By Ron Bartanen
Every turn of a calendar-page and every tick of a clock tells us that what has passed we will never undo, and we are responsible for what we have now. I have heard time described as “a section cut from the great circle of eternity.” We should view time as a priceless gift from God. As we soon go into the New Year of 2021, we should remind ourselves of time’s value. Once past, it can never be retrieved. It is ours now, but whether it will be ours one moment from now is in God’s hands. We have no binding claim upon time.
The apostle Paul spoke of the value of time when he spoke of “redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16). Time is not just the accumulation of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years, but everything that time offers to us, including opportunities and privileges, and Paul, by inspiration, urges us to redeem such. Paul uses the language of the market-place In the days, and even weeks, prior to Christmas, shoppers have been fervently in search of bargains, taking advantage of sales in stores and online, searching for best-buys Should we be any less fervent in the pursuit of spiritual blessings that God has graciously made available to us?
One opportunity that is overlooked by too many is the most valuable of all—the opportunity time offers us for salvation. Paul, in 2 Corinthians 6:2, reminds us, “Now is the accepted time: behold, now is the day of salvation.” Here is truly the “best buy” of all—salvation, a gift already paid for with the blood of Christ, as Peter reminds Christians: of the fact that we are redeemed (purchased) “with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19).
The opportunity of salvation is ours as God’s gift to man, but the acceptance of this gift rests with us. As Paul said, “Now is the accepted time…day of salvation,” but multitudes pass by this priceless gift as they seek the pleasures and treasures that will one day be no more. May all of us be reminded, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:16-17). As we conclude the present year, and enter into the New Year, may we accept the gift that abides forever, “redeeming the time.”
- Ronald Bartanen preaches for Arthur Church of Christ, Arthur, IL. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://arthurcoc.com/