"Redeeming the Time"

The value of time.

DOYLE M. BARNETT Secretary, Lay Activities Department  Southeast Asia Union.

Kuang yin sze chien, jih yueh ju so. This Chinese proverb is translated, "Time flits away as swiftly as a darting arrow, and the days and months take their flight as suddenly as the weaver's shuttle." Time is the stuff life is made of, but we have so little of it. It comes and goes so rapidly that we often find ourselves wondering just what happened to it. Your time, my time, never stops. It rushes on and often leaves us bewildered at its passage. When the reality bursts upon our minds the shock treatment often startles us to our senses.

Time--even a lifetime of it—is so short. And yet so frequently it is squandered away, wasted. Once gone it cannot be recalled. It is forever in the past. Let us think of time in this way: Our lives belong to God, and so does our time. Then both our lives and time—lifetime—should be wholly devoted to Him, to be used and spent to His honor and glory. Only thus can it be productive of worth-while and lasting results.

We are told to "walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time" (Col. 4:5). What is wisdom toward those who are without? Is it not explained in the text, "He that winneth souls is wise" (Prov. 11:30)? Is it possible to use one's time in a more satisfying and effec­tive way than in turning lost and perish­ing souls from the way of death to the road of life eternal in Christ Jesus? All things earthly will perish, but a soul, saved in the kingdom of glory, will live on for­ever and ever with Jesus and the saved of all ages. That soul will be a lasting, per­manent and never-dying resident of the earth made new. To be instrumental in saving such a soul—isn't that a wise thing to do? Is there anything else in this world that can bring greater and more sublime joy to our hearts than to see precious souls accepting Christ as a result of our efforts? No, nothing; absolutely nothing. Then time spent in winning souls is truly "re­deeming the time," using it in producing the only lasting results possible in this life.

Therefore, is it not a most fitting and advisable question for each of us to ask ourselves, "Am I redeeming my time? Am I a truly wise person, and actually winning souls? Am I procrastinating and wasting my time in petty, inconsequential matters? Or am I talking and praying and setting forth Christ crucified in order to win souls for Him?"

By God's grace, shall we not resolve now to make Christ and His work first and foremost in our lives, "redeeming the time" by gathering souls for Him? Then very soon, as terrestrial time ushers in the years of eternity, the "wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever" (Dan. 12:3).

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DOYLE M. BARNETT Secretary, Lay Activities Department  Southeast Asia Union.

May 1967

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