How to Redeem the Next 24 Hours

Do you struggle with having enough time to accomplish your goals? Do your responsibilities seem greater that the 24 hours included in your day? Is your ‘to do’ list greater than your resources? Part of the limitations of being human is the struggle with time. Time moves forward at a consistent pace, yet seems to fluctuate at a pace opposite to our needs.

Days seem too short when my “to do” list is especially long, and days seem long when I am anticipating a coming event. My response is often to take charge of the day. Using my own strength, I try to make things happen. These days can result in me acting unkindly towards those who interfere with my goals, or result in accomplishing unnecessary tasks.

The Lord recently reminded me of the phrase, “redeeming the time.” Though I have heard the verse many times, I never noticed the word “redeemer” in relationship to time. Redeemer – one of my favorite words describing our Savior – refers to His act of paying the price to set us free from the power of darkness. “He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.” (Col. 1:13) The power of God is that He can transform a person or circumstance into something that brings Him glory.

No one and no thing are beyond His redemptive power – not even time!

We have a heavenly Father who is greater than time. In fact, He created it. Christ’s coming to earth was a point of intersection between the eternal God and limited humanity. Jesus entered our world of time with all of its needs and all of its limitations. Because He is the Redeemer, He can transform my time into that which glorifies Him.

God is good to instruct us in this conflict between what seems urgent and what is truly important.

Ephesians 5:15-16 says “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” These verses are set in the context of Christ shining His light on us, awaking us from slumber. We are no longer in the dark. Therefore, walk circumspectly. Now that you can see, look around and be aware. Be wise. Be intentional. Take this day that is bound in a fallen world and redeem it for Christ. These verses in Chapter 5 of Ephesians give practical application for redeeming the time.

“So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (v. 17)

Knowing God’s will for our plans can be a difficult task. One way of finding direction with the decisions of the day is to pray over the activities and concerns of the day. For some cultures, a day begins the evening before the sunrise. How prepared for today would I be if I prayed over my responsibilities the evening before? Wouldn’t this allow the Lord to give insight and direction for the needs of the day and allow Him to redirect me, if needed?

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.” (v. 18)

This verse contrasts the wise and unwise. The unwise person will allow alcohol consumption to control their mental and physical capabilities. The wise person will be filled with the Holy Spirit. Only by the leading and power of God’s Spirit can our day be pleasing to the Lord. Many mornings, my prayer is “Lord, I cannot do this day. Please give me the strength.” And He is faithful!

“Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord.” (v. 19)

Our words reflect the relationship of our hearts to the Lord. Many days my ‘to do’ list becomes my focus. Consequently, those who interfere with its completion become the opposition. My unkind words toward others will reflect this unbalanced priority. May our hearts be a sweet melody to the Lord throughout the day.

“Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father.” (v. 20)

This may be a seemingly simple instruction, but often the most difficult to obey – thankfulness in all things. A thankful heart colors our world so differently!

Lord, I am thankful for all that I was able to do today, though it was not all that I had planned.

Lord, I am thankful for the opportunity to comfort my child, though tasks were left undone.

Lord, I am thankful for having a moment to listen to the struggle of a friend.

Lord, I am thankful for the moments of quiet that allowed me to find rest.

Lord, I am thankful for the moment of conviction for sin, though difficult to admit.

Lord, I am thankful for your loving presence.

 

God’s tells us to redeem the time. Will you take a moment and seek the Lord’s direction concerning your day? May He give you strength by His Spirit, fill your heart with song, and find in you a thankful attitude. May we encourage one another and pray for our sisters in Christ as we redeem this day!