“O Timothy! keep that which is committed to thy trust,” (1Tim 6:20).
We’ve been taking a closer look at the 7 things we ought to protect.
This next one is about protecting our TIME. We won’t be talking about the extending of our lives, rather that we must act promptly because of the uncertainty of longevity. There’s a major reason to be concerned about TIME.
NOBODY knows how much time we have left before the Lord’s return, nor how long we will live.
“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:14).
Due to the certainty of this fact, we shall look at Paul’s discussion of time in the letter to the Ephesians. “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Eph 5:15-16). He gives a list of 4 things the Saint does in Redeeming the TIME.
“Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Eph 5:17). The first thing Paul tells us to do in redeeming the time is to be wise, (to THINK, to Study) so we may know what God wants. This is so important because Jesus will be using His word at the judgment. “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48; cf. Matt 7:21-23; Luke 6:46). Since this is true, it’s imperative that we spend some time learning of Him through His word.
“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5:18) The next thing is a don’t which is very much related to the first. Don’t get drunk, distracted, INTOXICATED with excesses. It’s impossible to do the first if we’re interfering with our minds ability to think. Other things that do the same are the myriad of distractions that occupy our time. The opposite of this “do not” is to “be filled with the Spirit” which points back to the first point. How is one filled with the Spirit? In as much as they are filled with the word delivered through inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Note what Paul wrote earlier through inspiration of the Holy Spirit; “How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ” (Eph 3:3-4; cf. John 20:30-31;).
“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Eph 5:19); Continuing on in the discussion of redeeming the time, Paul tells the Saint to MAKE MELODY in your heart to the Lord. In the letter to the Colossians he also says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col 3:16). Do you see a connection to the first part of redeeming the time? It’s about the word of Christ. In addition to knowing it ourselves, we are to teach it to other Saints. One way this is done is through song, in particular, during the time we gather together on the first day of the week. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Heb 10:25).
“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 5:20). At all times the Saint is to live their lives in EXPRESSING Thanks to God for EVERY THING. “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1Thess 5:18). Joy is impossible without gratitude. It is essential for the Saints to remember; “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). This knowing that all that desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution, and we’re to count it all joy when we face various temptations (cf. 2Tim 3:12; Jas 1:2-4). In the passage from James, he reconnects it to THINKING on God’s word, acquiring His wisdom. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (Jas 1:4; cf. Jas 3:17). Right back at the beginning of Redeeming the Time.
At no point have we concerned ourselves with extending our time, not that there’s anything wrong with that. The Saint is to primarily be concerned with redeeming the TIME because the days are evil. None of us wants to be caught off guard should the Lord return in our lifetime, nor be unprepared to face the Lord when our time on earth is over (cf. Luke 12:16-21).