We say, “The devil never takes a day off so why should I” I heard a great response to that from an incredibly wise person who said, “I don't really think that the devil should be our example”.
The Bible calls those who will not work lazy.
Proverbs 13:4 (NLT) 4 Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper.
But it calls those who will not rest disobedient
Of the Ten Commandments the one that God spent the most time explaining was the one on rest.
Exodus 20:8-11 (NLT)8 “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. For in six days the LORD made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.
Every moment of our time is a valuable gift from God. It’s important to use our time well by “redeeming the time,”
Ephesians 5:15-16 NKJV See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
What Does “Redeeming the Time” Mean?
What is the meaning of the phrase “redeeming the time,” and what does it look like to do so in practical ways?
Redeeming something involves reclaiming it from bad circumstances for good purposes. We should avoid spending our time on sinful activities or wasting our time on trivial activities that don’t have eternal value. Instead, we should do our best to use time wisely, as God leads us day by day. So, redeeming the time means to be careful about how we use our time. It involves seeking God’s wisdom for our schedules and prioritizing what matters most from an eternal perspective.
We need to see everything including time from God’s perspective. We must realize how small we are and how big God is. How short our time of existence compared to Hodgson eternity.
Psalm 90:2 (NLT)2 Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are God.
2 Peter 3:8 (NLT)8 But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.
Psalm 39:4 (NLT)4 “LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is.
Here is an example of how big God is compared to us; “If the Milky Way galaxy were the size of the entire continent of North America, our solar system would fit in a coffee cup. That’s the size of our solar system in the Milky Way galaxy. Now consider that there are 100 billion galaxies in the universe. It would take 15 billion years to send a lightspeed message (100,000 miles per hour) to the edge of the universe.
Psalm 8:1-9 (NLT)1 O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens. You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you. When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers— the moon and the stars you set in place-- what are people that you should think about them, mere mortals that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority-- the flocks and the herds and all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and everything that swims the ocean currents. O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!
Editor’s Note: Whitney Hopler Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer recently wrote an article titled “How Can We Succeed in Redeeming the Time”. In it he gives five ways to redeem the time in our lives. I’ve taken four of those ways for this post. The following are summarized excerpts, from that article including scriptures added by me.
Seek God’s will in the present.
The past is gone, and the future hasn’t happened yet, so we shouldn’t waste our limited time dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.
Matthew 6:31-34 NKJV “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (emphasis mine)
Instead, we can focus on the present, where God’s presence is with us right now.
Ephesians 5:17-21 NKJV Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God. (emphasis mine).
Pursue what has eternal value.
Every day, we can commit to using our time for what matters most from an eternal perspective rather than wasting it on activities that don’t ultimately matter. The Holy Spirit will guide us toward what would be best to focus on each day. When we’re considering whether or not to spend time on something, we can consider if it will help us focus on what Jesus says matters most – loving God and loving other people
Matthew 22:37, 39 NKJV Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
Avoid what isn’t worth our time.
We should carefully evaluate activities before choosing to spend time on them, considering questions such as: “Will this move me closer to God, or farther away?”, “Is this really important from an eternal perspective?”, and “What purpose will I help achieve by doing this?”.
Matthew 6:31-33 NKJV “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (emphasis mine)
God wants us to enjoy life, but not waste time on worthless pursuits.
John 10:7-10 NKJV Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (emphasis mine).
We don’t need to avoid spending time on fun activities. We simply need to be disciplined about centering our schedules around our relationships with God. When we pray for discernment, we can make the best decisions about how to use our time.
Psalms 119:66 HCSB Teach me good judgment and discernment, for I rely on Your commands.
Live in sync with the natural rhythms God has designed.
God has created rhythms of time that are in sync with what’s most healthy for human beings.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NKJV To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.
Those rhythms include daily mornings, afternoons, and evenings.
Genesis 1:3-5 NKJV Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
A weekly Sabbath day
Genesis 2:1-3 NKJV Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
Genesis 8:20-22 NKJV Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.” (emphasis mine)
By planning our schedules around God’s time rhythms, we can do much more than check off items on our to- do list. We can use our time to connect with our eternal God and receive his guidance and encouragement. Doing so will help us minimize stress and maximize joy in our lives.
Do as much good as we can in the time we have available
God gives to all equally. Others may have more talents, or spiritual gifts but we all have the same amount of time. Every person has sixty minutes to the hour, twenty-four hours to the day, and seven days per week. No matter how rich we are, time cannot be bought. No matter how poor, we cannot receive less. The president of our nation or the CEO of the largest corporation has no more time than you.
Jesus was both urgent and careful about the use of God-given time. On one occasion, he said,
( John 9:4 NIV) “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work”
Every moment of our lives is an opportunity to live in service of what’s good. We can do so by using our time in ways that promote the flow of God’s love through our lives into other people’s lives. Stop worrying about the past and the time you wasted. Look forward from God’s perspective and press on toward the goal ahead
Philippians 3:12-14 NIV Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
God will help us redeem the time as we seek his guidance day by day. So, let’s focus on what matters most and let go of whatever isn’t worth our time.