How to Redeem 2015January 6, 2015
The Lord God created the sun, the moon, and the stars to give us the precious gift and commodity of time. From His eternal, incontrovertible presence, time was set into motion. And though He is not bound by time, nor subject to it, His omnipresent qualities permit Him to exist within the calendar of our world while simultaneously existing in the world eternal. What a profound thought: God is not in eternity; rather, eternity is in God. Therefore, all things exist for His ultimate glory, even time. The Lord initiated the clock of history, and humanity has heard the perpetual ticking ever since. Because He is the Only One Who had the power to create time, He will be the Only Who has the authority to make it cease. I remind you, He is Alpha and Omega, Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.
The writer of Ecclesiastes said to “every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” The psalmist said, “So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” We are to number our days because life is a vapor that appears for a little while then vanishes away. Someone has rightly suggested that “time is the most valued coin in your pocket…be careful, therefore, how you spend it and what you spend it on.”
To the believer, time is vastly and infinitely important because we are held responsible to it. In essence, we are stewards of the time that God has so graciously allotted for our lives. We will stand before Him one day to give an account. If only we could live every day as though it was the only day to be examined at the Judgment Seat, I suppose our intentions, thoughts, and hearts would be radically aimed toward His glory.
This is why the apostle Paul instructed us to “redeem the time.” We are to literally “value our time to the highest degree.” We are to make the most of our time. Seasons come and go, holidays quickly pass, children grow old, life stages change, and time marches on.
So, here we are again. Another New Year, another set of resolutions, another calendar set before us with endless challenges and opportunities. How do we redeem this precious gift of time? From the fifth chapter of Ephesians the aged Apostle gives some instruction:
1. Exercise Your Walk (Ephesians 5:15-16)
“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil”
The world will never see, nor care, about your doctrinal positions if they do not see your doctrinal practices. Or to put it frankly, anyone can talk the talk, but only those who walk the walk will make a gospel difference in our culture. Walking “circumspectly” means to walk with an exactness, an accurate measure of truthfulness. We are to walk as though the world sees us walking with Christ. We are to walk as Enoch walked with God. During evil, corrupt, and perverse times, the world not only needs to hear the sound of a Christian talking, they need to see the sights of a Christian walking.
2. Evaluate Your Will (Ephesians 5:17)
“Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”
You can redeem this year, and every year to follow by aligning your dreams, aspirations, and goals with God’s will. The progression here is simple to see in the text: Only those walking in accordance to God’s Word will have the understanding of implementing God’s will. The early Christians to whom James addressed had an issue here. He said to them, “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” Remember this important truth: We have thoroughly failed if we wholly succeed at things that have no divine purpose.
3. Examine Your Witness (Ephesians 5:18)
“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;”
What fills you ultimately controls you. We are not to be filled with wine or strong drink because it controls our thoughts, actions, demeanor, and affections. We are instead to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The witness of the Spirit of God in your life will be measured by your submission to His control. When we are baptized in the Spirit, we are completely immersed in Him (eternally saved). But when we are filled with the Spirit, He is completely immersed in us (effectively sanctified). Will the Spirit of God have complete and total control over every decision you make today, and throughout this year?
4. Exercise Your Worship (Ephesians 5:19-20)
“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;”
You can exercise worship through your talk (speaking to yourselves), through your tunes (psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs) and through your thanksgiving (giving thanks always for all things). Those with a spirit of praise and worship have a hard time breeding negativity in the lives of others. Go ahead and redeem this year by glorifying God…it will be good practice for your eternal occupation.