Redeeming the Time

Ephesians 5:15-17




The Text

  1. The context is exhortation to walk as God’s children with Spiritual fruit in a sinful world.
  2. Our walk, or lives, should be done circumspectly – with an inspection of every part of our lives.
  3. Fools allow life to happen to them, but wise men make choices based on their sober inspection.
  4. Redeeming – or buying back – the time we are allowed in light of the evil in which we live.
  5. All our choices should be made spiritually and carefully to avoid folly and to fulfill God’s will.
  6. These words are repeated in a context of walking wisely before the world around us (Col 4:5).

The Problem

  1. Time is not waiting for any of us. Today is July 2, 2000. It seems just yesterday was Y2K.
  2. Time is a very scarce resource. You may buy more water, food, or gasoline; but not more time.
  3. Time accelerates with age. Our fathers have told us, and so does Scripture (Psalm 102:11).
    1. This is a matter of perception. The closer the end of a desired thing, the faster it ends.
    2. A shadow barely moves in the middle of the day, but it races as evening approaches.
  4. If Satan can keep us too busy to circumspectly and soberly consider our lives, he wins.
  5. Do you have the time to pray, confess, read, meditate, consider, and muse as a true Christian?
  6. Do you have the time to enjoy your wife, train your children, fellowship your brethren, etc.?
  7. How will your epitaph read? How will it describe your use of time? For yourself? For Christ?

The Commandment

  1. Moses asks God to teach us to number our days for applying our hearts to wisdom (Ps 90:12).
    1. Is there a more practical and valuable text in the Bible regarding life? I know not one.
    2. We must count our days; we must isolate and identify each day; we cannot live forever.
    3. Our hearts, sobered by brief lives, are to be preoccupied with the wisdom of God’s will.
  2. A godly attitude toward life is to seek full understanding of its brevity and frailty (Psalm 39:4).
  3. Start early remembering your Creator in your youth (Eccl 12:1). Not enough time? Redeem it.
  4. We are to seek first Christ’s kingdom, so our time should be allocated accordingly (Matt 6:33).
  5. Take no thought for the morrow, for there is sufficient evil to occupy us today (Matthew 6:34).
  6. It is high time to get serious about our lives of godliness and resist the flesh (Rom 13:11-14).
  7. Since time is scarce, we are to BE without carefulness in each part of our lives (I Cor 7:29-32).
  8. Don’t presume even on tomorrow (James 4:13-16). For you have no knowledge of tomorrow.
  9. We have our time past and the rest of our time. We must live the latter to the Lord (I Pe 4:1-5).
  10. God judges without respect of persons, therefore we must use our time in fear (I Peter 1:17).
  11. The Hebrews had sufficient time to be teachers, but they had been slothful (Hebrews 5:12).
  12. The parable of the talents teaches us to wisely use opportunities in limited time (Mat 25:14-30).
  13. If we do not use time soberly and circumspectly, we are as ungodly scoffers (II Peter 3:1-18).

The Cure

  1. Redeeming time – or buying it back – is as easy as saying “No” to the million requests for it.
  2. No man’s time is truly out of his control – you may redeem or buy back your time if you wish.
  3. I gave a list of priorities to the men, and I have preached Bible priorities. Do you honor them?
  4. Being busier is not the answer. We redeem or buy back time by exchanging other things for it.
  5. Less sleep is likely not the cure, for He giveth His beloved sleep rather than stress (Ps 127:2).
  6. Godly use of time liberates us from our nation’s worship of work and activity. Slow down.
  7. The false prophetess Jezebel at Thyatira was given a space – limited time – to repent (Re 2:21).
  8. As in every spiritual matter, we need to repent, confess, and convert to a better use of our time.