Key Scriptures: Psalm 90:12; Ephesians 5:15-17; James 4:14
We live in a generation that demands instant gratification, yet spend hours and hours on things that donʼt really matter.
If we have to wait too long in a drive thru, we get mad. We get impatient while waiting on our food to come out of the microwave. Any amount of waiting time at a doctorʼs office or a restaurant seems unbearable. At the same time, one could say that this generation wastes more time than ever before or things like social media or spending too much time on the tv or playing video games. That shouldnʼt make sense but as Iʼm sure we know this is very much the case.
This can leave us with little to no time to focus on whatʼs important and the stuff that actually need to get done.
While this is important in day to day life it is especially important in the kingdom of God. As we approach back to school time, use this lesson to help students with “priorities”.
Psalm 90:12 “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
What does it mean to number your days? While we may not know the exact number of days we have to live, we do know that we donʼt have forever to live on this earth. So keeping that in mind how do you feel about the way you spend your days? Are you a planner, who takes care of the important things before moving on to do the fun things? Are you a procrastinator, who pushes everything of importance to the last possible minute? Or do you even think about how you spend your time, just letting whatever happens happen? And most importantly: Where does God fit into any of that?
Ephesians 5:15-17 “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lordʼs will is.”
Have you ever had a test that you just didnʼt study for? You knew it was happening, you knew when it was, you knew what you needed to study for it… and you just didnʼt? Maybe you didnʼt because life got in the way of studying, or maybe because your priorities werenʼt exactly how they should be. Either way, when this happens, thereʼs a common prayer that happens: “God, give me wisdom for this test!”
Did you ever think that maybe God already gave you wisdom for the test? You know, that test that you knew about. The one where you knew what to study, but just didnʼt, even though you had the time and resources. Wisdom would have been using the time God gave to you and the brain God gave to you and studying!
This verse says to be careful to live as wise. How does that relate to time management? More than you might think. Look at it this way: how you spend your hours adds up to how you spend your days. How you spend your days adds up to how you spend your life. So if youʼre spending your days wasting time and avoiding what you need to do, that is essentially how you are spending your life. And that is not wise.
This verse also urges us to “make the most of every opportunity…do not be foolish, but understand what the Lordʼs will is.” Do you know the best way to understand what the Lordʼs will is? By spending time with Him; by praying and reading the Bible. The more you are spending time with Him, the easier it will be to make the most of every opportunity.
James 4:14 “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
Thereʼs this idea that to enjoy life, you need to be a free spirit who is spontaneous and goes with the flow, never planning anything. Sure, many people choose to live that way. But the bottom line is this: if you want to make the most out of your life, you can only do that by learning to manage your time. Whether or not you decide to take charge of your time, itʼs going to pass you by anyway. Monday – Friday you would be going to go to class, getting homework, having exams and writing papers. The years spent in school are going to pass regardless of whether you manage your time. But if you want to make the most of them, and you want to live them the way the Bible says you should, managing your time in a wise way is a must. So how do you do that?
1. Make God your number one priority. No matter how busy you get, no matter how much you have to do, no matter what, spending time with God needs to be your number one priority. If that means you have to get up earlier, then wake up earlier. If that means you have to sacrifice something extra, then so be it. This is one choice you will not regret making.
2. Prioritise the things in your life. Regardless of how you may feel, high school is a priority right now. That means that for the school year, classes, tests, papers, and projects come before late night movies and weekends spent doing nothing with your friends. One of the best ways to remember your priorities is to get a planner or a calendar and write down when things are due, when you need to study, etc. 3. Hold yourself accountable. After you know what your schedule should be, pray over it. Ask God to help you achieve all you need to achieve in the time that you need to achieve it.
Ask Him to help you manage your time better. Then, find someone who will hold you accountable to this. Maybe thatʼs a leader here, or maybe itʼs another person whoʼs also trying to manage their time better. Either way, getting a weekly text asking how youʼre doing with your time can be a great motivator!
Another way to hold yourself accountable is to write these verses down—the ones that talk about how we should spend our days—and put them somewhere you can see them. After all, spending hours on twitter isnʼt really enjoyable when youʼre looking at a verse that reminds you of how short your life is.
By Deacon Jonathan Adeyemi