Redeeming the Time

Michael Beck

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opportunity > a time, condition, or set of circumstances permitting or favourable to a particular action or purpose.

Our life in this world provides us with many situations which are favorable to shine for Christ. These opportunities can be wasted or “redeemed.” We are to called to wisely utilize every opportunity we have to be an attractive witness of Christ.

Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. (Colossians 4:5)

Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunities. (Colossians 4:5)

While we eagerly await the appearing of Christ and the “world to come” we are to show ourselves “in this present world” to be God’s own people, who are “zealous of good works.”

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:11-14)

(peculiar to) belonging exclusively to; particular; special

We are not saved by our good works, but we are saved to walk in good works.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:-810)

All those who are called by the Lord’s name have been created and formed for His glory.

Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. (Isa. 43:7)

We are no longer to live for ourselves – focused on fulfilling our pleasure, coveting this world’s goods, and showing “who we are.” The Lord calls us to “show off” for Him. We are to be conspicuous for good works which glorify Him.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

Knowing the potential we have to eternally impact others, we are exhorted to take advantage of every opportunity we have to “do good.”

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. (Gal. 6:9,10)

God has given us the opportunity to be a sign and a wonder to those around us.

Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion. (Isaiah 8:18)

For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. (Hebrews 2:10-13)

A prime opportunity to prompt wonder is when we suffer for well-doing and are falsely accused of evil-doing. Our godly response in such situations often intrigues those watching and opens the door for us to share our hope in Christ.

And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. (1 Peter 3:13-17)

God has called us out of darkness to be His own, set apart people who exhibit His virtues before those who don’t know Him.

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises (virtues) of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. (1 Peter 2:9-12)

By our godly response in a trying situation we have the opportunity to turn people toward God. A wrong response can have the opposite effect, turning people away from God.

For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written. (Romans 2:24)

Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. (1 Timothy 6:1)

We can subscribe to the soundest doctrine, but it will fall on deaf ears if it is not accompanied by “good works.” The particular station of life we are in affords us a unique opportunity to shine for the Lord.

But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. (Titus 2:1-10)

In every challenging situation we face, and in any season of life we are in, we have a special opportunity to be a shining example of what it means to be a believer in that circumstance. We all have the same general calling, but we each have a particular call – single, married, parent, employer, employee, young, old, etc.

Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)

God sometimes “visits” people directly from heaven. But more often, He visits them through His body upon the earth. People may not know their “day of visitation,” even as many in Israel did not recognize Jesus. No matter how good it is, there is no guarantee that our witness will win those around us. But, when we give ourselves fully to our unique call, and make the most of the opportunities we have to shine, we put people in the best possible position to hear what we have to say and get saved.

Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. (1 Timothy 4:15,16)

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.