Christian Resource Centre

 

Date: 17 October 2009 | Author: Dele Oke

Redeeming the time - investing in people

a clock Time is one of the most precious commodities we possess as a people. Irrespective of how rich or poor we are, we all possess the same amount of time in any given day.

Investing your efforts and time in people may not yield financial returns on earth but it certainly will bring forth eternal rewards. Matthew 25: 35-40 has many more connotations than are often realised.

1.What does it mean to redeem the time?

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

Simply put, redeeming the time means using your time wisely and investing it in profitable endeavours. From a Christian's point of view profitable things should not be measured in purely monetary rewards.

Many of us can still look back regretfully at some of the things we have wasted our time on. I have got good news for you - there is still a chance for you to redeem your time.

2. How do you redeem the time?
You redeem the time by getting your priorities right and allocating quality time to the things that matter. Firstly, learn what the priorities in life are. I assume that you already know the love of God and have received the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and saviour.
a. Your first priority should be to Jesus
b. Your second priority should be to your family
c. Your third priority should be to others

a. Your first priority should be to Jesus
Allocate time to spend with God every day. The numerous unimportant things around will only steal time not given to God. You lose a lot by denying yourself regular fellowship with your creator. There are many ways even the busiest of us could adapt and get more time to read the Bible and pray.

So many of us spend precious time day dreaming on the way to work (especially in the mornings) when we could use those opportunities to read something edifying or ponder over some scriptures we read in the house. If you drive often then obtain some good quality material to listen too.

Many parents spend time taking care of the children and find themselves exhausted at the end of the day. Again, reading the Bible to your children and praying with them (or for them, depending on their age) will help both them and you have some fellowship with God.

You will notice that the children will grow to love these "bed time readings" and eventually their desire to keep hearing them will help in keeping your fellowship with God alive.
Several of us also have to walk a few minutes before we get to our working place each day. You could use this time to pray.

b. Your second priority should be to your family
By family I mean both your immediate nuclear family and the spiritual family of the body of Christ. As parents we need to be aware that the precious soul's God has put in our hands are a treasure we need to cherish. If bonds are not formed when children are young it will be too late when they grow old.

Your family need not be restricted to 'blood related members'. There are people who God may bring into your life who become more precious to you than a brother.

Furthermore, if you have had the privilege of taking care of someone, whether a child or invalid person, rest assured that you have not wasted your time. Jesus said whatever you have done to the least you have done to him (Matthew 25:40). Now that is sound advise on investing your time you will not get from yout broker.

Spending your time to bring quality into the life of others by doing the simple things like talking, listening and showing concern for them is a godly way of redeeming your time.

People are the one thing you can invest in that will bear dividend in heaven. Neither gold, silver or shares will reap a similar dividend.

Our fellowship with other Christians is also vital. A word of warning here however. The ultimate goal of Christian fellowship is to meet with people and God - strengthening people and worshipping God in the process. Whenever people cease to be the most crucial thing within a church or movement it stops fulfilling the motive for which Christ set it up.

Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as [is] the manner of some, but exhorting [one another,] and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (NKJV)

c. Your third priority should be to others
On the average we spend more time at work than we do at home. I am aware that this is not the case with everyone or in all parts of the world.
Nevertheless, take time to acknowledge, and where possible, be concerned with the people you come into regular contact with. Don't let the first time you make a conversation with them be when you want to preach the gospel. It may have been too late by then.

If we appreciate that all people have been made in the image of God we will learn to respect and regard them better.
Jesus appreciated the value of people and so should you. When a home, church or business becomes more about its products and success than the people something vital has been lost and missed.

3. Worry - the enemy of our time.
Some people spend so much time worrying about tomorrow that they forget to enjoy the now. Worry causes you to live in an uncertain future and robs you of using your time wisely today. Worry is a symptom of our lack of trust in God. Matthew 6:26-34 puts it quite succinctly.

Finally
You will notice that redeeming the time does not require a whole lot of sophisticated things. Giving more time to God and the people He has created in his image should become a priority. Cultivate the habit of being concerned about other people. Learn to appreciate the people around you. A kind smile, a lingering to talk to an acquaintance and remembering what you were told yesterday, are all products of a heart that loves people. Learn to share the joys and tears of others.

Christians ought to be people who care about people.

Developing your talents, growing your business or fulfilling your God given call will then be put in proper context. Read the following scriptures in Luke and notice what they all have in common - Luke 5:29-32; 7:36-50; 10:38-42; 19:1-10.

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