The turn of the calendar naturally provides the occasion to reflect on the past year and plan for the future, and people of almost every nation observe some kind of New Year holiday. Sadly, New Year celebrations have generally degenerated into a time of revelry and relaxed morals, followed by seemingly superficial repentance of the past with good intentions for better behavior in the future.
The Christian focus is much different, however, since we know we are nothing outside of our Lord’s saving grace. Each New Year brings an opportunity for believers to stop and count their blessings. If we do this honestly and fully, no matter what our troubles may be, we will have to confess that God’s blessings far outweigh our burdens.
Apart from considering God’s abundant blessings on our lives, we as Christians are called to do much more. Consider Psalm 90, the majestic prayer written by Moses toward the end of his life, and its beautiful summary of God’s power and provision for Israel throughout the ages. The overwhelming theme of the brevity of life promotes a natural urgency to finish the work the Lord has given us. Moses wrote that “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 Hebrew verb translated “teach” in this verse literally means to acknowledge or recognize. Assuming a normal lifespan of 70 to 80 years (v. 10), each Christian would be well advised to “number the days” that we may still have before the Lord returns or death overtakes us. We should not only count our days, but make our days count—and count for Him!
Writing some 1,500 years later, the apostle Paul similarly counseled the believers at Ephesus to “walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16). Note that the phrase “walk circumspectly” denotes a state of diligent awareness of potential consequences, requiring a firm understanding of biblical truths to distinguish wisdom from foolishness. Furthermore, the word “redeeming” as used in this context literally means to rescue from loss. Thus, by walking diligently with our Lord in wisdom, we are to “rescue from loss” the time He has allotted to each of us. Lost money or earthly possessions can often be regained, and poor health can sometimes be corrected. But time wasted is lost forever!
As we begin another New Year, we at the Institute for Creation Research acknowledge the brevity of our days and have circumspectly resolved to use our time effectively in the Lord’s service. We are committed to knowing, following, and teaching the truth of our Creator as expressed in His perfect Word, and have filled our agenda with new and exciting initiatives that will bring much honor and glory to Him. But we need your help to see them to fruition. Please prayerfully consider how you can “redeem the time” with us, and join us through prayer and financial support.
* Mr. Morris is Director of Donor Relations at the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Morris IV, H. 2011. Circumspect Resolutions. Acts & Facts. 40 (1): 21.