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“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15-17
To Waste Time is to Waste Life
Time is the most valuable commodity of all. It is a non-renewable resource. Some people say that time is money. Time is vastly more valuable than money! Time is life! You may get some more money, but you will never get your time again. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Proverbs 9:10. In Pilgrims Progress we are warned against By-path Meadow, the Slough of Despond, being detained in the dungeons of Doubting Castle by Giant Despair and the time wasting distractions of Vanity Fair.
Chronos, Kairos and Eschatos
There are three Greek words that sum up the Biblical view of time: Chronos, Kairos and Eschatos.
Chronos refers to chronological time, where we measure seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries and millenniums. Chronological time can be useful to plan and record, but we do not actually measure our lives in terms of hours, minutes and seconds, but in terms of relationships, activities, productivity, achievements and accomplishments.
Number Your Days Wisely
In Psalm 90:12, we are instructed: “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” This refers to the importance of planning, recording and measuring our time and productivity.
The Greek word Kairos refers to a propitious moment for decision or action. Kairos refers to an opportunity, season or fitting time for decision and action. The word Kairos is used 86 times in the New Testament.
Redeem the Time Because the Days are Evil
In Ephesians 5:16, we are taught: “Redeeming the time (Kairos) because the days are evil.”
The Time of Judgement
In the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares, the Lord refers to the coming Judgement as a Harvest “…at the time (Kairos) of harvest I will say to the reapers, ‘First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into My barn’.” Matthew 13:30. The Day of Judgement is an appointed time.
Understand the Times
There was an appointed time for John the Baptist to be born (Luke 1:20). The Lord promises to reward His servants at “the proper time (Kairos)” (Luke 12:42). The Lord warned that the people of Israel will be judged, “because you did not recognise the time (Kairos) of God's coming to you.” (Luke 19:44).
Recognise the Time for Repentance
Our Lord’s first recorded message: “The time (Kairos) is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel.” Mark 1:15.
Rejecting the Opportunity
The governor, Felix, missed his Kairos moment. “Felix was afraid and answered. ‘Go away for now, when I have a convenient time (Kairos), I will call for you.” Acts 24:25. On this occasion, Felix responded to the opportunity that God had given him and announced that he would select his own time to decide. In doing so, he did respond. Not to decide is to decide not to. He actually rejected the Gospel. Procrastination is the thief of time and the grave of opportunity.
Recognise the Urgency
Paul communicated the urgency of the Gospel in 2 Corinthians 6:2 “For He says: ‘In an acceptable time I have heard you and in the day of Salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the accepted time (Kairos); behold, now is the day of Salvation.” Carpe Diem! – Seize the Day!
Make the Most of Your Opportunities
In Galatians 6:9, we are encouraged: “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season (Kairos) we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” As believers, we must take advantage of the opportunities which God grants us to serve Him: “Therefore, as we have opportunity (Kairos), let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of Faith.” Galatians 6:10
Do Not Miss Opportunities
The apostle Thomas missed the first appearance of the risen Lord. We are exhorted: “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another…” Hebrews 10:24-25
Eschatology Puts our Lives in Perspective
The Greek work Eschatos refers to the last, final, end of all things, time. This includes the study of last things, Bible prophesy and life after death. We should live our lives in the light of eternity. Animism tends to view all of life as a circle, a wheel, of seasons and cycles, particularly seen in reincarnation. Secular humanism tends to view life like an hourglass, the sand slipping away, with survival of the fittest, live for selfish pleasure and no real long-term vision and purpose. To the Bible-believing Christian, history is progressing to a culmination. We are involved in an adventure of discipleship - a pilgrimage with inevitable progress heading towards when the earth shall be filled with the glory of the knowledge of the Lord, as the seas are full of water now.
The Progression of History
Hence, we see all of history in a linear view: Creation, Fall, Flood, Call, Egypt, Exodus, Conquest, United Kingdom, Temple, Divided Kingdom, Fall of Samaria and Exile of the Northern Tribes, the Fall of Jerusalem and Destruction of the Temple, the Babylonian Captivity of the Tribe of Judah. The Return after 70-years of Captivity in Babylon, the Rebuilding of the Temple, rebuilding the Walls of Jerusalem, the Birth of Christ, the Life and Ministry of Christ on Earth, the Betrayal of Christ, His Illegal Trial, Crucifixion, Resurrection, Ascension and Pentecost. The Fall of Jerusalem and Destruction of the Second Temple. The Physical, bodily Return of our Lord Jesus Christ to earth, the Day of Eternal Judgement, Heaven and Hell, Eternity.
