Do I redeem the time that God has given me?

Once a day is lived it’s gone. Once you’re 33 you can’t go back to being 25; once you’re 82 you can’t go back to being 65. Once a day is spent (Ecc 6:12), it is gone forever. You cannot relive the day that you lived yesterday (Job 8:9).

With the time you have left, you have to use it for the glory of God. If you dawdle around in life and don’t use it for the glory of God, but instead spend it on vanity, then you’re not redeeming the time.

Once you pass on from this life to the next, all is over. The only opportunity that you have to glorify Christ in this life is now, right this minute and no further after you pass through death. Afterwards, you’ll be “absent from the body, and… present with the Lord” (II Cor 5:8). Out into eternity. Perfect and sinless.

Ephesians 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
Ephesians 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Ephesians 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

The days fly by like nothing. Before you know it, the whole day is gone. For little children, they feel like the days go by very slowly; but as you get older, you come to realize how fast the days actually go by. Typically, a minister lives from week to week – he’s thinking about what he’s preaching Wednesday night, and then Thursday morning he’s thinking about and anticipating his ministry on Sunday.

Redeeming the time – what are you going to do with the time you have now? To reinforce this fact our Lord Jesus Christ taught this same thing in the gospel of Matthew:

Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

The word of God clearly teaches us to “live for the moment” and “live for today” and the world takes that to mean, “live for yourself“, whereas the Lord teaches us, “live for Christ” – it’s worth it in eternity!

The world says, “my life is so short I’d better live it up with all the pleasure I can get!” But the time God gives unto them is a chance to repent and trust in Christ. Aren’t you glad He gave you time to get saved?

Colossians 4:3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:
Colossians 4:4 That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
Colossians 4:5 ¶ Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

If you have a chance to witness to somebody you ought to take it. If you have a chance to leave a tract you ought to take it. If you have an opportunity to be a blessing to someone you ought to do it – you may never have another opportunity to do so.

Right now there are people at my old job that I will never have another chance to witness to them – that door is shut. You only have so much time to witness to the lost world. They may go out into eternity at any moment.

This is great preaching for the lost – you don’t know if you even have tomorrow! You don’t know so don’t put it off… “when I have a convenient season…” (Acts 24:25) You’re not supposed to wait around but redeem the time.

2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

What are our days like in Scripture? First of all, they are like a shadow. This first reference is David speaking unto the Lord:

1 Chronicles 29:14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.
1 Chronicles 29:15 For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.

Our days are as a shadow. The sun arises and goes down, and hasteth to his place where he arose (Ecc 1:5). We see our shadow early in the morning, and then it disappears when the sun goes down – that’s what our life is like.

Job 8:9 (For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow:) (For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow:)

We don’t have enough time in our existence to learn about the world around us. Except for the people who lived before us writing down their experiences and findings in a book, we would never learn anything – and it’s because our days are as a shadow – SHORT.

Psalm 102:11 My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass.

Psalm 144:4 Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.

Ecclesiastes 8:13 But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.

These verses all present the fact of the hopelessness we have of living forever. Even if we could live just a little bit longer with the advance of technology within the human race, we all eventually go to the grave. Man must come to grips with this fact, for it is this fact that draws men to the Lord Jesus Christ; the MAN who was resurrected and overcame death, hell, and the grave!

Some preachers will get up and say, “you young people, you have your whole life ahead of you!” What has he said? That statement doesn’t mean anything. If you only had one day left to live you’d have your whole life ahead of you, because that’s all the life you have!

Such a statement is flawed because it gives the impression that we have more days than we think we do. The expression implies that since you’re young, you’re going to live longer – but that is not necessarily true! Remember that, “the days are evil” and we must redeem whatever time we have now and not presume we have tomorrow.

Ecclesiastes 6:12 For who knoweth what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?

It is very sad thing when you hear testimonies of older people who wish they had done more for the Lord. I heard a testimony one time from an old man who told me personally that he knew God wanted him to give up everything and become a missionary, and he neglected to do it for years until finally the time was past and he could not do what he believed he could have done for God. Now here he is up in years with regret in his heart because he did not redeem the time.

Unfortunately for many a young believer they have a testimony that says they wish they had known their Bible early on in their Christian life instead of wasting years of being saved and not living for the Lord. What a waste! They could have been serving the Lord and been happy in life!

Then there’s the man who gets saved and gets away from the world but is tempted and falls away for a time. I heard the testimony of a man who had been on drugs and got saved and got away from the drugs immediately. He got the victory for quite some time, but in a moment of weakness he went back just one time, and his testimony was that because of that one time, he lost 10 years of his Christian life. All because of compromise.

How about your habits? How about the things that you have known you should have worked at and cleaned up for the Lord long ago, but you chose to neglect that area and here you are still stuck with it. Too many believers will waste their years away not improving for the Lord, not growing in the Lord, and one day they wake up with regret – they will then start doing what they should have been doing long ago.

Do I redeem the time that God has given me?

James 4:13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:

James 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.

When death comes knocking on your door you can’t tell him, “you know what, give me another 50 years and come back and then we’ll talk.” No brethren, once death comes, it comes, and no man “can keep alive his own soul” (Prov 22:29). Praise God for the cross of Jesus!

This passage gives us a great lesson on speech. We can’t just get up and say, “oh we’re going to do this and that, and get this house, and go to this store tomorrow, or next week…” Nobody has that much foreknowledge. You don’t know for sure if you have tomorrow.

As the steam rises from the boiling pot of water, when the heat turns off the steam continues for a short span and soon it cools off and the vapour is gone. Mankind is not that big a deal – we are so small. God’s the big deal; God lives forever; Jesus Christ gave us eternal life freely!

James 4:15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

James 4:16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

“Lord willing we will go to that store”… “Lord willing we will get that new house”… “Lord willing we will be able to afford a new vehicle”… “Lord willing we will have safe travels today.”

It’s all about including the Lord in your plans! Giving Him the preeminent place (Col 1:18 cf III John 9). IF the Lord is not willing, then it won’t happen! If the Lord isn’t willing for you to live (v15), then you won’t; and if He’s gracious enough to let you live, He may not let you accomplish what you think you want to accomplish because it’s not His will. Oh let us cleanse our speech for Jesus’ sake!

Do I redeem the time that God has given me?

It’s like taking a test – if you don’t do your best the first time through then you have to spend the time that would have been yours, and take the test over again. What a waste of time! Why not do your best the first time through so that you don’t have to waste time trying to fix it? Let us do our best for Jesus. Let us take the time we have left and use it for His glory instead of our own. In the end, that’s all that’s going to matter as we step out into eternity to be with our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ!

Only one life
Twill soon be passed
only what’s done for Christ
will last!