Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ephesians 5:15-17

Therefore walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

To walk circumspectly is to "live your days cautiously; with watchfulness every way; with attention to guard against surprise or danger". Trouble can sneak up on us when we get stuck in a routine, going through the motions without consciously thinking about our days. Our world is filled with subtle danger and deception, and like frogs in a pot we rarely notice the heat until we are boiling. Be vigilant! People can trip us up in our faith or ambush us without warning – an apropos thought for the ides of March!

The Bible defines a fool as one “says in his heart that there is no God” (Ps. 14:1). A fool exists apart from God’s divine principles and inevitably becomes his own god. "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes" (Prov. 12:15). He believes he can define right and wrong, truth and falsehoods – a common thought in our postmodern society with no absolute truth. He will "make a mock of sin" (Prov. 14:9). He spreads his opinion around as truth and leaves a legacy of foolishness to all who follow his influence. In contrast James wrote, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (3:17).

The word for “time” here is kairos, not chronos. It refers to opportunities rather than minutes and hours. We are called to redeem the daily encounters that can be used for the glory of God. In my own life I have both frittered away time and wasted opportunities. It can weigh down my heart, and I often fail to comprehend the forgiveness of God for these past situations. But rather than dwelling on my forgiven sin, I must seek out opportunities to be a part of God’s kingdom on earth, shining his light into the darkness.

I spend much of my time on the urgent. For me it might be a diaper change, getting a meal on the table, or getting everyone to our next calendar event. For you it may be meetings, deadlines, and so forth. I start a million things during the day, finishing little and often missing what the Father is really telling me to do. Jesus lived his life calmly, never in a rush. He sought to do only the will of the Father, even though there were so many other things he could have “accomplished.” Our days would be sweeter and in fellowship with the Lord if we took time to understand the will of the Lord for each day.

Much may be done in those little shreds and patches of time which every day produces, and which most men throw away. - Charles Caleb Colton

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