“Live wisely among those who are not Christians, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and effective so that you will have the right answer for everyone” (Colossians 4:5, NLT).
Ephesians 4:15-16 reminds us to “redeem the time because the days are evil.” The Amplified Bible says, “buying up each opportunity.” If the days are evil (and they are) then we need to definitely give some thought about how we are using our time. To “redeem” means to buy back, pay off, recover, discharge, make up for, make amends for, offset, or to obtain restoration. The goal of all believers should be to make the most of their lives or time. Consider three questions to help you evaluate your life and begin to truly make the most of every opportunity.
First, what if Jesus came back today? Romans 13:11-12 says, “Besides this you know what [a critical] hour this is, how it is high time now for you to wake up out of your sleep (rouse to reality). For salvation (final deliverance) is nearer to us now than when we first believed (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Christ, the Messiah). The night is far gone and the day is almost here. Let us then drop (fling away) the works and deeds of darkness and put on the [full] armor of light” (AMP). If Jesus came back today (yes, think about it…if he truly came back today), would you be ready? Would you have completed your assignment on the earth and done everything you were to do? Would you have gotten around to telling your family about Jesus, asked forgiveness for your failures, and made it a practice of forgiving those that have hurt you? The first key to making the most of your life is to discern the time. We must come to realize that we are in the last of the last days and as Jesus taught, since we can discern the natural seasons and the weather patterns, we must discern the time we are in and make the proper adjustments.
Second, what if you found out you were terminal? When people find out that they have a terminal disease they tend to rearrange their priorities and chart a different course for their remaining days. Some turn to carnal and natural pleasures and pursuits while others ponder and reflect on the eternal impact their lives have had. The truth is we all have a terminal disease and that disease is called sin. Unless we are on the earth when the rapture occurs, we will all go by way of the grave. Even though we believe and should strive to live and strong (see Psalm 91:16), we will still die at some point: “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then it vanishes” (James 4:14, NIV). What are you trading your precous time for and do these time transactions impact eternity or only the here and now? The second key to making the most of our lives is to treasure the time because we can’t truly redeem the time or make the most of it if we do not know the true value of time. Unlike material things and even money itself, time cannot be borrowed from others, bought in a store, or manufactured in some factory.
Third, what if every person in the church was like you? Ouch! We are exhorted in 1 Timothy 4:15 (ESV) to “practice” and “immerse” ourselves in the things of God like the setting a good example, devotion to the Word of God, exhortation and teaching, and the proper stewardship of our spiritual gifts. What would the church look like and how would it function if each member of the church was just like you? What if they were as faithful as you and attended church like you? What if they served at your level, invited people to church like you, gave of their resources like you, worshipped like you, prayed like you, shared their faith like you? Honestly, how healthy (or unhealthy) would the local church be if the average believer was like you? The reality is that the Church is built one believer at a time and the quality of the believer affects the quality of the whole. The third key to making the most of our lives is to invest the time because we cannot redeem the time if we do not learn to give it away as an investment in the Kingdom of God.
Let’s make a decision from this day forward to truly redeem the time and make the most of our lives by discerning the time we are living in, by treasuring the time we have because it is limited, and by investing our time into furthering the gospel of Jesus Christ through the mission and ministry of our local churches. Let’s make the most of every opportunity and buy up opportunities to make a real difference for Jesus. What if we all learned to discern, treasure, and invest our time?