• Matt Beaney

#539 (17/2/22) THE TIME IS SHORT…SO SEEK WISDOM



‘What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short…For this world in its present form is passing away. (1 Corinthians 7:29, 31)
‘And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light.’ (Romans 13:11-12)

The words of Moses in Psalm 90 are a great response to what we have been looking at from 1 Corinthians 7 this week.


‘Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.’ (Psalms 90:12)

Today’s readings and Nev’s prophetic picture that he shared on Sunday of the shadow rising up and engulfing the mountain speak of the world and our lives as passing away - the time is short! Early in the psalm, Moses had reflected on the brevity of life,


‘Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.’ (Psalm 90:10)


In the short span of our lives, or during the time until Jesus’ return, we must learn to ‘number our days’. Time is a most precious commodity. It must be put to good use. To number our days is to carefully consider how to make the most of each day. Yesterday and tomorrow do not exist! You and I must live in this day. In order to make the most of today, we must pray for God to ’teach us….that we may gain a heart of wisdom’. Wisdom is doing the right things in the right way at the right time. Wisdom is the application of God’s will.


One night, when God appeared to Solomon in a dream, He gave him the invitation to “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” How would you respond to this? Ask for a spouse? For riches? For more followers on Instagram?… Solomon, however, responds with, ‘give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong’ (1 Kings 9:9). This answer pleased God. If you have wisdom you have everything! Good choices lead to God’s will being done in our lives.


This Psalm of Moses is set just before the Israelites cross the River Jordan into the Promised Land. A whole generation had died in forty years of desert wandering because they had failed to ‘number their days’ and had rebelled against God. As they face entering the Land, they need God’s help and wisdom. Entering the Promised Land can be seen as a foreshadowing of entering into heaven or the renewed creation at the end of history. All of us are in a foreign land and are waiting to cross over into heaven or for Jesus to come to us. Our home and inheritance are heaven. As we stand looking to cross over into eternal life, how will we live? Will we pray so as to number our days and gain a heart of wisdom?


Let’s make it a habit to number our days by praying for wisdom at the beginning of each day. It’s also helpful to pray and reflect at the end of each day.


 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY

1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

 

2. Icebreaker

Do you have any encouragements to share from how God has been speaking to you from His word recently?

 

3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group


On Sunday, we continued with our series 'Becoming Love' from the book of 1 Corinthians. Nev spoke from 1 Corinthians 7:25-40. His message was entitled The Time is Short.


Please read 1 Corinthians 7:25-40.


Paul is teaching about the advantages of remaining single, whilst teaching that it’s good to marry if one feel sthat this is God’s will to do so. Too often relationships are set as our highest goal and priority. We can define ourselves by our relationships. Sex can be idolised. Paul reminds the Corinthians to put all of their relationships with people and material things into the context of eternity because ‘this world in its present form is passing away’.


On Sunday Nev shared a prophetic picture from which He illustrated his message. He saw in his mind's eye, a great mountain the base of which was shrouded in a dark cloud that was rising, slowly, up the mountain. Many people were on this mountain. Some were walking toward the top which was the great goal. Some were alone and were thus able to stride unencumbered toward the top (single people). Others were in small groups and were making slower progress as they had to wait for one another (those married and with families). Many had come to a stop at the sides of the path (the discouraged). Many, however, were streaming down the mountain and away from the summit (those needed to hear the gospel).


'The time is short... The world in its present form is passing away'. This should cause us to serve others. Many are discouraged and have stopped climbing the mountain; if we are single, how can we help them? If we are married how can we help them? Many are streaming down the mountain to destruction; if we are single, how can we help them? If we are married how can we help them?


Discussion questions

i) Did you feel that God spoke to you from any particular aspect of Sunday's message?

ii) Paul teaches that 'those who marry will face many troubles in this life'. What are these and how can we help to support married people?

iii) We are told that 'the time is short...this world in its present form is passing away.' How are we to live in light of this fact?

iv) What do verses 32-35 teach us about the benefits of being unmarried?


SIV (Serve invest and invite)

i) Do you have any encouraging stories of sharing your faith with your friends?

ii) How do you plan to 'serve, invest and invite' into your friendships?

iii) Let's pray for the Spirit to lead us in reaching our community.







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