February 2014 Dear Friends, February is “Heart Month.” We have Valentine’s Day and the “Heart Association” all reminding us to either send cards to loved ones or “march or walk” for healthier hearts to raise money for heart research. Three times a week I go to “cardiac rehab” to exercise, because six years ago I [...]
I am writing this letter in the middle of February so it will be ready by March 1 to send. Thought it would be a good use of my time. The fact is that Jannette and I are snowed in in a motel in Lynchburg, Virginia, while visiting her sister and brother who live here. D.C. is still having snow as we are awaiting some more this afternoon here. Since time is on my hands, so this letter.
March is time change month; to daylight saving time we all go, so I thought “redeeming the time” would be something for us to consider this month. Some of us put off things until another time (e.g., Felix in Acts 24:25, regarding his personal salvation; a “certain man” in Luke 9:61, regarding following Jesus). But, praise the Lord, “in the fulness of time” (just the right time), Jesus came to earth to redeem us (Gal. 4:4,5 and 1 Tim. 2:6).
Consider the truth found in Prov. 27:1, “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (right now, I’m snowed in in a motel). Time is very important to us all—how we use it and abuse it. For a few moments consider with me the right use of our time.
First, we need to realize the brevity of life here on earth—Psalm 89:47, “Remember how short my time is….” Just last week I received word that a man who was a teenager in my first church in Virginia Beach, Virginia, died. He was just 50 years old. We really never know when our last day on earth will be, so we ought to use our time wisely for good and for the Lord’s glory.
Second, we need to subordinate earthly duties to heavenly ones. In 1 Corinthians 7:28, Paul says that it is all right to get married, and then he warns us in verse 29, “But this I say, brethren, the time is short….” Then, in verse 31, Paul states, “…the fashion of this world passeth away.”
Third, since time is short, there is the need to redeem it by serious living. Ephesians 5:15,16 says, “See then that ye walk circumspectly [cautiously], not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Just how serious are we about our lives—what we eat, what we think, what we see, what we do? Paul goes on in the passage in Ephesians saying we should “be filled with the Spirit” (see Ephesians 5:18-21).
Fourth, yes, the time is short for each of us, and because it is, we should be a consistent example before the world around us. Colossians 4:5 says, “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.” How is our walk—our deportment, as the report cards used to record when I attended junior high school? They would grade me separately in each class. Well, how do we do with our spouse, our children, our grandchildren, our neighbors, our boss, and our friends? If you received a separate grade for each one, what would be the results? Consider 1 Peter 3: 9, 15, “Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing….But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” What kind of witness is our life for our Lord?
Yes, there is a time for everything (see Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) and remember Solomon’s conclusion in Ecclesiastes 3:17, “I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.”
It’s time-change month—and my question to us all is, what are we doing with the time the Lord gives us each day? I must answer for myself, and so must you. Our lives are brief, like a shadow (1 Chron. 29:15), and only a “handbreadth” in extent (Ps. 89:47; 90:9, 102:11). James says it is a vanishing vapor (James 4:14), so use it wisely. Our time on earth is precious; let’s not waste it.
Dr. Frederick W. Carroll