Redeeming The Time
We are now eight months into the year 2010. What resolutions did you make at the start of the year? What plans, as a Christian, did you have to make 2010 a more productive year than 2009? Before we know it, we will come to the end of another year asking ourselves, “Where did the year go?” When this year is over, will we be looking back with joy, or with regret?
In Ephesians 5:15-17, Paul wrote, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” To walk “circumspectly” means to walk correctly, accurately, or perfectly. It carries with it the idea of “looking where we walk, being watchful where we walk.” To “redeem the time” means to “purchase, to buy up,” or “to rescue or recover our time from waste.” It means, “Buying up those moments others seem to throw away.” The “days are evil” simply means that our time here on earth is filled with all kinds of temptations and all kinds of trials and tribulations. In light of these verses, what should we learn?
First, we should learn that our time on earth is limited. The Bible repeatedly makes us aware that our days on earth are numbered: (Ps. 39:4; Ps 90:10; Job 14:1; Prov. 27:1; James 4:14). In these verses, the Bible tells us to number our days so that we will develop a heart of wisdom; not to count on tomorrow because tomorrow may not come for you or for me, and that all we have is right now. Therefore, our time on this earth is valuable because it is very limited.
Second, we should learn to make the most of every opportunity that comes our way. You recall the story in Luke 10:40-42 involving the sisters Mary and Martha. Jesus was in their home. Mary had chosen to listen to Jesus teach, but Martha was busy with much serving. She asked Jesus to make Mary help her, but Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen a good thing in listening to Him. I am afraid too many of us make this same mistake every day. We are so caught up in the here and now that we miss opportunities to do something that might have eternal effects. Jesus taught, in John 4:35, and, again, in John 9:4, that we have a limited time to work and we need to take advantage of the opportunities that come our way.
Finally, we need to understand “what the will of the Lord is.” What do you think God’s will for your life is as we move forward into this year? Do you think He wants your mind so saturated with worries and anxieties that you cannot think spiritual thoughts? Do you think He wants your calendar so crowded that you do not have time for the important things? What do you think God’s will is for you this year? Let us pause for a moment and honestly ask ourselves what our life has been like so far this year. Are we walking “circumspectly”? Are we “redeeming the time”? Are we “understanding what God’s will for our life is”?
Someone has said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re making plans to do something else.” Let me close with the words of the apostle Paul as they are found in Romans 13:11, 12, “The hour has 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 armor of light.” –PO Box 110, Barrackville, WV 26559.
(Editor’s note: Steve, along with Peter Ray Cole, Aaron Snider, and Ed Melott, are now making their plans to return to India this fall, if the Lord wills, leaving September 29th. You and I can redeem the time by helping to supply the money they will need. Steve writes, “On our trip last year over 600 were baptized into Christ as a result of the evangelistic campaigns we were involved in … When all expenses are figured in, the average cost per conversion is less than $20.00.” We may help by sending our donations soon. Call (304) 363-5203 or (304) 363-9060.)
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