What Time Is It?
Have you noticed how we tend to patronize God instead of obeying Him? God is nothing more than a Santa Claus, and we use Him for our own satisfaction and gratification. We call upon Him for what we can get but our sinful hearts are far from Him. It is one thing to pay God a tribute when a disaster strikes but it is another thing completely to submit to Him in uncompromising and unquestioning obedience every moment of every day of our lives.
“Redeem the time,” is what the apostle Paul would have us do (Col. 4:5). Literally he means to “buy up,” to take advantage of every opportune occasion to proclaim the Good News of salvation in Christ. Seize every moment! Whatever opening comes to us, we should be ready to witness for our Lord.
The times call for measures suited to the crisis. Today there is no doubt about the crisis but our conduct fails to rise to the occasion. It is a fearful thing to live in the waters of a flooded city. It is also a fearful thing to live in the swamps of unbelief, and it leads to hell. It is easy to send money to refugees in a far off place. But what about our own Jerusalem? Have we proven our profession in the innermost circles of our lives – in our homes, in our churches, in our communities?
He would be a very obtuse person who could not see the personal application of what the apostle is saying. We do not know what things are coming tomorrow. Tomorrow may bring death and judgment on your city or mine. But we do know that on one tomorrow our Lord will come. If we are right with Him today, tomorrow will be a day of blessing.
A dying Scotsman was once asked about the state of his soul. “I thatched my roof in dry weather,” was his reply. Our feeble efforts to provide economic security for ourselves and for others often come to nothing, but the man or woman who gets right with God today has made a never-ending investment.
It is God’s sovereign purpose that the message of redemption be carried to a lost world by us. So the apostle writes, “Walk in wisdom toward those who are without, redeeming the time.” Those who “are without” are desperate – may I say even more desperate than refugees from a natural disaster. We have a responsibility to make known to them the glorious news of God’s grace. That includes evangelizing my neighbors who live on the adjacent farm as much as it does preaching Christ in the far reaches of Africa.
Today the church is full of compassion for the suffering of the world. This is as it should be. But too often we are indifferent to the plight of lost souls. We say, in action if not in words, “We are safe – and that’s enough.”
Dear fellow Christian – we need to be distressed by the living dead! And so we must give forth His Word.
September 7, 2005
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com. If you would like to know more about becoming a follower of King Jesus, please feel free to write Dave.