Friday, June 1, 2012
DEVOTION: Redeeming the Time by Kathi Macias
Years ago, when I served on staff at a large church, one of my duties was to oversee the ministry of small groups. In addition to training the leaders of those groups, I often had to step in to lead a group when the leader was unable to attend a meeting. One evening, as I filled in for a group leader who was ill, I asked for prayer requests from those in attendance. One woman, who was notorious for showing up late and offering excuses of being “too busy” to complete the week’s assigned reading, asked for prayer for a notorious celebrity who was on trial for a serious offense. The trial was being carried daily on TV, and this lady never missed a minute of it. Though she had to work during the day, she taped the proceedings so she could watch them as soon as she got home.
Bingo! As I listened to her, I realized why she was always late to the group and never seemed to find the time to prepare by reading or memorizing the assigned scripture verses. It also helped to explain why she seemed to have so many problems in other areas of her life.
Sadly, though this woman’s case may be extreme, I don’t believe she is without company in her poor choice of prioritizing. We all have the same amount of days in a week and hours in a day, and we all have to choose what to do with the time allotted to us. Yes, we have jobs and other responsibilities that, for the most part, aren’t always negotiable or even flexible. But we also have at least a few hours every week that are. So what do we do with them? Do we wisely redeem the time, or do we waste it on personal pursuits and activities that have no eternal value?
As one who spends much of my time at my computer, writing and editing and preparing to speak and teach at various functions, it would be easy to justify using what little spare time I have to indulge my personal whims (none of which, by the way, would be consider “bad” or “sinful”). And yet, because I am known as one who writes, speaks, and serves that Name above all names, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ—the very Son of the living God—it is even more incumbent on me that I wisely redeem that time by daily conversing with the One I claim to serve. How can I purport to express the words of the Most High God to others if I am not in communion with Him? If I don’t have time to pray and to read and study and meditate on His Word, and yet I pass myself off as a communicator of that Word and a representative of Christ, I am the worst kind of hypocrite.
Ephesians 5:15-17 tells us that to redeem the time God has given us we must not be unwise, like the fool who says in his heart that there is no God. We must instead walk “circumspectly,” in a manner befitting one who has been purchased by the blood of Jesus, and spend time in serious study of His Word so that we may understand the Lord’s will and purpose for us—and then do it.