Life Management – Division

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)

One of the pressures on our lives today is our time. It seems there are never enough hours in the day. Where does the time go? Am I using my time wisely? In a survey of the concerns of our church, time management came in third, behind family and finances.

Subtraction – removing clutter from our lives, physical, mental and emotional, from our lives. Addition – adding helpful tools; programs, purpose, planning and priorities to use time better. Multiplication – multiplying our expectations, realizing that we can do better for ourselves.

These are the principles that we have learned and there is one more: Division. Divide out a portion of your day for yourself. For you to be the best that you can be and to use your time to the best potential, you are going to have to be the best you that you can be. Even as we study the Scriptures and discover that we are to be servants, just as Jesus was, for us to be good servants, we have to make sure that we are fit to serve.

“The word ‘time’ is composed of four letters, but if you divide the word you will see that there are two extremely important words inside. They are ‘I’ and ‘Me.” At first, it sounds self-serving, but we must look to our great teacher, Jesus, for his example.

Mark 1:35-37 (NIV) 35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36 Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”

This is at the beginning of his ministry. He had just healed many people and many people wanted Him to come and heal them. He was now in high demand. If He would have chosen, He could have spent all his time ministering, and that would have been a good use of time, but apparently, it was not the best use of time. Jesus knew how time ought to be spent and He knew that it was important to take time to get alone and to pray.

Luke 5:16 (NIV) But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

How busy are you? Are you busier that Jesus? Are you doing things that are more important that Jesus was doing? If Jesus took time away from preaching and healing, we should definitely take some time away from our work and responsibilities so that we can recharge our batteries.

This is not a new principle. Where do we see the first time that the principle of rest and recharging appears in the Bible? Go all the way back to Genesis 2. God made the world in six days and rested on the seventh. The Ten Commandments tell us to honor the Sabbath. God knows that we need rest and we need to be refreshed. Divide out some time in our life to be refreshed and some time to spend with the Lord so that you can be the best that you can be.

This was a habit with Jesus and it needs to become a habit in your life. What I’m teaching you is not something you are going to do one time. It’s something you need to do every day the rest of your life. If you want to get God’s vision for your life and hear God’s voice, you need to meet with him daily.

This means you take the phone off the hook and you remove as many distractions as possible. Jesus says, “Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.” (Matthew 6:6 Msg)

Here’s the thing – You are not waiting on God, he’s waiting on you. God wants to meet with you.  He wants you to know him as well as he knows you.  If you don’t understand this, you are rarely going to go to God for guidance. There is nothing in your life that God is not interested in: “Don’t worry about what you will eat … or drink … or wear. Your heavenly Father knows that you need (these things).” (Matthew 6:31-32)  Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Life.

Equals

In every equation, there is an equal sign. What is on the left side has to equal what is on the right side. They have to balance. The same is true in your life. You have to put your life in balance. Take a lesson from the wheel. Draw a large circle on your paper. Divide it up with lines like the spokes on a wheel. Put numbers 1-10 on each spoke from the center to the edge. Label each line as an important area of your life: personal, family, business, mental, physical, spiritual, and financial. Rate yourself in each category and see how round and full your wheel is. Add three more just like it and see how smooth the ride is going to be in the car of your life. Zig Ziglar.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)

Counting

Make your time count. Use it wisely. Use it for what really matters.

Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Some material is from Twice As Much In Half the Time by Amy Jones.

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Life Management – Multiplication

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)

Multiply your expectations of yourself, of others, and of what can be done with your time.

Most of feel like that we barely have time to breathe, much less take care of everything that we have to do from day to day. “There is no way that I could add anything to my schedule.” A good look at our lives and schedules and the way that we spend our time is a good thing to do from time to time. How can I get it all done? How can I do a better job? Multiply your expectations.

“I work best under pressure,” said a fellow college student. “No,” said the instructor, “you only work at the last minute.” This is often true that while we may work a lot, we only work hard at the last minute. Nothing makes you get something done like a deadline. What if we worked as hard as we do at the last for the entire time of the project? We would see much better results.

Multiply your expectations.

Matthew 13:31-33 (NIV) He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”

Multiply your expectations of others.

