Are you a “Time” dealer? (Part 2 of 2)

Here, we are seeing that one of the key traits of wise people – wise according to God that is – is their ability to seize every opportunity to change into a Godly moment what is by default an evil moment during the day. You may click here for Part 1.

Ephesians 5:15,16 – See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. [King James Version]

“Time” here is not any kind of time: Every piece of “time” during your day is a good deal!

Here, the Greek word translated “time” (kairós) is only one of several Greek words translated “time” in the Bible. But the fact that it is this word kairós that is used here is very, very interesting! Kairós is very specific in that it refers not to any time, but to the right time, or the right moment. For example, it is often used to describe the time a tree is ready to bear fruits. There is a set time for that each year, and any other time is just not the right one to bear fruits.  Now, verse 16 states that the days are evil. So you when we buy time, we are essentially transforming an otherwise evil moment into a Godly one. And from kairós, we may understand that every moment in the day is the “right” moment to buy!

We believe an acceptable paraphrase could be…every moment is a good time to transform into a Godly one and one should, each time, endeavor to do this transformation, because otherwise, all the days are evil ones.

“Buying time” is really the “essence” of our ministry

The only other places where we are asked to redeem something – and that something being time – is in Colossians 4:5. And here, the notion of seizing every opportunity to turn an evil moment into a Godly one is repeated here. But here the focus is on our walk with the intention of gaining others.

Colossians 4:5 – Walk in wisdom toward them that are without redeeming the time

So what we see from these two passages is that to wisdom – both in our own personal walk, and toward outsiders  – reduces to the practice of redeeming the time.

So, are you a time dealer?

What God asks us to buy, time, is available everywhere, and…dare we say, every time. That is because in this day and age, days are evil. Every moment of time is an opportunity for us to seize, either to better ourselves with Christ, or to help someone with Christ. But it is our choice and therefore our privilege to decide just how we are going to that. And there are as many ways as there are individual personalities among God’s children. It is exactly in the How we are choosing to do this that the beauty – and the reason – behind our individual differences is best manifested and understood. And one thing is sure; when we do it, we are actually doing what God is asking us to do. And knowing that is worth its price in gold!

Are you a “Time” dealer? (Part 1 of 2)

imagesCA647KE9Here, we shall see that one of the key traits of wise people – wise according to God that is – is their ability to seize every opportunity to change into a Godly moment what is by default an evil moment during the day. This is what spiritual maturity means. And this spiritual maturity manifests itself both in our personal walk, and in our ministry (i.e. preaching Jesus-Christ). Jesus-Christ always did what His Father, our God, asked Him to do. Unfortunately, that included also for Him to literally give up His life…and He actually did it. To say that it was a difficult task is probably the understatement of the millennium! But this is how He had to demonstrate His unwavering love for God, doing nothing but what He was asked to do. Well, what about us? As children of God, what exactly is asked of us? In this article we shall see that what God is really asking us to do is to be experts at buying time! We, just like Jesus-Christ, should also demonstrate our unwavering love for our God, and there is one and only one way to do it: to do what He is asking us to do.

Ephesians 5:15,16 – See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. [King James Version]

In God’s eyes, a wise person is one who walks circumspectly, or “carefully”. The verb “See” in verse 15 is in the present imperative active form, which simply means that what is stated is a “command” (i.e. that’s imperative part) that each of us “individually” (i.e. that’s the active part) must carry “continually” (i.e. that’s the now, always in the present part). In other words, we must always walk carefully. But what does than mean? Verse 16 actually explains it.

But first, let us keep in mind that this section is addressed to those who are already children of God (see Ephesians 1:1). Therefore, this section is about our individual responsibility as children who are dear to God (see Ephesians 5:1). Put it yet another way, these two verses are about what it really means to be in Christ! It is a privilege to receive a commandment from God, as it is very much proof that we are His and that He cares for us. God sets expectations for His children, as members of His family…“as my child, this is what I expect of you”. Yes, as a member of the family, you have a clear set of responsibilities?

Now, to verse 16. There are at least two keywords in this passage: “Redeeming” and “time”.

“Redeeming” means “Do not pass on a good deal!”

