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Summary: “Redeeming time” is far better than making a “New Year’s Resolution” that will more than likely be broken before New Year’s Day is over. Let’s see some things that characterize our time in general, some dangers of making resolutions and some things invol

A wealthy businessman lay on his deathbed. His preacher made a sick call and talked about God’s healing power and prayed for his parishioner. When the preacher was done, the businessman said, "Preacher, if God heals me, I’ll give the church a million dollars."

Miraculously, the businessman got better and within a few short weeks was out of the hospital. Several months later, the preacher bumped into this businessman on the sidewalk and said, "You know, when you were in the hospital dying, you promised to give the church a million dollars, if you got well. We haven’t received any of it, as of yet."

The businessman replied, "Did I say that? I guess that goes to show just how sick I really was!"

Ah, yes! Here we are at the first of a new year. A time when promises or resolutions are made. Too often, these are made without considering the consequences involved in "keeping" those promises. On December 31st, we look back over the past 12 months and often say, "I’ll make this year better than the last! AND here’s how I’m going to make it better."

From the results of a survey of a few years ago, it is certain that many Christians need to make some real changes for the better. Of those surveyed:

1. 91% said that they lie on a regular basis

2. 86% of children said they lie to their parents regularly

3. 75% said they lie to their friends

4. 69% said they lie to their spouses regularly

5. 50% said they regularly called in sick, when they aren’t

In comparing the ethics of Christian and non-Christian adults, it was found that:

1. Almost as many Christians steal from work as non-Christians

2. Almost as many Christians use company phones for personal long distance calls, as non-Christians

3. Christians are just as likely as non-Christians to: (a) Falsify their income taxes (b) Commit plagiarism (c) Give bribes to obtain a building permit (d) Ignore construction specs (e) Illegally copy computer programs (f) Steal time from work (g) Exaggerate their products (h) Selectively obey the law (i) ETC.

Yes, I’d say that we Christians need to make some real changes in order to make our "Walk" equal our "Talk". Just a few hours ago, many Believers made a determination or "resolution" to do better. However, most who make such determinations have no real idea what is involved in bringing such resolutions to reality, OR the consequences of not keeping such a commitment to God.

Ephesians 5:14 Therefore He says: "Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light." 15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.

The Holy Spirit uses a couple of metaphors in this passage to help us understand the importance of what He is saying. In the first metaphor, the Holy Spirit pointed out that most of us see the value of time just about as much as someone who is sleeping. In the next metaphor, He pointed out that most of us cannot even understand the value of time, because we are in the same relationship to time as a dead person.

All of this is in the context of the shameful practices of the world. For our study, let’s see the implication to our time as Believers, and in some other lesson we can look at the shameful practices. We are to redeem the time, because the days are evil.

Redeem = (Greek) Denotes "to buy out", especially of purchasing a slave with a view of giving him freedom

Unless we "redeem" time, the time we have and use will be evil! Not because we are committing evil acts within the scope of that time, BUT because the day, itself, is evil.

The Christian can "buy back" time from these evil days and set that time free to accomplish righteousness. By the way, that should be the purpose of the Christian life and living, NOT to find some personal emotional satisfaction.

"Redeeming time" is far better than making a "New Year’s Resolution" that will more than likely be broken before New Year’s Day is over. Let’s see some things that characterize our time in general, some dangers of making resolutions and some things involved in setting time free from the evil days to be used for righteousness.

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Ron Hoffmann

commented on Dec 27, 2006

This sermon has excellent material to use in a New Year's sermon.

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