Making the Most of It

Psalm 90:12, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
 
Let’s play a word association game. Finish this sentence: “It’s about time for _____________.”
 
I’m thinking it’s about time for COVID-19 to go away. That cannot happen fast enough. In the meantime, this is another opportunity to learn patience and to trust God no matter what. I need to make the most of this time. How about you?
 
Life is all about time. Do you waste time? Do you manage time or does time manage you? We can be careless with the time we have. We can also be slaves to the clock, thinking that our time is more important than the people around us or God above us.

Time is Precious

Time is precious. Back in 1971 Jim Croce wrote a song that would top the charts. Time in a Bottle was written about and for his firstborn son.

“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. If I could make days last forever, if words could make wishes come true. I’d save every day like a treasure and then again, I would spend them with you.”

Those are beautiful words, and understandable coming from a 28 year old singer/songwriter who just learned he  was going to be a dad for the first time. But there is another line from that song we need to consider: “But there never seems to be enough time to do the things that you want to do.”

Many of us would agree with that. Croce knew that time was a fleeting commodity, but he didn’t know how fleeting. On the last day of September in 1973 Jim Croce died in a plane crash. He was 30 years old. His son had just turned two.

We all know that time is short, but it’s shorter than we know. None of us have time to waste.

Life is Brief. God is Eternal

The first four words of the Bible are, “In the beginning God…” At the start He was already there. He began the beginning. Psalm 90:2 says, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” Humanity, in comparison, is described in verse 10, “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”
 
Life is brief. God is eternal. We need His wisdom to number our days, because while this life is short, we will all live somewhere forever, and we can’t save time in a bottle. We each have 86,400 seconds a day deposited into our “time accounts.” We cannot carry over the balance, and we cannot be overdrawn. Whatever is not wisely used is lost forever.

Redeem the Time

Making the most of our time is the focus for tonight’s livestream. Psalm 90:2 and Ephesians 5:15-17 will guide our study. You have viewing options:
If you search for our feed on Vimeo use “bbc church.” If you search for us on YouTube use “Bible Baptist Church, Mt. Vernon.”
 
All of these options are available because we want to make it easy for you to follow along. Please set aside the time to tune in at 7 pm. Have your Bibles open.

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God Hears and Delivers

Psalm 91:15, “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him.”
 
“I will never leave you nor forsake you,” is a precious promise from God to His people (Deuteronomy 31:6; Joshua 1:5; Hebrews 13:5). Based on the strength of such a promise we trust God enough to call upon Him in prayer, because we are confident that He will answer. When we are in trouble for His name’s sake, when we call upon our Lord, He will deliver and honor His people. We have not only His word on the matter, but He has proven Himself true time and time again. The God of the Bible is the only deity who hears, answers, and delivers His people. Trust Him no matter what, and call on Him always.

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The Power of Weakness

2 Corinthians 12:8-9, “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
 
Paul wanted his affliction removed. He repeatedly prayed that way. It remained. God never offered an explanation, but He did make a promise. “My grace is sufficient.” God’s grace enables His strength to be made perfect through our weakness. There will be times when God does not remove affliction. Instead, He gives grace so that the affliction works for rather against the believer. Believers live on grace rather than explanations. God’s grace will provide for our every need when needed. God’s grace is sufficient to save us from our sins and sustain us in our suffering. Our feelings change. Trust the promise of…
 
God’s
Riches
Available at
Christ’s
Expense.
 
God’s truth is timeless. His promises never change. His grace is always sufficient. It’s the power of weakness.

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Reconciled Ambassadors

2 Corinthians 5:20, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
 
Those who have trusted the Lord Jesus as their Savior are not only saved but are ambassadors of their Lord and Savior. An ambassador is an authorized representative who speaks not in his own name but on behalf of another. We who have trusted Christ have been empowered and tasked with the joyous responsibility to faithfully proclaim the promises of the gospel and urge sinners to be reconciled to God through Christ alone. We have no other message and serve no other purpose. May we represent our Lord well, so that others may trust Christ and be reconciled to God.

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Wisdom is Calling

Proverbs 8:1-3, “Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice? She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths. She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.”
 
Here wisdom is personified and in the streets, calling all sinners to follow God’s path that leads to life rather than death, the truth that leads to wealth rather than poverty. Hear and heed the Lord Jesus, and gain true wisdom and wealth. He is not stingy with either one. Being a fool, now that is hard work. Fools purposefully ignore and evade wisdom, turning away from the truth, but not because it can’t be found. Wisdom calls out in the street. Be wise. “If ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 4:7) and trust that voice of love and wisdom from this day forward.

