in worship.
But the biggest thing was how they honoured us – Jan and I got double honour because I am a pastor, but Rythem, Sylvan and Aaron were all hugely honoured by generous hospitality. Last week at the bring and share there wasn’t enough food and some visitors at the back of the queue got very slim pickings. A few church folks got no main course at all. After being with Brazilians I was mortified. Next time we need to make sure everyone brings enough food and that families with small children and visitors go first so that we exercising honouring and hospitality even better than we do.
When we walk wisely we make the best use of Kairos moments learning from them.
If you don’t take time to reflect on bad Kairos moments they repeat themselves and you make the same mistakes over and over again.
Other Kairos moments are opportunities to affect the world, bless others, change lives.
Divine appointments, God given opportunities. You bump into someone at the supermarket who tells you they have just lost their mum, or been diagnosed with cancer. Those are kairos moments to show compassion, love and pray for them.
In Ephesians 5:15-21 Paul then gives us five ways to make the best use of Kairos time.
Understand the will of the Lord v17
I think that Paul is telling his readers that the wise use of time involves living in the center of God’s will. The first step in discovering God’s will for us is to ask the question, “Lord, what would you have me to do?”
I have heard stories of Christians who take this idea to the extreme and ask God what colour shirt they should wear for the day and if they should wear brown shoes or black ones. Nuts. Paul does want his readers to know that their purpose in life, now, is to do God’s will. Because of this, it is important to discern God’s will in the significant decisions of our lives.
It is so good to know that we are in God’s will. With a secure job and commitments that persuade us not to move, we live with the assurance that God has placed us in the time and place where God wants us. Job loss and/or economic downturns may be opportunities for God to guide us into in to new areas of service that are beyond our imagination. Either way, we are comforted that God’s hand is upon us. Excitement is a part of our lives because everyday holds the promise of serving God and the hope that he will move through us in significant ways.
Living wisely and handling time as a gift rather than an enemy in the center of God’s will, our days can be filled with opportunities rather than distractions. We have the opportunity to shine brightly as witnesses to God’s love and grace. On the evening new recently, I heard of a McDonald’s employee who goal is to treat each customer as a special person, smile at them and try to get them to smile. People go out of their way to drive to that McDonalds and see her smile. Another story involves a young man with a mild case of Down’s syndrome. He works at a supermarket. Taking to heart a pep talk he heard to make every one feel special, he began to greet his customers and smile at them as he bagged their groceries. He’d also slip in to one of their grocery bags a piece of paper with a positive thought for the day. Eventually people would stand in line at the checkout where he was located in order to be greeted by him and to receive his thought for the day.
Be filled with the Spirit, not alcohol v18
Paul tells us next not to get drunk – that’s not a wise use of your time as you have lost control of yourself, your witness and you can end in debauchery.
In Spanish and also Norwegian, one way to say that a person is drunk is to say that he or she is “full.” The person has filled up on alcohol and the alcohol has taken control of him or her.
InActs 2 the 120 were accused of being drunk because they had just been filled with the Holy Spirit. So it’s an interesting comparison.
Another perspective on Paul’s exhortation is to understand that often people drink in order to escape life and run away from pain. Occasionally we will describe a person who has had too much to drink as, “feeling no pain.” Paul is encouraging his readers to nurture their relationship with Jesus rather than nurse a drink. They are invited to find comfort, strength and healing in God’s presence in their lives. Soaking in the Spirit, turning to God in prayer, silently sitting in God’s presence and savoring the words of Scripture are all wise and good ways to use the gift of time.
Celebrate in song v19
The next verses talk of gatherings where people are celebrating the goodness of God in song. Happy people, joyful people sing. Music and singing is a sign of health and wholeness. Paul encourages us to wisely live their lives centered in God, filled with the Spirit, celebrating with song to each other and with each other.
Be thankful v20
Giving thanks – Paul mentions gratitude more than any other writer. And it is infectious. Just as grumbling and gossip spread like poison ivy, the opposite thankfulness brightens and spreads too. Giving thanks always and for everything.
Submit to one another v21
Lastly we are wisely living in the Kairos moments when we submit to one another. When we live under authority well, we get more authority from the Lord. When we submit to things that we don’t necessarily agree with, we are living under authority well and get more.
Sometime the Lord tests us, by putting us under leaders decisions we don’t agree with – say you piece and then submit and submit publicly. I remember the times when I’ve done it and God surely blesses it and me.
So let’s live out the seconds, minutes hours with great rhythm of work, rest and relationships.
Lets be watchmen looking out for the Kairos moments – the good and the bad, process them, change our thinking and apply faith to what needs to change.
Know God’s will, don’t get drunk, get filled with the Spirit, celebrate in song and have an attitude of gratitude and submission.
For some of you its a Kairos moment right know.
In this second Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart – and he is saying Come follow me..
Others of you the kairos moment is that you feel bad about some of the things I have said – the bring and share, getting drunk, grumbling, gossip or not wanting to submit. This is a kairos moment for you too. Walk wisely. Process it, learn from it and change your thinking where you need to.
Others of you just need the Spirit to fill your sails again. Christian life is a walk, blown along by the Spirit and sometimes the best imagery for being filled is not a jar filled with water, but sails filled with the wind blown along the right way. Invite you to come and have your sails filled so you can go forth and live wisely in these evil days.