Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Redeeming the Time

"Be careful how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity."  These words were written by Paul to the Christians in Ephesus.

The phrase "making the most of every opportunity" is a correct translation of a greek euphemism that literally says "redeeming the time." 

I love that phrase: "redeeming the time."

When we think of redemption we often think of it as something God did and God does and God is doing.  We think of redemption as God's work, not ours.  

But Paul writes that we are capable of "redeeming the time."  This is not just something God does, this is something we are called to do and capable of doing.

How?  By living wisely.  By asking the question "What is the wise thing to do with my time?"

John Wesley (the father of Methodism) wrote these rules for living:

1. Do no harm
2. Do good
3. Practice spiritual disciplines

We like the first one.  We like the idea of staying out of trouble.  Many Christians live like doing no harm is what following Jesus is all about.  That having a strong faith is about what you don't do.  

However, when I look at what Jesus taught and the example he lived I wonder how Christians have ever gotten that idea in their head.  Jesus was all about engaging people with a message of truth and love.  He was all about doing good and taking time to talk to God.  He was about action and involvement, not sitting back and patting himself on the back for staying out of trouble.

So what can you do to "redeem the time."  How can you move from a life of "doing not harm" to a life of actually "doing good?"

If you want to hear more about this, you can listen to or download the sermon from last week here.

May you "redeem the time" since God has redeemed you.

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