God's Roadmap

Now may the Lord Jesus Christ and our Father God, who loved us and in his wonderful grace gave us eternal comfort and a beautiful hope that cannot fail, encourage your hearts and inspire you with strength to always do and speak what is good and beautiful in his eyes (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 TPT).


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Value of Time and How to Redeem It


by Barbara Latta

The recent change from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time required changing clocks and watches and adapting our days to earlier darkness in the evening.

We feel that we lose an hour each spring and gain it back in the fall. But we aren’t really losing and gaining, just rearranging. The only way we can lose time is by squandering it.

Time is a commodity we aren’t conscious of. Minutes tick by while we go about our business every day. As each second slips past, the hands on the clock have moved through a day we will never re-live.

Time can’t be placed in a piggy bank and saved like money. Hours can’t be earned like our salary. Minutes are not retrievable like lost coins. Time passes and disappears.

God tells us to redeem time, so how do we do that?

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16 NKJV).

A travel experience I had taught me a lesson about redeeming time. As I prepared for a flight, I waded through security, lugged bags up escalators, waited in the terminal through flight delays and listened to the non-stop chatter of the canned announcements telling me not to accept bags from anyone else. When I plopped down in my assigned seat, I was ready to sit on the plane and relax with my good Christian book while my selfishness was hoping no one would bother me.

How like God to show me how I was closing myself off to other people by seating me next to a woman who wanted to talk nonstop. I didn’t want to listen to this stranger. I wanted to read my Christian material. Finally, the Lord got the message through to me and I closed the book and turned my attention to my seat mate. She saw what I was reading and we struck up a conversation about spiritual matters. I gave her my book as we left the plane.

My time that day was not my own. God assigned my seat next to this woman so I could learn to listen and so she could hear His message through the material I was reading.
Each moment and each day is a gift. What we do with it determines our future and can ultimately affect the future of someone else.

When scripture tells us to redeem the time, I don’t think God is expecting us to constantly be preaching a sermon to someone. Yes, there are times we need to speak God’s Word to individuals, but the way we live our lives speaks volumes also. He wants us to use every opportunity to reflect His glory to a world full of pain, chaos, evil and selfishness.

When the Holy Spirit’s character comes out of us in our response to situations we are redeeming that time in a way that shows Christ to a hurting world.

Some of the ways we can do this is through godly character traits such as:

  • Honesty – Telling the truth has become an anomaly; no one expects it anymore and when we do speak honestly, we stand out like a beacon; returning change to a cashier who counted the money incorrectly is a welcome surprise to that employee.
  • Diligence – When we go the extra mile at our jobs and do something not expected of us or when we exert 100% of our efforts instead of simply getting by until we get paid, our actions speak louder than words to our employer.
  • Purity – Taking a stand against immorality in a world polluted by vulgar language, pornography, abortion and human trafficking are actions that defend the abuse of others.
  • Integrity – Doing the right thing even when it may cost us something exhibits the selflessness of Christ’s love.
  • Defend God’s name – In a world full of blasphemy and promotion of political correctness, standing for God is not popular.

The worldly society is not accustomed to people responding to situations in ways that put other people first.

The earth has turned, the sun has set and risen again for another day. Rather than saying, “What did I do with yesterday?”, we can look at the sunrise and declare, “What will I do with today?” Yesterday is gone and we don’t need to beat ourselves up if we didn’t use the day wisely.

Many opportunities for redeeming the time have slipped through my days. But thankfully, I am learning to listen, and I finally yielded to God’s whisper while on that plane and put my agenda on hold while I let my time become someone else’s.

Songwriter, Jim Croce, wrote about the fragileness of time in his hit single, “Time in a Bottle.” In his song, Croce wrote about wanting to spend forever with the one he was writing about, his wife, by putting time in a bottle. Thankfully, when we know Christ we will live in infinity with our loved ones; not by putting time in a bottle, but by knowing the author of eternity. But until then we do need to redeem our time, because the days are evil.

When we leave this temporary home, we are released from the bondage of time; but until then we have a calling to fulfill while we are still breathing in our bodies.

We are God’s mouthpiece and He uses us. If we treasure each moment as a gift of life, we are redeeming the time our Father has given us. When we glorify the Lord, we are shining a light during the days that are evil.

Do you have ideas to redeem time? Feel free to share your thoughts.

TWEETABLES




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