Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in
your heart to the Lord; Eph. 5:16-19
In these verses Paul gives some words of wisdom, and exhortation. He knows the battles they will face, and the words he uses are full of practical, and powerful advice. His purpose, because the days are evil; The present times are dangerous, they are full of trouble and temptations, and only the watchful and diligent have any reason to expect that they will keep their garments unspotted.
The times we are living in are exponentially evil. There are many allurements and temptations that would lead us away from productive, Spirit led and proper use of time, and that would draw us into sin.
There are many who would tempt you to go to places of sinful indulgence and revelry where their time is wasted, and worse than wasted.
Look around, really look at what your seeing. How many are spending their time on things that mean nothing, and the time spent on these things-often lead to mischief, and evil deeds that came from an idle mind, and who's enjoyment is many times at the expense of someone else's misery.
Watch them, and what they spend their energies on, you'll find them engaged in various worthless endeavors, such as:
(1) In the allurements to pleasure and amusement in every place, and especially in cities;
(2) Consuming the precious hours of probation to no valuable purpose; Idle gatherings that gender trouble, and debauchery of drink and excess;
(3) In the temptations of ambition, most of the time spent for which is wholly thrown away, for few gain the prize, and when gained, it is all a bauble, not worth the effort;
(4) In dissipation - for who can estimate the amount of valuable time that is worse than thrown away in the places of revelry and game playing. In some places it's difficult to get people to look up, their heads and eyes are looking down at their phones-sometimes as their walking. I've thought at times-"You need to look up, before you walk into the door."
(5) In wild and visionary plans - temptations, loud boastings, bragging, talebearing, these must have other's around them, of like spirit-these attract each other, and feed on each other's vices. The evil involved in this becomes evident with the cursing, swearing, and debauchery that's going on among them. I've seen this in years I worked at holiday and special event parties-I learned to try to just stay out of it, and either take the day off, or go home early.
(6) Indulgence - in dressing, and eating, and gossip.
(7) When they awake from their drink/drugs-bleary eyed, head in a fog-aching from a hangover-they begin again, in a cycle of worthless activity.
For the Christian, Paul gives important practical instruction, to help us shield ourselves from the influences of those who waste their time on useless endeavors; and how to feed our spirits and strengthen our inner man to stand against the temptations that will come to us from those of the world.
John Wesley gives added help in his commentary:
"With all possible care redeeming the time - Saving all you can for the best purposes; buying every possible moment out of the hands of sin and Satan; out of the hands of sloth, ease, pleasure, worldly business; the more diligently, because the present are evil days, days of the grossest ignorance, immorality, and profaneness."
The years I worked taking care of seniors, I saw the difference between those who had lived lives of wisdom and purpose; redeeming the time in their lives, and those who had spent most of their time wasting it on worthless things. I could see the difference between them, in how they lived, the peace in their lives, or the lack of it. those who had practiced wisdom had a sense of stability and purpose about them. When death came for them, their faith was evident, peace was there and the presence of the Lord, when they were taken home.
Those who had wasted their lives, and squandered their time, had various forms of depressions, aimlessness, and anxieties. I saw many like this die a miserable death, with fear, and a sense of hopelessness. Yes, they were hopeless, and still dead in their sins, and facing hell, but would not turn to the Lord, would not repent of their sins, and died as they had lived.
In these evil days, it's vital to spend time in prayer, keeping our minds and hands busy doing things that will keep us active, and using the time God gives us on things that matter. And, keep our minds on things that lift our spirits, and turn our hearts to the Lord. Good music, listen to a good bible teacher or minister in a video, study scripture-and cross reference as you go. I can get lost in time, studying a specific topic-and before I know it, the afternoon is late. But, the time was spent enriching my spirit, opening my mind to more of God, and His ways, and applying it to my life. This is purpose-that will go into eternity with me.
The devotion below, speaks further on this important topic, to aide the Christian in the evil days we are living in today.
Arise From The Dust
Following The Master's Footsteps
As we journey this pilgrim land-Paul exhorts us to redeem the time. As we trod the path before us, we are to purchase; to buy up”; and then to redeem, to set free - as from service or bondage. We are to rescue or recover our time from waste; to improve it for great and important purposes.
In doing so, we are following in Jesus' footsteps-working as he worked, gaining ground with every step he took, while he was here on earth, that culminated with his going to the cross, for you and I-to rescue us. When he hung on that cross, he became a curse for us, and bought us back with his own blood. The cross was not a defeat-the victory is the empty tomb. He is risen.
Gal 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
He has given us the pattern to follow.
