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|Personal Responsibility||August 30|
THE PRESENT OPPORTUNITY
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Eph. 5:16.
Paul urges us to buy up time; that is, to make it our own. Let no one take time from you, steal your time for unworthy things. When Paul wrote this Epistle to the Ephesians, their great city was given over to idolatry, to the excitement of the Roman world with its theaters, its gladiatorial shows and religious celebrations. Spiritual darkness prevailed along with all kinds of vice. The days were evil. So Paul urges the Ephesian Christians to make time their own and bring forth the fruits of righteousness.
To redeem time requires spiritual insight in order to sense that now is the moment to stand for Christ and for His truth. Evil times tend to dull the mind. All of us can look back on specific times that we thought were of little importance. Had we known it then, we would have done differently. We see now that it was a critical time for us. We had no intention of being spiritually asleep. We had no deliberate plan to neglect prayer and the study of God's Word, but we did. So we were not ready for the challenge. Our Christian experience suffered.
This kind of thing does happen. We had some inkling that this was the moment to trust God, to cast our whole dependence on Him, but we let it go. We should have realized that God planned this time to manifest His saving power, but we drifted into failure.
Evil times are opportunities of pre-eminent value for the alert Christian. We pray that God will make us more like Christ. Then God permits a crisis or a temptation in order to test us and fulfill our prayers, to teach us that His grace is sufficient. God provided us with the opportunity to redeem the time. "Time is short" (1 Cor. 7:29). Youth does not think so. The first twenty years are the longest we ever know. This is when time has no past. It is all future. But these golden years are gone almost before they are well begun. Make them count in a life given to the service of God.
We hear people say that they do not have time. We all have time. We have time to do what we really want to do. What is on trial is our sense of values.
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