“Redeeming the Time”

Dear little child of God, I would like to ask you a question, how is the best way to experience the gospel to its fullest? Or maybe I mean, when is it that we really receive the teachings of the gospel? How do we best experience the best of the blessings that God has given us?

As I see it there is a simple answer to this question. And I believe that the answer is found in one statement, made two passages of scripture written by the Apostle Paul. And that statement is that we, as the people of God, are to spend our days “redeeming the time.”

What does this statement mean to us? Have you ever heard the popular statement that “time is your enemy”? I know that you have probably heard this message at one time or another probably though popular worldly TV, radio and magazine ads. Think about it and you’ll see what I mean, the TV announcer says, “It’s the year end clearance, and now is the best time to buy!” You know: ”get all that you can while the getting is good?” It sounds like if you don’t buy that car right away, they’ll stop making cars and you’ll never be able to ever get another car as long as you live. Right? Do you see what I mean?

Or maybe you have been seeing an ad that tells you how to “avoid those unwanted wrinkles,” brought on us by the ravages of time, which by and by, the ad informs us that they just happen to have the solution for that terrible almost life threatening problem. Oh, and as a side note, did you ever notice that each and ever time the ad shows someone who looks like they are only maybe twenty to thirty years old? They don’t even look as if they are old enough to even know what a wrinkle looks like, much less ever have one!

Anyway all of these things that are of, and in the world really only serve one single purpose. And that purpose is only to inflame the “lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,” which “is not of the Father, but is of the world!  (Gal. 5:16, 1 John 2:16).

So what about us, God’s children who are in the Kingdom Church of God. We know what is the right thing to do. The inner man inside of us which is born of the Spirit desires to do the will of the Spirit, that is to do Godly things. But the outer man of our flesh, only desires to do the desires of the flesh. And these messages appeal to that part of us, don’t they? You know, new car, house, and clothes; look better, be better, and feel better.

And Jesus tells us that without Him we can “do nothing” (John 15:5). But with God all things are possible, so Paul tells us that we “who are spiritual” are to bring our bodies under subjection to the inner spiritual man, to “let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof” (Rom. 6:12; 1 Cor. 9:27). That is to bring our natures under the control of the inner man, and to not give in to lustful desires.

Put simply, we through God’s Spirit are to know what our “priorities,” are in our lives, which is that we are to be “redeeming the time for the days are evil” (Eph. 5:16).

And the “days are evil” simply tells us that each day of the world is only evil, and that there is no good to be found in nor through it. So we are to take full advantage of each and every opportunity that God blesses us with while we are here on the Earth. And I would like to share my view of the three most important things in our lives. The three most important “priorities” are, first, to serve God with a whole heart, second, to serve one another in the Kingdom Church, and third, the love and fellowship of our families. Beloved child of God all other things in the world pail in comparison to these. When we put these as the “priorities” all other things seem to fall into their place. For example, why do we go to work? I sit not in order to support one of these “priorities”?

When we put our job above any of these things the result is chaos in our lives. The father who becomes a workaholic neglects his family, and his children suffer and grow up not knowing how to be fathers to their own children. Mothers go out and leave their children to be raised up by strangers, and they never know the real security of a real home. And these children grow up always struggling, not being able to trust anyone. After all the person that they were closest to were never there for them when it really counted, and they grow up rudderless and without direction in life.

Beloved spend the time that God has given you in service to these three things. Know that these are the only real things that matter in this world. And these three can be summed up into one saying, “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33). When we have this as our “priority” Jesus tells us that all the other things will fall into their proper place. He says, “Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.” (Luke 12:24 29).

Solomon, the wisest king of Israel, sought out in his life to find out what was really important in life, and here is what he concluded, he say, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” The fear of God, beloved “is the beginning of wisdom” (Psa. 11:10; Prov. 9:10).

Let me conclude with the thought of the Apostle Paul who said, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

Let us make the most of each every opportunity to speak a kind word of encouragement to a brother or sister, loving one another and giving each other the best advantage in their interaction since the opportunity if missed can never be retrieved again. May God bless us to be “redeeming” our opportunities “for the days are” indeed “evil.”

 Elder Thomas McDonald