REDEEMING THE TIME
By Nick Bibile
“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:16)
TIME IS SHORT
Your eternity depends on how you spend time here on earth. Time is very short.
Ps 39:5 Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity.
Ps 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
Job 9:25 Now my days are swifter than a post: they flee away, they see no good.
26 They are passed away as the swift ships: as the eagle that hasteth to the prey.
Jas 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
Time is here only for a moment, then eternity. It is so short that there is no time to spare. We need to be ready for eternity; therefore, everything must be done on time here on earth or it will never be done.
We know that time is short but we do not know how short of a life we individuals have. Everyday we are uncertain whether that day will be the last day on earth. If a man goes on a trip and he has limited money, he will be very careful how he will use his money during his trip. In the same way, our time is very little and how precious is that little that is given to us by God, and how we need to value the time. But sadly multitudes of people enjoy their life here on earth and they do not realize that they will die one day soon, it could be few years, next month, probably tomorrow or even this very day. They do not think about death, and they do not know after death they will meet the Judge of the universe.
The time is very precious, as when it has passed it cannot be recovered. There are many things that we posses, and when it is lost we can recover with much hard labor and with money. But not so, with time, when it is gone, it is gone. You cannot turn the clock back again. Time is offered to us daily and if we refuse it is gone.
If we have wasted time all these years, then we cannot redeem the time that was lost, all we can do is to improve the little time that remains until death. Once death comes unexpectedly then our time is gone.
God made you not for a moment to be here on earth but for eternity. He gave you time here on earth to prepare for eternity, and your future eternity depends on how you spend your time here on earth. Think of all the past time you have wasted, more than half of your life is wasted, all the money in the world cannot recover that wasted time.
There have been precious moments that you have spent in enjoyment, and precious years may be. But what have you done with those precious days? When you look back and see your past life, the most part is empty, how can you give an account to God in wasted time?
How much service can you do for God with in a year? For your own spiritual growth?
Look back and see how much leisure time and in worldliness you spent your time. What purpose did you spend that leisure time? Time is holy as it is given by the holy God. How have you spent the Lord’s Days? Think of it seriously, because only your conscience can answer.
When it comes to money people, do not spend their money lavishly, but very carefully, as they know exactly how much money they have in the bank account and in their wallet. But when it comes to time many are spending it lavishly, yet time is much more precious than money, because time cannot be purchased.
Procrastination is a very foolish thing. We are not sure if we will live tomorrow. Death is unexpected, and you do not know the time of your death. Once we grasp this, we cannot postpone our time for tomorrow, as the duty to do is today. No one would plough a field and say, well I will plant the seeds later, and later, then winter comes and he realizes it is too late.
Pr 6:6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
7 Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
8 Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?
Pr 10:4 He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.
Pr 21:25 The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.
Pr 26:14 As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.
Laziness will not do anything good for your body or for your soul. It will not benefit you or your neighbor. There are many who would like to enjoy life, doing nothing. Do not be lazy and take advantage of someone else wealth, but work hard to provide your own needs. Imagine the great amount of time you spend in bed. There are many who go to bed late, watching their TV, movies, then wake up late, living most of their time in bed, and one day will wake up in hell.
There are others who spend their time in wickedness. They spend time in hurting themselves and the others. They spend much time with worldly company, most of the time is spent on watching cartoons, movies, comedies and their favorite shows, feeding to the flesh. There are others who love to gossip and backbite, stirring up a quarrel, and they live to gratify their flesh, walking not in the spirit but in the flesh. Last week in the city of Downey, two drivers were involved in an argument. One of the drivers got off his car in anger went to the other driver’s window and were arguing, when a car came and hit the man, and he died within a few hours. Imagine the time that many are going to spend in hell, as they did things according to their own flesh, not according to the spirit. Ga 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
In this parable (Matthew 25:14-30) we see the Lord is asking for accountability on how we spent our time profitable for the kingdom of God. There are some wise Christians who will invest their time for the kingdom of God. They will look for a reward not from this earth but a heavenly reward. The Old Testaments prophets of God and the New Testament apostles were not rich, apostle Paul said, “Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place;
12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:
13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. (1Co 4:11-13)
There are others who called Christians who live in luxury, in a sense they do not know how to spend their money, they can afford to eat always outside while the poor Christians in other parts of the world is starving for food, they live comfortably as they please their flesh with materialism while our poor brothers and sisters in other parts of the world are living in a small hut. Many times, we compromise as we do our duty to the Lord by doing some service to the Lord, then we can get away with other things. But God is going to see whether you were profitable or unprofitable. If you know the word of God and know the true doctrines of God and yet, wants to compromise and will live your way, God will punish you severely.
Lu 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
Mt 25:26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed.
Mt 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
There are many who are diligent in worldly things, looking worldly profits, always know the bargains and spending much time in the malls, shopping, but not concerned about souls that are perishing. They are more concerned on what they eat, drink and wear. More concerned about gold and silver. Their heart, mind and affections are upon this world, rather than spiritual things. They think and meditate upon earthly things rather than heavenly things, and their walk is on the broad road that leads to hell.
1Ki 10:21 And all king Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold; none were of silver: it was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon.
Mt 12:36 But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
Be diligent in improving the remaining little time, without delay. If you delay, more time will be lost. Do not wait for a convenient time, but improve on your time while you have it.
Ps 119:60 I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.
You are accountable to God on how you spent your time here on earth. Every time when you wake up, you wake up by the grace of God, and he gives you time for that day. Then at the end of the day, before you go to sleep check how you spend your time, and give an account to God. When you are working for your boss, you are accountable to the time you spent at work, in the same way, we are God’s servants and we are accountable to the time we spend each day.
Consider seriously how much time you have lost already. If you seriously think of it then you will diligently work hard to improve your time for the little that is left. If you take it seriously then you will be mourning over your lost time in prayer to God, asking forgiveness. As we said, before the life here on earth is very short, then if you have wasted the short time what God has given how much more short is the time that is left for you. This is an advise to the children, do not listen to the lies of the devil when he speak to your heart and say, “You are young and you have a lot of time to serve God, enjoy now in the world when you get older you can serve God.” The best part of the time is lost, as you have lived in sin when you were young, healthy and strong. You could have served the Lord more vigorously and now, you are older and have lost most of the strength and you have very little time left, and more work need to be done. Many have cried out in their deathbeds “Oh, a thousand worlds for an inch of time!” Yes, to those who are in their deathbed time seems to be very precious.
One thing we need to remember the time is here only on this earth, when you die there is no time. It is an everlasting life and there is no time in eternal life, either in heaven or hell.
The most precious time.
Time can be divided into two parts. The common time and the holy time. Both are precious but holy time is more precious than common time. There are many who waste away their common time and how much more of the holy time. Holy time includes, worshipping God, especially the Lord’s Day, which is the most precious part. On this holy day there are many who are spending there time in the movies, sports, in sleep, in Disneyland, shopping in the malls, in leisure travel, and in carelessness. This is the Day that the church is met in the name of the Lord for His service. We need to improve our time spent on the Lord’s Day.