Thursday, January 1, 2009

Redeeming the Time

By Jeff Bruce

The new year offers us a conspicuous reminder that time is passing quickly. We are one year closer to Christ's return. Yesterday, Andrew reminded us of the absurdity of making resolutions apart from the power of the gospel. Today, I want to take a crack at resolution-making with the gospel as the purview.

My resolution for this year comes from Jonathan Edwards' excellent (and intimidating) list:
Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
This resolution calls to mind Paul's words in Ephesians,
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. (Eph 5:15-16)
The days are evil because we live in the present evil age (Gal 1:4). Satan and his minions desire to gobble up the precious few years we have, so that his kingdom might advance. Laziness, it appears, is not a sin Satan indulges in. He prowls around like a lion, seeking someone to destroy (1 Pet 5:8). Sometimes he destroys by playing the provocateur, bombarding us with stimulants to provoke fleshly lusts. Other times, his work is far more insidious. Perhaps he simply preoccupies us with activities that aren't the most profitable. Or he just tempts us to be unproductive and lazy.

We mustn't view the time we've been allotted with even an iota of neutrality. Every moment of our lives is either advancing the kingdom of God, or the kingdom of Satan. And laziness, busyness, and distraction are some of Satan's most lethal weapons.

I want an acute awareness of God's will in the present. Humans seem intractably prone to think about anything other than the present moment. As Pascal said,
We think very little of time present; we anticipate the future, as being too slow, and with a view to hasten it onward, we recall the past to stay it as too swiftly gone. We are so thoughtless, that we thus wander through the hours which are not here, regardless only of the moment that is actually our own.
The present is all I've been given, and God seeks to work in this moment. I want to feel a sense of urgency in everything I do. May 2009 be a year in which we redeem time for the kingdom of Christ.

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