In God’s eyes, to be wise is actually to be in the business of purchasing time, whenever an opportunity presents itself.  The Greek verb translated “redeeming” here (exagorazó) actually differs quite significantly from another Greek verb (Lutroó) which is also translated the same way in other places. Exagorazó places special emphasis on the fact of seizing an opportunity to purchase something whenever the opportunity presents itself. In other words, this verb invites us to learn NOT to pass on a good deal when we see one! This verb is used four (4) times in the New Testament. In two of them (here and in Colossians 4:5) what is to be purchased is “time”, and the purchasers are supposed to be “us”, God’s children. The other two times, it is “us” who are purchased (from the curse of the law) and the purchaser is Christ (Galatians 3:13 and Galatians 4:5).

In other words, God is telling us to seize every opportunity to buy TIME.

As a note, Lutroó has a much different focus. It is often used to highlight the cost of a purchase, and in many instances, it is used to highlight what was the cost of our redemption, which was the blood of Christ. The fact is that it was very costly to God (actually, the life of His Son) to purchase us back (see Titus 2:14 and 1 Peter 1:18,19)…and He did it.

Therefore, on one hand, we are speaking of jumping on a good deal when we see one (that’s not so bad…actually that can be quite good!), while on the other we are speaking of a price to pay (often a big one…hum, not so enjoyable, but that’s not our part!).

The fact that it is the act of catching good deals (Exagorazó) that is emphasized, rather than the price of the deal (Lutroó) indicates that God’s commandment to us is not a burden, like it was for Jesus-Christ. In Part 2, we shall see how those good deals – units of times – are actually all over the place.

Two reasons you should come to Him just “as you are”, not matter “how good or bad you think you are” (Part 2 of 2)

img-thingReason 2: We cannot change what we are by nature…it’s what we are! Click here for the first reason.

Romans 3: 21-24 – But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ, unto all and upon all those who believe. For there is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. [21st century King James Version]

Romans 5: 11-19 – And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. 12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned…18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. [KJV]

We saw previously that the first reason why we should come to Jesus-Christ just like we are is because, where it matters, we are actually all the same, sinners! Now, here are some questions. Can a snail change itself into a tiger? Can a man change himself into a butterfly? Of course not! Why? Because this is what they are. They cannot change their nature. No matter how the snail may wish to be a tiger or the man a butterfly, it just won’t happen, because they do not have the power to do so. It is the same for all of us. As long as we have not accepted Jesus-Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are sinners, whether we like it or not, and no matter how hard we may try to change it. It is our nature and we have all come short! To be acceptable to God, we need to change “our very nature”, which is something no one, but Christ, can do for us.

It is important to recognize that it’s our inherent sinful nature that Jesus-Christ completely changes (making us acceptable to God). It is not our character (although accepting Him will now make that kind of change worthwhile)! All is required of us first is to accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, that is the starting point. We recognize our sinful nature and recognize that Him and only Him can do something about it. It isfrom that point that any effort we make to live an honorable life starts to count.

Come as you are! It is His business to change you!

Two reasons you should come to Him just “as you are”, not matter “how good or bad you think you are” (Part 1 of 2)

img-thingReason 1: Despite what we may think, we are actually all the same in God’s eyes! There really is NO difference between us.

Romans 3: 21-24 – But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ, unto all and upon all those who believe. For there is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. [21st century King James Version]

Romans 5: 11-19 – And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. 12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned…18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. [KJV]

These passages give us God’s perspective on who we are, before we have accepted Christ: There is NO difference between us. That is because we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. Now, one may ask, “how can this be, since clearly some people are more evil than others?” “How can there be no difference between us?” Looking at Romans 5 give us the answer. Verse 18 states that condemnation came upon all men because of the offence of one. The one in question is Adam, the first man. One man’s sin made us all sinners! It is not the sin you and I committed yesterday that made us sinners…we were born sinners because of Adam.

No matter how good we think we are, and no matter how evil we may believe we are, we are “by nature” sinner, all of us! And therefore, since it is by one man that we became this way, it is also by one man that we are changed, freed from sin, or in the other words “made righteous”. That man is Jesus-Christ who obeyed God, even to the point of accepting to lay down His life. We discuss the second reason in the next article.

Come as you are! You are not any worse or any better than anyone else!