Published Sept. 17, 2013

Paul's Epistle...
"Redeeming The Time"

I wear a wristwatch. Since grade school, I have always worn a watch. I simply like to know what time it is.

Yes, I know, fewer people are wearing watches these days. Why wear a watch when you can check your cell phone, right? Well, you still have to pull it out. It's like the old days when men had pocket watches — only without the fancy little chains. And everyone works on computers with the time displayed right down there in the corner. But for me — especially with a radio background where you have to know what time it is to the minute (or even the second) — a watch has always been a simple solution to knowing what time it is.

Lo and behold, just hours before we were to leave a week ago to drive to Louisville, Kentucky, for a very busy and highly-scheduled week at the National Quartet convention, I looked at my watch and — horrors! — it had died! My heretofore reliable watch had stopped! Totally without warning!

Now, I never wear expensive watches; the cheap watches serve the purpose quite well. And they usually last a few years. It was just the timing (how ironic) that was the problem.

Monday morning, as we went about our hectic interview schedule, I kept looking at my wrist. Over and over and over again. Oops. "What time is it, Shelia?" She surely got tired of the question.

Tuesday we found a nearby Big Lots and I splurged on a $6.00 watch.  Six bucks!  It works just fine. And it looks every bit as good as those expensive $12.00 watches! What a relief.

But the whole episode made me think again about the importance of time – and our use of it. Just as I had no idea that watch of mine would "die," we have no idea when our time will run out.

How are we to use whatever time we have? Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:15-17, "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."

So we are to use our time to discern the will of the Lord. How do we do that? Through prayer and study of God's Word.

But there's more to this. Paul, again, in Colossians 4:5-6 writes, "Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one."

So we are also to use our time to witness to others, graciously. How we do know how we "ought to answer each one?" Through prayer and the study of God's Word. I sense a pattern here.

In any case, time is a valuable commodity. Use the time you have wisely to advance God's kingdom. Live for Christ. Witness to others about Him. Encourage as many as you can into the Good Shepherd's fold.

And there is a sense of urgency here. The time is coming when our opportunities to work for the Lord in this life will be over. Time is much too precious a God-given commodity to waste. Because, someday, when we least expect it, time for each of us will, without warning, abruptly stop.

- Paul

Comments on this? paul@thegospelgreats.com

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