Redeem the Time!

I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.” John 9:4 (NKJV)

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16 (NKJV)

Let’s pretend that we all received a letter from a bank informing us that it had created a special account for us and every morning they were going to credit this account with $86,400. The money was ours to do with as we pleased. However this account carries over no balance from day to day. At the end of every day the account deletes whatever money was left and then the next day again credits this account with $86,400. Most of us would probably be sure that the account was empty at the end of each day so that none of that money was wasted.

In a way God has given us such an account, it’s time. Every day our account is credited with 86,400 seconds. Every night this account is cleared. No balance is carried over into the next day and there is never an overdraft. We get exactly 86,400 every day. No more and no less. If we waste the time we are given the loss is ours. There is no going back and there is no drawing against tomorrows balance. We have to live in the present on today’s deposits.

Despite the fact that we all have all have exactly the same amount of time every single day, we don’t all get the same use out of it. There are many frustrated people who seem to always be fighting the clock. We hit the snooze button too many times and before we know it we have started our day behind the power curve. Everything from this point on is done at a frantic pace. At this point in our lives we start saying things like, “I don’t think anyone can tell I didn’t shave this morning.” Or “I don’t have time to iron this morning, but these clothes don’t look too wrinkled.” Or “Okay kids, breakfast today is a pop tart in the car!” All of this is frantically done to help us make up some lost time.

As part of my daily Bible reading I read a chapter in one of the Gospel’s every day. I read something on the blog of a friend of mine that made me read my Gospel chapter more carefully. Scott said, “We must become a student of Jesus. This means that you and I must study the life of Jesus and discover how he lived life. How did he treat people? What were his priorities in life? What spiritual disciplines did he practice? What type of relationships did he involve himself?”

I thought that was pretty neat so I wrote it down at the beginning of the Gospels in my Bible. Now as I read my chapter in the Gospel I am doing it as a student of Jesus that is trying to learn how to imitate Him in my life. There have been several things I’ve noticed as a result of this. One thing in particular I’ve noticed that Jesus never rushed around frantically. He was on the greatest search and rescue mission the world has ever known, yet He never frantically rushed around. He had to accomplish everything He needed to accomplish in about three years, yet He never frantically rushed around.

He was determined and purposeful in His ministry, but He still had time to let little children come to Him so He could bless them. Despite the shortness of the time and the urgency of His mission, time was His friend. As I thought about this I realized—maybe really for the first time—that the way we use our time will determine whether or not we live a life that counts.

I’m not necessarily talking about being busier. Instead I am talking about being more focused and living more intentionally. We are probably busier in America today than we’ve ever been before. But busy isn’t the same as effective. Just getting involved in more stuff—even if it’s more church stuff—won’t necessarily cause our lives to count for God. Instead of just doing more stuff, we must determine what we are going to do to make our lives count for God, and then focus on that.

Perhaps we should start by praying as Moses did, “So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 (NKJV) How are you going to make all 86,400 seconds count for Christ today?

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