Pitkin tutoring program – a bunch of fourth graders. While I was in Pitkin, we started a one-on-one mentoring program with the elementary school children. We had six tutors that year working with six children. The school knew that they had some fourth graders that they feared may not pass the LEAP test that year and so they gave us those children to work with. By the time the tests were over, all of the children passed the test that year.

What accounted for the success? Caring adults looked into the eyes of those children and multiplied their expectations of them.

Matthew 13:8 (NIV) Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop – a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.

Good soil can produce good results and God did not make any junk. You can do it. If you say to yourself that you cannot do something, then you won’t be able to do it. If you raise your expectations of yourself, you would be surprised what you can do. It takes the courage to try and the willingness to work hard and smart and you can achieve success.

Philippians 4:13 (NIV) I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Proverbs 10:4 (NIV) Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.

Fixing our washing machine

A couple of months ago, Jennifer said that our washing machine was broken. I don’t know anything about washing machines, but I thought, “If it is already broke, I can’t break it more.” I took a look at it, figured out the problem and got it fixed for just a few dollars. I gave myself the benefit of the doubt and dove in to fixing it. You might be surprised what you can do if you try.

Do not be satisfied with the status quo.

If you are not satisfied with the way things are, do something about it. Paul had come a long way in his work for and relationship with the Lord, but he knew that it could be better and he was willing to do what it took to get there.

Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV) Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself to have yet taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Be willing to put forth the effort that it is going to take to get the job done and to do it well.

2 Corinthians 9:6 (NIV) Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

Life Managementn – Subtraction

March 19, 2014                                   Time: Subtraction                                Hebrews 12:1

 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)

One of the pressures on our lives today is our time. It seems there are never enough hours in the day. Where does the time go? Am I using my time wisely? In a survey of the concerns of our church, time management came in third, behind family and finances.

Do we need more time, or do we need to use our time more wisely? We all have the same 24 hours in a day, from the CEO of the largest corporation to the president, from Bill Gates to John Doe. The difference is how you spend it.

Someone asked me the other day how I was doing. My answer to him was, “Busy.” It does not matter who you are or what you do, it is easy to get busy. If you have children, they will keep you busy. If you are retired, you are so busy that you are wondering how you ever had time to work. There seems like there is so much that has to get done, but there are only so many hours in a day. How do you live in this busy world? How do we make the most of the time that we have?

As we study together, over the next four weeks, ways to improve our time management, we will be looking at “The Math of Time.” Subtraction, Addition, Multiplication and Division Equals Successful Management of Life and Time.

Subtraction.

A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to tear down and a time to build up, a time to keep and a time to throw away. Ecclesiastes 3

Physical Clutter

How much time is stolen from our lives because there is simply too much stuff going on? Can you never find the tool you are looking for because your tool box is filled with tools your hardly use? Can you never find anything to wear because your closet is filled with clothes you haven’t worn in years? Is your desk so messy that you can never find what you are looking for?

How much time is wasted caring for, cleaning, organizing, or searching through all the stuff that clutters your life? Subtraction begins as we begin to clean out the closets of our lives by identifying what truly is important and getting rid of all of the things that are not important at all.

Hebrews 12:1 (NIV) … let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that we have time for the necessary.

Take a good look at the ways you are spending your time. What is important? What could you live without? Do you really need to watch that TV show? Do you really need to spend all that time of the Internet or Facebook or whatever?

Mental Clutter

Just as there is physical clutter in our lives and in our schedules, there is also clutter inside of our minds and our hearts. Worry, anxiety, unanswered questions, and everyday stresses. We worry about all sorts of things. We worry about our children. Are we raising them right? Are we doing our best by them? We worry about our jobs. How can I do a better job at work? How can I get along with so-and-so? We worry about money. Will I be able to pay the bills this month? Will I have enough money to retire? Will the stock market go up or down?

We can spend so much time worrying about things that we miss the time that we are in now. We are so worried about tomorrow that we do not take advantage of today.

Matthew 6:25, 27 (NIV) “Do not worry about your life. Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

If you can’t do anything about a situation, do not spend your time worrying about it. If you can do something about it, do it and move on. Do not waste your time worrying about things that you cannot change.

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

How do you get beyond worry? Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Make a careful appraisal or inspection of your life and as you find the clutter, get rid of it so that you will have room for the things that really matter. It is true for your stuff, your thoughts, your finances, everything. Remove the bad, keep what is good.