REDEEMING THE TIME – AGAIN

REDEEMING THE TIME – AGAIN

redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Eph.5:16

Time is one of our most precious of all commodities. Our time is not unlimited, we have a fixed amount of time on this earth given to us by the Lord. Our wise use of time is one of the things about our lives that will be evaluated at that great day when each of us will stand before the Lord. Our lives are all a series of “times” allotted to us by the Lord, these times are viewed, by the Lord, as treasures, or opportunities given to us for the advancement of His kingdom. There will come a day when time is no more, time will be swallowed up by eternity, and all of us will be instantly standing and living in the fruit of our labors here on earth. Dick Mills has some valuable insight into this phrase “redeeming the time”. Listen carefully to his words.

“This verse contains an illuminating Greek word for time: kairos (kahee-ros’). This is time adapted to circumstances. Kairos can be defined as: 1) A set time for action, 2) the right moment, 3) the opportune point of time when a thing should be done, or 4) the time appointed to accomplish a certain task.
In Ephesians 5:16 we are admonished by Paul to “redeem” the time (kairos) appointed to us by the Lord. Newer translations render this phrase, “buying up the opportunity,” indicating we need a natural acumen (understanding) to help us to interpret our spiritual opportunities.”

All of us live in a world screaming for our time. The Lord is different, He is quietly waiting for us to turn our attention to Him and to see the value of the time He has given to us. Seeing the value of something is the key to wise stewardship, especially of our time. We give ourselves to the things we perceive as important. How can I redeem the time and why would I want to? One glimpse of Him and His greatness will answer all of those questions. When you “see” Christ for yourself, your value system is radically upended, what you deem as important will change. When that happens, you will immediately see the value of one of the Lord’s greatest gifts to you, your time. In light of what Paul said about living in the evil day, we have to redeem the time, frankly, we don’t know how much of it we have.

REDEEMING THE TIME

REDEEMING THE TIME

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Eph.5:15,16

We are rapidly heading into a new year, 2010 is over and 2011 is about to begin. At the end of each year it is good for us to reflect on our past year and begin to think of the new opportunities just ahead of us. In today’s scripture Paul talks about redeeming the time. What is he saying, how can I buy back lost time? Obviously we can’t buy back time that is past, but Paul is describing a supernatural lifestyle that can begin to make the very best use of our time and in some ways begin to buy back lost time. Paul talked about the way to make the best use of our time in the next few verses, he said we could do this by staying filled with the Spirit.

“And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Eph.5:18-20

The word Paul uses, dissipation, literally means to waste your time. He is saying we can buy time back by staying full of God. Jonathan Edwards preached a message called “Redeeming the Time”. Listen to his take on this passage.

“YOU have now heard of the preciousness of time; and you are the persons concerned, to whom God hath committed that precious talent. You have an eternity before you. When God created you, and gave you reasonable souls, he made you for an endless duration. He gave you time here in order to a preparation for eternity, and your future eternity depends on the improvement of time.—Consider, therefore, what you have done with your past time. You are not now beginning your time, but a great deal is past and gone; and all the wit, and power, and treasure of the universe, cannot recover it. Many of you may well conclude, that more than half of your time is gone; though you should live to the ordinary age of man, your glass is more than half run; and it may be there are but few sands remaining. Your sun is past the meridian, and perhaps just setting, or going into an everlasting eclipse. Consider, therefore, what account you can give of your improvement of past time. How have you let the precious golden sands of your glass run?”
2011 is just in front of us. Let’s take to heart the words of Paul and of Jonathan Edwards, stay full of God this year, as you do, you will be buying back lost time.

Be Filled with the Spirit

Psalms – Hymns- Spiritual songs

Ephesians 5:18-20

18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Paul made an important comparison in this passage. He talked about the “drinks” of choice for all of us. He talked about alcohol being the beverage that many turn to for the pleasure and relaxation it promises. He also spoke about the heavenly drink that becomes available to us as a Christian. Paul seems to say you cannot drink from both cups. Either you look to the world’s cup for rest or you drink from the heavenly cup. Have you discovered the heavenly cup? This cup is the cup of worship. As we worship the Lord from our hearts, we begin to experience the joy of heaven found in His presence. Paul told us to be filled with the Spirit, speaking to ourselves in spiritual songs. The spiritual song is the supernatural spontaneous song of the Lord. This is the place of rest that we are all looking for, a place far better than anything the world can offer. Today, let’s respond to Paul’s admonition , “be filled with the Spirit”.

Unprecedented Acts of God 2010

Several years ago Dick Mills gave me a word of prophesy in our church. The word was Exodus 34:10 And He said: “Behold, I make a covenant. Before all your people I will do marvels such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation; and all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the LORD. For it is an awesome thing that I will do with you.” This is an incredible word about incredible “marvels” and “awesome things” that the Lord has promised to perform. The first word “marvels” comes from the Hebrew word pala, this is the same word Isaiah used to refer to the supernatural birth of Christ. This word can be translated as wonderful or supernatural. It is speaking of the miraculous,  unexplainable work of God! The second phrase, “awesome thing” is just that: something that produces an atmosphere of awe, reverential fear of God. We are expecting God to do things in 2010 that are supernatural and produce and incredible reverential fear of the Lord.

At the beginning of 2009, the Lord impressed on us Isaiah 48:6, 7 “You have heard; See all this. And will you not declare it? I have made you hear new things from this time, even hidden things, and you did not know them. They are created now and not from the beginning; And before this day you have not heard them, lest you should say, ‘Of course I knew them.’” This passage speaks of God doing things that have never been done before. In the ESV study Bible the notes say that unprecedented acts of God are on the horizon. We believe those acts of God are coming upon us in 2010.

Another verse of scripture that comes to mind as I reflect on the purposes of God in 2010 is Deuteronomy 11:12 “a land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year”. This verse describes the eyes of the Lord watching over our year. This verse suggests care, protection, as well as bounty. The Lord has his eye on every moment of every day in 2010. It will be a year of God’s favor upon our lives.

Paul uses a very powerful phrase in Galatians 4:4 “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law.” The phrase that speaks to me is fullness of time. There is a specific time when God has determined for certain things to happen. There was a perfect time for Christ to be born. There was a perfect time for Paul’s conversion. There was a perfect time for Luther, for Whitefield, for Edwards. There was an appointed time for Wales and Azusa Street. There is a set time for the awesome move of God. In my heart I believe we are approaching another season we could call the “fullness of time”.  Genesis 21:2, “For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him”, speaks of God’s “set time” for Isaac to be born.  Abraham had believed God for 75 years for a son, but Isaac did not appear until the “set time” to fulfill the plans of God. Could it be that 2010 is a special year? It is quite possible that his year is an appointed year for the move of God in our church.

Finally there is a powerful phrase in Ephesians 5: 16-18 “redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit”, Paul speaks of “Redeeming the time” and “being filled with the Spirit” in relation to each other. To stay drunk on this world’s beverage and carnal ways is a waste of time. As we heed Paul’s admonition and stay full of the Spirit we will redeem the time. The Lord has some plans for you in 2010. Let us give our attention to the Lord, stay full of the Spirit, redeeming the time for the days are evil.