The new century used to seem so far away. Back in grade school, around 50 years ago, my classmates and I would talk about the arrival of the year 2000 and how old we would be. To an 8-year-old, that magical age of 40 seemed like an eternity away.
As a school child of the 1960s, everyone had dreams of the future. With the Apollo missions and Neil Armstrong walking on the moon, many kids thought being an astronaut flying through space was their career path. When I was a child, mainly because of Perry Mason, I wanted to use my wit to force killers to confess on the witness stand; a lawyer was my dream. By my teenage years, that dream faded into a desire to be a play-by-play announcer for the Cleveland Indians (Hammy, if you are reading, just one-half inning, please, pretty please). I digress.
As mentioned, in the 1960s, the year 2000 seemed so far away, but now that I am in my 60s, the year 2000 seems so long ago.
Few people become what they dream of becoming as a child. Life seems to throw curveballs. Interest in particular things, such as walking on the moon, fades, then reality sets in. The family needs override the desire to climb Mount Everest, and time and money avoid showing up when needed together.
Just because we do not walk on the moon or climb the tallest mountain or announce the game-winning home run does not mean we have wasted our life. It only means our priorities have changed.
As Christians, we need to make the best use of our time. Ephesians 5:16 says, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
How do we redeem our time, making the best use of it to please God and accomplish His will?
The phrase “redeeming the time” occurs in one other place in the Bible, so let us start there. Colossians 4:5 says, “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.”
To redeem our time, we must walk in wisdom. Seven times the Scripture ties the “fear” of the LORD with wisdom (Job 28:28, Psalms 111:10, Proverbs 1:7; 9:10; 15:33, Isaiah 11:2; 33:6). When someone fears God, it does not mean they are hiding under the bed, quivering, thinking that the next lightning bolt is for them because God is displeased. The fear of the Lord is to have respect or reverence toward God.
The first step in redeeming your time and giving your life meaning is to respect your Creator — respect to the extent that His words mean enough to you that you will heed what He says.
On to step two — knowing what God has said. 2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
As we study the Scriptures with respect toward God, we, in turn, do what the Scriptures say. Our heart begins to change. For example, someone greedy starts becoming benevolent, not because he must, but because the respect He has for God gives him the desire to do God’s will.
Step two evolves into step three. As our heart changes, we begin to live more by faith. Faith is the only way to please God. Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
Lastly, to do God’s will, we must acknowledge what God’s will is. Romans 12:1-2 gives us instructions on how to know the will of God: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Knowing God’s will takes becoming a living sacrifice — a willingness and taking the actions needed for holiness and acceptable behavior to God. Then the transformation of the mind — thinking the way God thinks, loving people, but hating sin, enough understanding of the Scriptures where you know what God wants — proving that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Everything discussed so far has nothing to do with salvation. A person is not saved by works of righteousness or performing religious rituals. Salvation comes by faith.
With that said, I will end with some questions.
Have you redeemed your time? Do you know God’s will? Is God part of your thought process as you make decisions and live life?
Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in northern Parke County, Indiana. Webpage: www.preacherspoint.wordpress.com; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; address: 410 S. Jefferson St. Rockville IN 47872; all Bible references KJV. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.