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God Is Faithful

Lamentations 3:22-24, “It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.”
 
This is a blessed and TIMELESS TRUTH. God is faithful. Faithfulness describes His character. Paul stated at the beginning of 1 Corinthians, “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord. “Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it” is how Paul ended 1 Thessalonians. Man is regularly faithless. God is utterly faithful. God never changes with the circumstances or the times. Man does. God never wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. Man does. God is always reliable all of the time. Man isn’t. Have faith in God, not man.

 Live-streaming at 7pm tonight

The faithfulness of God will be the focus of our Bible study this evening at 7pm. The continuing restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic means this study will be live-streamed only. Click here to view the live-stream. This evening’s text will be Lamentations 3:22-24, a familiar, well-loved passage, and for good reason. One of the greatest hymns of all time – Great Is Thy Faithfulness – is based on this text. God’s faithfulness is one of the most treasured of His TIMELESS TRUTHS.

 Until then…

At 7pm tonight, have your Bible open to Lamentations 3, and be logged on to the live-stream. Until then, think on this. God’s faithfulness is… (click link to open a page with all the scriptures listed below) 
  • Incomparable – Psalm 89:8
  • Impeccable – 2 Timothy 2:13; Psalm 89:33
  • Infinite – Psalm 36:5
  • Indestructible – Psalm 119:89-90
  • Unbreakable – Deuteronomy 7:9
  • Available – 1 John 1:9
  • Durable – 1 Corinthians 10:13
  • Dependable – 1 Peter 4:19

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First of all, Pray

Luke 18:1, “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;”
 
The Lord Jesus thought prayer was important. He preached of prayer’s importance, and practiced what He preached. The gospels are packed with accounts of Jesus praying publicly and privately. During His earthly ministry God the Son remained connected with God the Father through prayer. His followers should do likewise. Life lived for Christ is full of joy and difficulty. The struggle in all aspects of life is real, but we are not left alone. A heart that trusts God will first of all pray and the heart that prays will be strengthened to trust God, no matter what. Don’t give up. Make prayer your first response.

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Think Again

2 Corinthians 10:7, “Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ’s, even so are we Christ’s.”
 
Think again. That’s the counsel given the Corinthians who compared Paul with other Christian leaders. That advice is still necessary because even today people try to prove their goodness by comparing themselves with others. How easy it is to think more highly of ourselves than we ought (or to think less of ourselves than we should) when we compare ourselves against other people. Don’t worry about others. Don’t seek to be men-pleasers. Think again, and desire to please God rather than men. He isn’t impressed with outward appearances but with inward realities (1 Samuel 16:7). Trust the God who is no respecter of persons, and then do likewise.

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Who Do You Trust?

Philippians 2:19, “But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.”
 
Paul penned this epistle from prison. His imprisonment prevented him from personally visiting the beloved church at Philippi. So, he sent Timothy to encourage them. Paul trusted the Lord’s will. He said, “I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy.” Paul was confident that Timothy’s report would be positive. This is a fantastic reminder to be joyfully confident in our service to the Lord, no matter what, and to be positive in regard to our fellow believers. Trusting God doesn’t make us blind, but it should make us joyful. Trusting Him does enable us to believe the best about others. Trusting Him allows us to experience “good comfort” during uncomfortable times. Trust in the Lord Jesus!

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Appetites Dictate Directions

How’s your appetite? Are you hungry? To be more specific, what do you desire? Appetites dictate directions. Craving a burger means you won’t visit the closest Chinese buffet. Being hungry for BBQ will not land you in Olive Garden.
 
A rumbling tummy dictates what is pulled from the fridge or which restaurant is visited, because  appetites dictate directions. Hungering for anyone or anything above God will always lead to dissatisfaction and malnourishment. God alone is able to satisfy and sustain you. Every time. All the time.
 
We worship what we hunger for most. That’s why the psalmist says:
“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.” Psalm 34:8-9
Don’t overlook the “ye his saints” in that passage. “Saint” is a Biblical synonym for believer; not a designation for elite, specialized believers. That is emphasized because only believers are able to eat from God’s impressive and inexhaustible banquet table. That’s not an elitist statement, because anyone can belly up to that table, just as long as you are in Christ.
 
Those who are in Christ have been rescued from sin’s wages, which is death, by God’s grace through faith in Christ Jesus. Those who are in Christ have been set on a new path, headed in His direction, given a new appetite. Appetites dictate directions. How’s yours?

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