An Appointment None of Us Will Miss
“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the Judgment.” Hebrews 9:27. Each one of us has an appointment. It is an appointment none of us will be able to miss. In fact, it is an appointment none of us will even be able to be late for! It is appointed unto men once to die and after this the Judgement. God will judge every person, every idle word ever spoken, even the thoughts, intentions and motives of our hearts.
Live in the Light of Eternity
Therefore we are to live our lives soberly, wisely, redeeming the time, living in the light of eternity, knowing that the Day will come that each one of us will have to give an account of our lives and how we have invested our time, talents and treasures. “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth…” Ecclesiastes 12:1. God gives the very best to those who leave the choice to Him.
As Missionary, CT Studd declared: “Only one life – it will soon be past. Only what is done for Christ will last.” “But this I say, brethren, the time is short…” 1 Corinthians 7:29
Invest in Eternity
We need to live in the light of eternity. Investing in the Kingdom of God is investing in eternity. “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. “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.” Colossians 4:5
Duty and Destiny
Count your obligations, name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord wants done! “Commit your works to the Lord and your thoughts will be established.” Proverbs 16:3
Christ’s Great Commission is our Supreme Ambition
The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing! Our highest priority is to glorify God, to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and our neighbour as ourselves. His Great Commission should be our supreme ambition. The last Command of Christ ought to be our first concern. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
Worship and Wisdom
Put first things first. Live in the light of eternity. Bible before breakfast. Scripture before supper. Start off your week with worship on the first day of the week, the Lord’s Day. We need wisdom and worship. The Psalms are the Prayer Book, Hymn Book and Devotional Book of the Bible. Start your day with Psalms to revive your devotional life. Then read Proverbs for wisdom. We need worship and wisdom on a daily basis. There are 150 Psalms. One for each day for five months. There are 31 chapters of Proverbs. One chapter for each day of the month.
Focus on your Priorities
We need to make the most of our time. To be effective, we need to eliminate less important tasks and concentrate on the most important tasks. We need to plan our time in accordance with our long-term goals and priorities. Make a list of everything you need to do. Mark the must-do tasks with an A, the should-do tasks with a B and the can-do items with a C. Then prioritise them. Complete all the A tasks before moving on to the B and C items. In the light of Eternity – what are your priorities?
Eliminate Time Wasters
To think that people can squander time by just fiddling on their phones, or staring into space, even when surrounded by a treasure trove of valuable and inspiring information. Libraries are gym for the mind. We should read books rather than watch TV, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, or surf Facebook. Invest in your mind. Stretch and strengthen your mind. Minds can be stretched just as much as muscles can. Two people can be exposed to exactly the same opportunities, teaching and training and yet one gets almost nothing out of it and another flourishes and achieves greatly. Can you not make better use of your time?
Books are Gyms for the Mind
Redeem the time: read! Sow Gospel seed wherever you travel. Invest in eternity. Share the Gospel with friends, neighbours, strangers and those whom God brings across your path. We need to clarify our vison and purpose in the light of Scripture and in the light of eternity. Solidify your values. Sharpen and strengthen your gifts, talents, skills and abilities. Focus your mind. Give high priority to fulfilling your duties in the light of eternity. “For we must all appear before the Judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10
Time is Precious
Life is short. Needs are great. Time is limited. We need to redeem the time. To make the most of the time, utilising every day to the utmost. “You only have one life, it will soon be past. Only what is done for Christ, will last!” C.T. Studd. “Commit your works to the Lord and your thoughts will be established.” Proverbs 16:3
A Sense of Urgency
These are times of crisis and calamity. There is no room for lethargy, apathy or procrastination. This is a time for determination, single-minded focus and decisiveness. The tasks before us are urgent. Our pace should be fervent. “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
The Power of One
I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something.
What I can do, I must do. What I must do, by the grace of God I will do.
A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven
“Everything has its time, to everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under Heaven:
A time to be born and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to break down and a time to build up;
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain and a time to lose;
A time to keep and a time to throw away;
A time to tear and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence and a time to speak;
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time of war and a time of peace….
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts…” Ecc. 3:1-11
To Live is Christ
“According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life, or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:20-21
Do Not Be Foolish – Redeem the Time
Let us number our day aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Let us remember now our Creator in the days of our youth. The time is short. See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
You only have one life, it will soon be past, only what is done for Christ, will last.
Give up your small ambitions and follow Jesus.
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa Tel: 021-689-4480