Imagine that you live to be more than 80 years old. At the end of your life, what might you wish you had spent more time doing? What might you wish you’d spent less time doing?
Summary: Being a good steward of our time is not just about the activities in our schedule. It’s also about having unified, encouraging relationships with other believers and a worshipful posture toward the Lord, no matter what we are doing. With the time God gives us we can honor God, live purposefully and love others well.
Read Ephesians 5:8-14
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said: ‘Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’”
How can you live in such a way as to grow in goodness, righteousness, truth and what pleases the Lord?
What activities are you involved in now that might be considered fruitless deeds of darkness?
Process: Think about each of the following categories and quickly estimate how much time you spend on each one within the last week:
Church and other Christian activities (not Cru)
Friends and family
Laundry, cleaning, house and yard work
Ministering to others
Prayer and reading God’s Word
Recreation and athletics
Social Media and time online (phone and computer)
Study and class
Other entertainment (TV, movies and video games)
Are the priority areas of your life receiving priority amounts of time?
Where would you like to spend more time?
Where would you like to spend less time?
Read Ephesians 5:15-20
“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 Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
What does it look like to be filled with the Spirit?
Do you think being filled with the Spirit in something done in ministry and church activities or is it an encouraging, worshipful overflow of the heart all the time?
How can you live as a child of light, even in the “mundane” moments of life?
Brainstorm: Think about the time you spend doing things that don’t appear to be very “spiritual”, but are inevitable activities in life. Brainstorm, and add them to the following list.
Waiting in line
Walking and exercise
Read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Brainstorm: Brainstorm a list of God’s-will-for-you actions that can be done during the activities you listed above. Add those to the following list:
Pray for someone in need
Thank God for all the good and difficult things in your life
Do something that reenergizes you or helps you rest
Discuss: What will you begin doing as a child of light, filled with the Spirit and doing God’s will all of the time?
Pray: In light of what we’ve discussed, how can we pray for each other right now?
Since we last met, what happened as a result of expressing Christ’s love to others?
How can you, or we, express Christ’s love to others this week?
Here are a few ideas:
Pray God would meet their deepest needs.
Help meet a felt need they have.
Encourage them with a text, note or verbally.
Give them a thoughtful gift or buy them coffee.
Invite them to do something fun or meaningful.
Listen to their story.
Explore their thoughts on the gospel.
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