Redeeming the time…
— Ephesians 5:16
It has been eight months since families and friends around the world gathered to celebrate the New Year. Millions of people at that time were thinking about changes they needed to make in their lives as they began a brand-new calendar year. I think we all know that although this was a time when many people made commitments or resolutions to change, many of those commitments haven’t yet been acted on, even eight months later.
Maybe you’ve done better than others at keeping the commitments you made at the beginning of the year. But I’m sure you’d agree that you still have progress to make in order to fully walk out those commitments you made to move forward in various areas of your life.
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Instead of living in regret about those commitments that remain completely or partially neglected, this is a good time to follow through on what you uttered before the Lord at the beginning of the year. Making excuses or throwing a pity party won’t help you. In fact, it will make things even worse, pulling you into a state of discouragement and self-condemnation. It’s so much better to just lift your hands and rejoice that you still have four more months in this year to keep your commitments with the strength and grace that God provides!
But to effectively make those changes, you’re going to have to get serious about doing what you said you’d do before the Lord. Four months is a significant amount of time, but it’s not a vast amount of time for you to make forward progress in those areas. Don’t let the devil lie to you and tell you that it’s too late. It’s not too late. You can do it!
To be forthright, I’ve got my own list of commitments I made to the Lord at the beginning of this year that I have yet to fulfill. I’ve made progress on some, and no progress on others. But I’ve determined that I’m going to follow my own good counsel! I have my eyes fixed on these four remaining months, and I intend to step up my focus on fulfilling the things I committed to do. It’s a good time to reset my commitment and get serious about doing what God has put on my heart to do!
The next four months represent time for a brand-new start — a new opportunity to attain new victories. This is a golden moment for you to begin reaching forth to the wonderful possibilities before you!
Let me encourage you with one of my favorite verses of Scripture. Ephesians 5:16 commands us to get in the habit of “redeeming the time.” Time can be lost or wasted, depending on what we did with it. But if we have wasted or lost time along the way, the end is not over! Ephesians 5:16 clearly says we can “redeem” time.
The word “redeeming” in this verse is the Greek word exagoridzo. The word agoridzo is the Greek word for a marketplace that’s cluttered with products and vast opportunities to spend more time and money shopping there than one ought to use. It was the same then as it is today. If a person isn’t careful, he can become lost roaming through the shops of the market, wasting precious time. But that word ex means “out” and is where we get the word exit. When ex is added to the word agoridzo to form exagoridzo, it paints the picture of finding what you need, purchasing it, and getting out of the marketplace quickly. In other words, do what you need to do, and then make an exit!
In this phrase “redeeming the time,” the word “time” is kairos. In this context, it refers to the brevity of time that we have available and our need to be time-conscious in the way we conduct our lives. It depicts someone who is learning to make full use of time because he is conscious that time is limited and he must use it wisely. Paul was saying that by implementing diligence and commitment, we can buy back time that we have frivolously lost along the way.
The good news is this: If we’ve became sidetracked in the fulfillment of promises that we made to ourselves or to the Lord — if our lives have become so cluttered that we have become lost in the maze of our objectives — we can still reverse this condition. Through our recommitment to ourselves and to the Lord, we can buy back time that has been lost, wasted, or forfeited this year thus far. And with the Holy Spirit’s supernatural help, we can accomplish in a short time what we did not accomplish in the first eight months of the year. We can redeem that time and get back on course!
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you win new victories in the remaining four months of this year! Reach forward to achieve those dreams and longings you’ve put off again and again. Throw open your arms and your heart, and welcome the wonderful future Jesus has waiting for you! Through the power of the Holy Spirit, He will help you shrug off wasted or lost time, redeem it — buy it back — and fulfill the commitments you made eight months ago. With God, all things are possible, so release your faith in the wonderworking power of God. Press forward toward the victories that are awaiting you!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Heavenly Father, I thank You for this needed encouragement in my life today. I was nearly discouraged because I hadn’t accomplished the things I promised myself at the first of the year that I would do. But I still have four months of this year left to attain some significant progress in various areas of my life. So I’m going to shake off all regret, yield to the workings of the Holy Spirit in my life, and go forward in Jesus’ name. With His help, I am determined to make progress in those areas in which I know the Lord wants me to experience growth and change!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that I make a fresh commitment again to advance and make progress in my life and to achieve significant victories before the calendar hits December 31. The victories I long for are victories that the Lord desires for my life. He is with me. He is for me. He gives me overcoming power to accomplish these goals and dreams. I embrace His grace, and I repent for not making progress as I should have made. Today I turn my energies and my attention to the future. I plan to end this year with achievement and success!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Have you taken the time to make a list of the things you’d like to accomplish in the next four months? If not, I encourage you to set aside some time to pray and seek the Lord regarding what He wants you to achieve before the end of the year.
- If you failed to accomplish important tasks or goals due to a lack of commitment so far this year, have you taken time to repent before the Lord? It’s important to do this so you can “clear the slate” and start the rest of the year with a right heart before God. Not only will He forgive you, but He will also give you the grace and strength to move forward and attain in Him what you never thought you could achieve on your own.
- Are there any changes you need to make (e.g., in your environment or in your relationships) so you can start implementing these resolutions to finish this year right? Perhaps you need to clear an area of your home just for praying and studying God’s Word. Or maybe you need to gently withdraw yourself from friendships that are toxic and emotionally and spiritually unhealthy. Ask God, and the Holy Spirit will guide you and show you what to do.