Beginning a new year traditionally provides us with an opportunity to take stock of where we have been and where we wish to go. Most people make resolutions in the hope of improving their health, finances, or appearance, but all are made in an attempt to become "better people" in some way. As Christians, however, we know we are nothing outside of our Lord's saving grace, so our focus should be much different than that of the secular world. Whether or not you participate in making resolutions, consider the following truths that should motivate us all to seek a closer walk with our Creator this coming year.
Number Your Days
Psalm 90, the majestic prayer written by Moses toward the end of his life, contains a beautiful summary of God's power and provision for Israel throughout the ages. The overwhelming theme concerns the brevity of our lives, and the urgency to finish the work the Lord has given us. Moses wrote that "all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told |literally, a brief sigh|" (v. 9). And because life is so short, Moses asks the Lord to "teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom" (v. 12).
The word "teach" here literally means to acknowledge or recognize. And in order to do this, we first must know how many days have passed since birth, and then roughly estimate how many days may remain to us. Anticipating a normal lifespan of 70 to 80 years (v. 10), this exercise forces us to consider "the work of our hands" (v. 17) to determine if we have applied "our hearts unto wisdom" (v. 12). This New Year, take time to consider your "number of days" and how you can effectively use the remainder for His glory!
The great Apostle Paul, writing some 1,500 years after Moses, similarly counseled the Christians at Ephesus to "walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:15-16). The term "walk circumspectly" means to be diligently aware of potential consequences, and implies that we must have a firm understanding of biblical truths in order to distinguish foolishness from wisdom. The word "redeeming," as used in this context, literally means to rescue from loss. Therefore, by walking diligently with our Lord in wisdom, we are to "rescue from loss" the time He has allotted to each of us.
Poor health can sometimes be corrected, and lost money or possessions can often be regained. But time wasted is gone forever! This New Year, carefully consider how you can "redeem the time" to bring honor and glory to our Creator.
At ICR, we are committed to knowing, following, and teaching the truth of our Creator as expressed in His perfect Word. And as we enter another year, we are reminded of the brevity of our days, and earnestly seek to redeem the time until the Lord comes. Our agenda for 2008 is packed with new initiatives, and we pray that our Creator will provide the resources needed to see them to fruition. Won't you prayerfully consider how you can help?
* Mr. Morris is Director of Donor Relations.
Cite this article: Morris IV, H. 2008. Redeeming the Time. Acts & Facts. 37 (1): 17.