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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Redeeming Time

Redeem it or lose it.

Guardian of Time (4)

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15, 16

Kingdom time?
The subject of our discussion is how to realize a strong soul, one that is fully set on the Lord and His Kingdom, unbending in devotion and unyielding to every temptation or distraction. The mind of a strong soul is set on Jesus and His Kingdom. The heart of a strong soul desires nothing greater than to know, love, and serve the Lord. And the good conscience of a strong soul manages the choices and values that lead us, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to live in joyful obedience to our Lord.

And all this happens in time, which is, next to our salvation, God’s most precious gift.

Did you notice in our text that Paul did not write your time, but the time. The time is always God’s time, entrusted to us as a precious gift and treasure, for furthering His Kingdom-and-glory purposes in our lives. Most of us would be surprised, I think, to discover how much of the precious gift of time we invest in activities other than seeking and advancing the Kingdom of God.

One reason this happens is that we have never learned how to conduct our daily lives from a Kingdom vantage point. The work we do, our relationships at home, taking care of the everyday business of staying healthy and managing our affairs – for many believers, indeed, perhaps most, these are not typically looked upon as Kingdom activities.

Some might think the Kingdom of God has nothing much to say about how I do my work, take care of my yard, converse with my friends, or use my free time. That is non-Kingdom time for most believers, with the result that hours and hours of time each week, given to us by the Lord for the purposes of advancing His Kingdom, are simply lost to merely temporal and fleeting ends.

Kingdom time, as others tend to think of it, is church time, when I’m with my Christian friends doing my Christian thing. This is the time I devote to the Kingdom of God. The rest of my time is dedicated to the kingdom of me.

Conversely, if we are to make the best use of time for the Kingdom of God, we need more focused study in Scripture, to understand how a strong soul guides us to approach our daily tasks and activities for the sake of the Kingdom of God.

The Bible is given to teach and equip us for every good work (2 Tim. 3.15-17). It instructs us how to conduct every aspect of our lives as unto the Lord, rather than to men – even merely ourselves (Col. 3.23, 24). But we’ll never understand or begin to practice this teaching – and thus, we will continue to waste Kingdom time on fleeting activities – until we give ourselves diligently and continuously to the task of learning how the Christian worldview shapes our thoughts and practice in every area of life.

Kingdom time all the time
A second reason we waste so much time is that we don’t follow Paul’s command to “walk circumspectly” concerning how we use our time each day.

Paul says we must not use our time like unwise people, people who have no regard for the wisdom of God and no interest in seeking the Kingdom. We are called to live as wise people, trusting in the Lord with all our hearts and in all our ways acknowledging His Lordship over our lives and time (Prov. 3.5, 6; Eph. 5.17).

Such stewardship of time doesn’t just happen. We need to develop a way to pay close attention to how we use our time, both to live wisely in the time of our lives, and to be sure in our own soul that we have made the most of the moments granted us each day.

I used to teach a time management course for seminary students, and one of the activities I required of them, early in the course, was to keep track of how they used their time. I gave them a card marked off in seven daily segments, each divided into 30-minute blocks, and instructed them to write down their activities as they completed them each day. Then, at the end of the day, I told them to tally up the wasted time from each day.

Typically, my students would scoff at the idea that they wasted any time. They were busy people, forward thinkers, people of focused action! They didn’t waste time!

Except, as it turned out, they did. Hours and hours of it, every week.

Track your time
We’re no different. It might be an interesting activity for you to track your time in 30-minute blocks for a week or so, to “walk circumspectly,” looking carefully at each block of time to determine whether you’re living as a wise person, using your time for the progress of the Kingdom, or unwisely.

You might be surprised – or chagrined – at what you discover.

We must do something to determine where the time of our lives is going. By setting aside time for planning and review, and by thinking more carefully about how we use our time, we allow our conscience to guard the time of our lives in line with its Kingdom values, priorities, and wisdom. And we need to keep this up continually. Time is too precious a gift, and it is given for too specific a purpose, for us who know the Lord not to make the best use of all our time for the glory of Christ and the progress of His Kingdom.

For reflection
1.  How do you organize your time? Do you plan each day? Do you do a daily review?

2.  What about in the moment of time: How do you remain conscious of your Kingdom-and-glory calling, so that you use all your time to this end?

3.  How can believers help one another to be better stewards of the time of our lives?

Next steps – Preparation: Download our free tool, “The Time of Your Life”, and spend a week carefully evaluating how you can begin to make better use of your time. Click here.

T. M. Moore

To learn more about a Christian approach to time, order a free copy of our book, Vantage Point, by clicking here. You can download “The Time of Your Life” and have a closer look at how you spend your time each week by clicking here.

Thanks for your prayers and support
If you find ReVision helpful in your walk with the Lord, please seek the Lord, asking Him whether you should contribute to the support of this ministry with your financial gifts. As the Lord leads, you can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card through PayPal or Anedot, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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