Open as PDF
"Redeeming the time, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:16).
Life is made of moments. Time is golden. It has fleeting wings. As the years advance time becomes increasingly precious. We have twenty-four hours to each day, three hundred and sixty-five days to a year and 3,692 Sabbaths to a life of seventy years. If we sleep eight hours and work another eight we still have eight hours left out of each twenty-four. What do we do with our time?
Time is a sacred trust. Wesley was an indefatigable worker. He preached on an average fifteen sermons a week for over fifty-four years, traveled on horseback for his itinerary preaching, wrote constantly, read extensively, won sixty thousand souls by direct personal work outside the church, organized Methodist churches, administered the affairs of Methodism, prayed two hours daily and lived to be eighty-eight years of age. Surely he was a busy man.
To Wesley, time was a very sacred trust. It should be so to everyone of us. Do not squander it nor trifle it away. Wesley said, "Never be unemployed, never be triflingly employed."
Time is a responsibility. "Ye are not your own" (1 Cor. 6:19). It is well for us to always bear in mind that time is a very meaningful item of our consecration to God. We should buy up the opportunities for self-improvement, devotion to Christ and service to man. The Bible should always have first place in our reading material.
George Mueller read his Bible through over one hundred and fifty times and it is said that he scarcely preached without ministering to clergymen as well as laymen.
There must also be a large place in ones life for prayer. The devotional habit builds Christian character. We must not overlook the placing of time for definite soul-winning. "Each one win one" ought to be the motto of every child of God. There is also much valuable reading matter for Christian use.
A certain university professor was known "as the enemy of the good," because he believed that nothing short of the best should be read. We need more superlative reading in these days.
One can improve his natural God-given talents if he will. The late Dr. Parkes S. Cadman, of international fame, was an uneducated boy but he determined to become educated at any cost. He began by reading the Encyclopedia Brittanica through. These ponderous sixty or more volumes kept him busy for months, but he completed the almost unbelievable task and by so doing secured the equivalent to a university education and laid the foundation for his noted career. Being deprived of regular academic training in the early years of his life he arose to become a world figure. He was famous as a radio preacher. Each year he visited, dined and conversed with kings and rulers of earth. Degrees were given him by many universities and his ability to answer questions on practically every subject made him a most remarkable man.
Time Spent Serving Others
Much time should be employed in serving others. Christ said, "I am among you as he that serveth" (Luke 22:27). Of one it was said, "She hath done what she could" (Mark 14:8). We can keep our hearts cleansed from sin through grace. We can avoid the appearance of evil. We can earnestly pray for the unsaved and help to precipitate revivals.
We can give our tithes, offerings and love to Jesus and His Church. Without an exception we can all speak a few words for the Saviour we profess to love, not only in the testimony meeting, but to sinners about us everywhere. We could all give out gospel tracts, booklets and good wholesome religious literature. You can invite sinners to the house of God and solicit their salvation. "They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever" (Daniel 12:3).
Remember that time is costly. It has the sacrificial element in it. It must be redeemed-- "Redeeming the time." A preacher cried out one night, "I have lost a day." Many of us lose days, weeks, years. We should correctly evaluate precious time. How should a professed Christian employ his moments? To save and bless humanity.
There are some important reasons why we should redeem time. The context says, "Because the days are evil." They are evil in their spirit and practice. Because the days are so fearfully evil the Christians must put forth unusual effort. We dare not be dilatory and sluggish in spiritual endeavor. The times demand strenuous service.
The very best way to redeem time is by walking in the light God sheds on our pathway and walking "circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise" (Eph. 5:15). It is necessary to fully understand the divine will and to be Spirit-filled; to sing and praise God in our hearts, rejoicing in His grace and power; and to take time out for prayer and fasting.
Wesley said, "I lose my spiritual heat unless I fast and pray very week or ten days." Thousands of cases of spiritual laxness, barrenness and backsliding can be traced to the lack of the truly devotional spirit and passion for souls.