These words express the risk we all take in putting our service to the Lord on the back burner. The Bible tells us that the fields are “white unto harvest” (John 4:35). From the time of Christ until todays time there is a great need for each of us to faithfully live our lives for the Lord… the time is short and there are many around us that need to trust in Christ as Lord and Savior.
Seeing such a great need around us… let us take a few moments to study how we can “buy back” the time, and opportunities, the Lord has given to us.
Eph 5:15-17 (KJV) 15) See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16) Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17) Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord [is].
Col 4:5-6 (KJV) 5) Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. 6) Let your speech [be] alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
Eph 5: – 15) See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16) Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17) Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord [is].
What does it mean to “redeem the time”?
In our Eph 5:15-17 text, we can see a clear command to redeem the time. “Redeeming the time” involves removing something from a marketplace. By removing an item from a marketplace we accomplish two goals…
1. We take possession of the item
2. We guarantee it cannot be resold and taken from us.
In other words, to redeem the time refers to using time wisely, which results in it being laid up to our account with no possibility of loss. This is the principle behind redeeming the time.
How do we redeem the time?
Again our text helps us to understand…
1. By living circumspect (careful, exact, precise, particular) lives –
In other words, we must be concerned and careful about the life we are living. First of all, we should be careful that we are doing what our Lord would have us to do (Acts 20:24, 2 Tim 4:7). Secondly, we should be concerned about what our testimony is in the eyes of others. (Gal 6:9-10, 1 Thess 5:22)
2. By living wise lives –
In Proverbs 9:10 we are told that the beginning of wisdom is found in the fear of the Lord. To “fear” the Lord involves reverencing the Lord (recognizing His greatness and putting Him first in our lives). A wise life is a life that honors the Lord. It is a life that is being led by the Lord and His desires we find in His Word.
Why do we redeem the time?
Our text tells us we redeem the time because “the days are evil”. This can be taken in at least two different ways…
First of all, the word “evil” can speak of sin. If this is the case, we are to redeem the time because the times we are living in are wicked times (2 Tim 3:1-5). We are in a spiritual warfare against the powers of darkness (Eph 6:10-18). We are to be shining lights in the midst of a sin darkened world (Matt 5:14-16).
We can accomplish all of this by simply submitting to His desires for our lives.
Secondly, we can take evil to mean something harmful (but not necessarily morally evil). Our world is filled with tragedies that take place every day. Sickness, injury and even death could be right around the corner for any of us (Matt 24:4-25). Our future is very uncertain and short (Psa 89:47, Job 7:6-7, Job 14:1). Our life is like a vapor (James 4:13-15). It is because of this uncertainty that we should be taking advantage of every opportunity we have to serve our Lord and live wise lives. After all, we cannot know how many more opportunities we have left to serve Him. (1 John 2:17, 1 Pet 4:24-25, Hebs 3:7-15)
What is the key to redeeming the time?
Our text concludes by saying “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord [is].” This emphasizes to us the importance of knowing the will of the Lord for our lives and then following that will. This is the key to living a life pleasing to Him. This is the key to redeeming the time He has so graciously given to us….
Col 4:5-6 – Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. 6) Let your speech [be] alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
For those who have trusted in Christ.
Let us faithfully minister to others as He gives us the opportunity. Let us serve Him everyday as if it were our last, keeping in mind we do not know what the morrow may hold for us.
For those who have never trusted in Christ.
Now is the time to look to Christ for forgiveness of sin. Don’t be one of those of whom Jeremiah spoke when he said…. “Jer 8:20 (KJV) – The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”