GOD’S PRESENCE PROMISED AND HIS GLORY SHOWN
When Moses found himself alone with God he made two outstanding requests:
(1) For God’s presence. “If thou dost not go with me, I cannot go; angels are not enough. They are fair, and sweet, and strong, but I want thee. Wilt thou leave me-a lonely man-to thread these desert wastes with this people? Thou hast put the burden on me, and thou canst not leave me to carry it alone!” It is good when a man gets to close grips with God, and it was to him according to his faith. See Exo_33:14.
(2) For a vision of God’s glory. Again the answer came as he asked-“I will put thee in a cleft of the rock.” The sides of the mountains are rent and scarred; but who can tell the anguish of Him who was “marred” for us? Yet, in the cleft wound of His side there is room for us to hide. “Rock of Ages, cleft for me!” On Calvary, a niche was hollowed out in which a world of sinners may find shelter. F.B. Meyer
WHEN GOD PASSES BY
Exo 33:13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.
Exo 33:14 And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.
Exo 33:15 And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.
Exo 33:16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.
Exo 33:17 And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.
Exo 33:18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.
Exo 33:19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.
Exo 33:20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
Exo 33:21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:
Exo 33:22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:
"The Lord our God hath shewed us his glory." — Deu_5:24
God's great design in all his works is the manifestation of his own glory. Any aim less than this were unworthy of himself. But how shall the glory of God be manifested to such fallen creatures as we are? Man's eye is not single, he has ever a side glance towards his own honour, has too high an estimate of his own powers, and so is not qualified to behold the glory of the Lord. It is clear, then, that self must stand out of the way, that there may be room for God to be exalted; and this is the reason why he bringeth his people ofttimes into straits and difficulties, that, being made conscious of their own folly and weakness, they may be fitted to behold the majesty of God when he comes forth to work their deliverance. He whose life is one even and smooth path, will see but little of the glory of the Lord, for he has few occasions of self-emptying, and hence, but little fitness for being filled with the revelation of God. They who navigate little streams and shallow creeks, know but little of the God of tempests; but they who "do business in great waters," these see his "wonders in the deep." Among the huge Atlantic-waves of bereavement, poverty, temptation, and reproach, we learn the power of Jehovah, because we feel the littleness of man. Thank God, then, if you have been led by a rough road: it is this which has given you your experience of God's greatness and lovingkindness. Your troubles have enriched you with a wealth of knowledge to be gained by no other means: your trials have been the cleft of the rock in which Jehovah has set you, as he did his servant Moses, that you might behold his glory as it passed by. Praise God that you have not been left to the darkness and ignorance which continued prosperity might have involved, but that in the great fight of affliction, you have been capacitated for the outshinings of his glory in his wonderful dealings with you. C.H. Spurgeon
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him
to life everlasting. 1Ti 1:15-16
In these verses Paul describes what Jesus came into the world to do, and who he was before Christ redeemed him. He had a keen ability to give a clear picture-with few words.
Paul gave no excuses, blamed no one for his blindness, his wretched conduct as Saul of Tarsus, in his ignorance, unbelief, and persecuting rage; of being a blasphemer, and a relentless persecutor of Christ's people, of his injurious insolent, and overbearing pride. He describes himself as the chief of sinners.
It is only when we truly see God and His gaze on us pierces our souls, that we know ourselves, and see who we really are, and repent in dust and ashes. When someone really gets saved, everyone will know it, there will be a marked change, a turn-around in their life. The man or woman who truly repents, and walks with God, may make mistakes, and fail at times, but like Jacob-will repent, get back up and keep walking with God. This will not guarantee you a life of happiness, many friends, pleasure and ease. This will be brought out below.
Paul made an honest, clear picture of himself-so when even the most vile, hopeless abandoned sinner read and considered his case-they would take heart, that there was room for them at the foot of the Cross. He is an example of mercy, a specimen of what Christ can do, even for the worst of sinners. If Jesus Christ, with whom there can be no respect of persons, saved Saul of Tarsus, no sinner need despair.
If there was hope and salvation for Paul, there is hope for you and I.
Note: There's been some who have said to me "You are arrogant". I've been cursed, mocked, and insulted many times over the years. I'd ask-How do you like to be treated?
I'm a quiet, "mind my own business" kind of person, and blunt in my way of speaking-somewhat like Paul (I don't claim to be in his rank or category), and have had experiences in my life that have molded me into what I am now (robbed 3 times). In this world you learn to become strong, and able to take the blows of life-or let the world destroy you. My armor, is always on. But, I choose the verses above, to describe who I am. I have no reputation to try to uphold, no character to polish-I am a redeemed sinner, who has been called by God to do some things-that I will admit-I have no strength or ability to do in my flesh-it is God in me, that moves me in this work. I've made mistakes, failed at times, but gotten back up, and keep going. It is the Spirit of God, that moves me in what I am doing, in spite of my flaws. The blog below gives a description of who I was before Jesus redeemed me, and saved me, and what Christ has done in me, for His glory.
