Covenant Partnership Session 8

Gospel Centered Time:  Because we are accepted by God, we use our time differently.

Summary:  The next three weeks we are going to explore how the gospel changes us.  Specifically, we are going to look at the how the gospel changes the way we use our time, talent and treasure.  There is nothing more radical than understanding the unconditional love and irrevocable adoption that we have from God because of Jesus (the gospel).  As we begin to understand our great redemption, our lives change in every way.  Knowing that we are accepted, secure, have purpose, am valued, have significance in our heavenly Father, enables us to live all of life differently.  We are free from finding our identity elsewhere, no longer living in slavery to creation, and therefore are able to use our time in new life-giving ways.  We typically give our time away to that which we believe will meet our needs best.  However, if we believe our needs are met in Christ, now we have the freedom to use our time differently.

Before you watch the video, ask these questions:

1.  Where do you spend your time? (kids, home, sports, school, work)

2. What is the motivation behind spending your time in certain ways? (ie…we spend time with people to be accepted, at work for security, and with non-profits for a sense of purpose).  

Questions for discussion:

1. In our old identity, we spent a lot of time doing certain activities so that we would be accepted.  For example, in a worldly nature, we might have spent time playing sports so that people might compliment us, momentarily filling the need for acceptance or significance (refer back to the pendulum diagram).  In our religious nature, we might have spent time doing the “right” things because we want people at our church to accept us.  However, in the gospel, knowing that we are already accepted, we are free to choose how to use our time a part from trying to be accepted.  Can you see ways in the world or religion that people are in essence slaves when it comes to how they use their time because they are still trying to be accepted?   

2. The proof that we are living in the gospel is freedom.  When it comes to our time, the specific proof is the ability to take a Sabbath.  A Sabbath might be defined as “freedom from expectations”.  By taking a sabbath (rest) you are saying “God is in control, he can provide for me, he gives acceptance, he is my purpose and significance, therefore, even though I’m taking time off, I’ll be okay.  A Sabbath is a proof that we are living as loved…my Father has my back!   Do you take a Sabbath?  Why/why not?  Do you think a Sabbath is a realistic idea?

3. If we are not managing our time well, sometimes it is an issue of just not knowing how to manage well, but often it is because of a heart issue that needs to change.  As you think about your life, what identity issue (acceptance, security, purpose, value, and significance) dictates what you give your time to?  How can this be changed in knowing Jesus?

 

For further study:  Read Exodus.  Think about the bondage of the Israelites as they forgot God and thought that the only way to make it was to be enslaved to the Egyptians.  Consider how God freed them and can free you.  Consider how many times God calls them to Sabbath, because He wants them to realize again and again how He alone meets their needs.  It’s a great story about learning to live free! Consider listening to the Exodus series on line.  

 

A question to prepare you for session 7: What are you good at?  What do you enjoy doing?  Where do you see needs in the church, the world, and in our community?  What do you think is your spiritual gift?