“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15–16, ESV).
A blank page. A clean slate. A fresh start. Whatever we call it, we usually think of the new year as a beginning point, a chance to start over and correct our disappointments and failures of the past year. Many use the start of a new year as a time to reflect and to resolve. We are now into the third week of 2021, and many have already faltered in keeping their New Year’s resolutions. One research source shows that January 12 is “the day” that resolutions typically begins to unravel. As Apostolics, we can instead chart a course toward our purpose through intentional living.
Time is a precious commodity. Today we have 86,400 seconds or 1,440 minutes in our 24-hour day. We are all gifted with the same bank of time, but we don’t all spend from our bank in the same way. Ephesians 5:16 tells us to “redeem the time” (KJV), “make the best use” (ESV), or “make the most of every opportunity” (NLT).
Redeem Time: How to Live an Intentional Life
But what does it really mean to redeem time? Barnes Notes on the Bible explains it this way: “Here it means, to rescue or recover our time from waste; to improve it for great and important purposes.” Something about those two phrases really challenges me. How can I wisely structure my day to:
1. Rescue my time from waste?
2. Improve it for great and important purposes?
And that creates even more questions in my mind.
1. What are my greatest time wasters?
2. What should be my great and important purposes?Rather than feeling guilty about lofty resolutions only a few people actually accomplish (estimated at eight percent), why not choose instead to live each day to its fullest. Click To Tweet
When we use the word stewardship, our mind may automatically go to money. Yes, God has blessed us with material goods and expects us to be wise stewards of those things. But He has also entrusted us with time. Today God put 1,440 minutes in our time bank. Will He require an accounting of how we spent those minutes? Romans 14:12 reminds us, “So then each of us will give an account of himself to God” (ESV). That includes how we spend our time.
Rather than feeling guilty about lofty resolutions only a few people actually accomplish (estimated at eight percent), why not choose instead to live each day to its fullest.
Don’t despair. Yesterday is history, but today offers us each a fresh start.
Live intentionally. Yes, things will come up, and we may not accomplish as much as we hoped. Don’t despair. Yesterday is history, but today offers us each a fresh start.
Today I choose to devote my time to great and important purposes—things that will please God and that will bless others. Today I will redeem my time and use it wisely.
Thank You, Lord, for allowing me to spend my time in things worthwhile and important. Some of that time will be spent in Your presence. Some of that time will be spent helping others. And, hopefully, some of that time will be spent in sharing the good news of the gospel with someone who needs Your salvation.
Resources and Links
Grow your faith this year with Rodney Shaw – We hear the word “faith” a lot, but what does it mean practically and how can we grow in faith. This gifted communicator helps us do just that.
Sister Loudermilk, thank you for your wise words of encouragement today. God bless you richly as you encourage the Body of Christ. “The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng.” Psalm 68:11 NIV
Thank you for the kind words. Sister Loudermilk is a great writer. What an encouraging word from Psalm 68.
Intentional was my word for 2020 and yikes…did we have to get intentional about everything we did in ministry. We never wanted to be televangelist. Yet, there we were lights, camera, action. We realized that if we wanted to maintain connections we had to be intentional about preparing and providing a means to do so. What a learning curve for those of us who fly by the seats of our skirts! Thank you for the beautiful way you share your insight Mary. You are a gift!