Saturday, October 18, 2014

Redeeming the Time

Monday, October 20, 2014
Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.  Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity.  
Colossians 4:4-5 (NLT)
Paul asked his Christian family to pray that he might make the most of every opportunity to effectively proclaim the message of Jesus for as long as God allowed him life and breath.  The apostle understood the tyranny of time and the rushing tide of evil in his times Eph 5:16.
Last week Elizabeth was hunting through a kitchen cabinet for something to use in a recipe and stumbled across a box of chocolate pudding.  As she considered using it, the expiration date caught her eye – a mere 10 years ago!  As much as I love chocolate, I had to agree – that stuff was not to be trusted!
Let’s face it, the 5-second rule (about dropping food on the kitchen floor and choosing whether to eat it or not) is easier on my brain than decade-old pudding!
And now, for the million dollar question:  would YOU have used it? 
This little integrity-when-using-pudding event got me thinking about putting time and expiration dates to good use…something about which I am plagued.  I have a natural tendency to procrastinate – to put things off because I can’t get my mind around the complexity or enormity of a project. 
I keep imagining that the apostle was (like me) a charter member of the procrastinators club.  His simile of a tortured mind…the things he wanted to do, he didn’t; the things he didn’t want to do, he did…I know this all too well.  Like Paul, I try to fight for clarity and decisiveness in what to do next and simply getting started.
And so, redeeming the time is a very prophetic and valuable phrase to me – all the time!
I’ve got several allies in my fight to redeem the time:
1.     God’s Spirit.  When Paul asked others to pray it was because he knew himself; he knew he needed a holy support system.  And Paul knew himself, because the Holy Spirit reveals who we are to our minds.
2.     God’s Word.  Scripture is authoritative and beneficial to teach us how to serve God and each other 2 Timothy 3:16.  This includes helping us know how to be proactive, decisive and effective…when we’d rather just sit and procrastinate.
3.     Elizabeth!  If ever God knew who to put me with for lifetime partnership, this one is no doubt.  My bride looks at a task or project…and begins!  She helps me stay focused on trusting God for the outcome…just begin, for heaven’s sake!
(I hate it when she’s right like that…but don’t tell her, ok?)

For You, Today

Now…you’ve got some time to redeem today. 
What is it you haven’t started on,
or worked on,
or let the expiration date slip 10 years into the past?

What will you DO today?

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