Redeeming the Time - Pastor's Column (2/12/14)
All of us are slaves to time.
We wear wristwatches to keep us on schedules, have clocks in our cars and alarm clocks on our nightstands. Many of us have smart phones or other high-tech gadgets to keep track of time. Some folks save time, others make time, most waste time, several kill time, and a few actually are on time. Many try to manage time and end up losing time. Time is a taker. Once past, it never returns. How it's spent determines the satisfaction of life and it determines your eternal future.
My father always said to me, "son time is money." Now in my generation time is more important than money. People would spend money to save time whereas as in my father's day they would spend time to save money. In a world where people are stressed out, it seems as if we value our free time more than money in our pockets.
Yet a lot of people do not see the validity in serving the Lord with their time. They use their time for themselves, they use their gifts for themselves, they use their resources for themselves but they don't use the time God has blessed them with to serve the Kingdom of God and one another.
Some live with the idea in their minds that says, "Tomorrow I will serve the Lord," but the problem is tomorrow never comes. The Apostle James reminds us that a faith that does not change the heart of an individual means nothing. It's meaningless. A transformed heart wants to serve the Kingdom of God!
In Ephesians 5:15-17, it says, "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." (NKJV) What Apostle Paul is saying to us is that we should take great care to live accurately or precisely and not be an unbeliever of the Word of God. We cannot leave the Christian life to chance. We must make wise decisions and seek to do the will of God.
Life is short!
There is an old Chinese proverb that says, "Opportunity has a force, look so you can seize it when you meet it. Once it is past, you cannot seize it again." Our English word for opportunity comes from the Latin and means "toward a port." It suggests a ship taking advantage of the wind and tide to arrive safely in the harbor.
The brevity of life is a strong argument for making the best use of the opportunities God gives us. Time is precious, so cherish it and "don't waste it."
Pastor C. H. Barrett is the pastor of Beulah United Church in Williston.
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