It doesn't take long after I post new material, to see and hear reactions; some good, some bad.
Whatever people's opinions, I leave it in God's hands. To the enemies- I don't care what you may think of me. The only persons opinion that matters to me, is the Lord Jesus Christ.
The false accusations, the condemnations, the rumors/gossip, slander gets taken to the throne of God. I talk to Him about it, and leave it there. If anyone is really interested in me as a person, or cares to know the truth about the stories told of me-I'll tell you the truth. If your not interested, that's fine. I can live my life in peace, either way.
During Paul's service and missionary journey's, he encountered many dangerous, treacherous problems, many times he spoke of his persecutions, the tortures he endured, and the false brethren and enemies he suffered from. But along the way he came to the place where he was unmovable in his faith, and his walk with God.
The Four Marks of the Immovable Man
“And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus,
to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” Act 20:22-24
Here, in his own words, is the secret of Paul’s prevailing perseverance. As we look over his confession, four distinguishing characteristics stand out — charting for each one of us today the pathway through our own difficult challenges.
By following Paul’s example, we also can become men and women who are immovable from our sure foundations, and unstoppable in our eternal quest.
Paul’s example shows us four marks of the Immovable Man…
#1 – He had conviction of Spirit — “I go bound in the spirit,” he said. The word means to be irrevocably resolved in commitment to the present course of action. There is a finality to the conviction Paul possessed, like a man “bound in chains” from which there is no escape offered…nor desired. Any appeal made to Paul by his friends, urging him to take it easy, fell powerless to the ground. Something far more powerful held him firm to his course of action.
#2 – He had courage of Heart – “not knowing what will happen to me there, except that bonds and afflictions await me.” It takes a man or woman of immeasurable courage to walk headlong into open hostility. Those who seek a life of ease will never reach the heights of glory gained by those who press upward against great oppositions.
#3 – He had composure of Mind — “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself.” Here we see the true magnificence of a selfless man. Paul was not looking for a chance to advance his career, bulk up his portfolio, sweep the competition, nor leave his mark in the Vaulted Halls of Man’s Celebrated Giants. Something higher and far more noble had captured his imagination. He had set his thoughts upon heaven, and the honor of the name of Jesus. And, though dismissed by the world as a fool with a misspent life, he is now cheered in the realms of glory as the Great Apostle of Grace.
#4 – He has constancy of Purpose — “that I may finish my race with joy.” And what a race he ran! Through valleys and over hills; in the thick of the woods, and out in the open meadows; upon rocky terrain, and across the hot desert sands — he ran with faith, and finished with perseverance. Such is the internal power of a prevailing purpose in life. I once read that a man can stand almost anything except a succession of ordinary days.
My friend, in what ways can you benefit by Paul’s example as you face your own challenges in today’s world? How might his words find a place in your life, and embolden you to rise in a new resolve of faithfulness — even if its against all odds? Rylisms
Comment: Reading this down through the ages of time, I will put my lot in with Paul, and go wherever Christ leads me-and burn the bridges behind me.
Exhortation, Encouragement, and Prayer
Php 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
Php 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Php 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Php 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Php 4:8 Finally, brethren,
whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report;
if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Php 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
The Pilgrims Song
"My rest is in heaven; my rest is not here;
Then why should I murmur when trials are near?
Be hushed, my dark spirit, the worst that can come,
But shortens thy journey and hastens thee home.
It is not for me to be seeking my bliss,
And building my hopes in a region like this:
I look for a city which hands have not piled,
I pant for a country by sin undefiled.
Afflictions may damp me, they cannot destroy;
One glimpse of Thy love turns them all into joy.
And the bitterest of tears, if Thou smile but on them
like dew in the sunshine, grow diamond and gem.
Let doubt then, and danger, my progress oppose;
They only make heaven more sweet at the close.
Come joy, or come sorrow, whate’er may befall,
An hour with my God will make up for it all.
A scrip on my back, and a staff in my hand,
I march on in haste through an enemy’s land.
The road maybe rough, but it cannot be long;
I'll smooth it with hope, and I'll cheer it with song.”
In this page there will be devotions/poems
music and inspirational material
The Lord Will Pour Out His Spirit
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
But this is that which was spoken by the
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: