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2016 has come and gone! It seems impossible, but 2017 is now. As we make this transition, we examine the past and look forward to the future. In Ephesians 5:16, we are told to be”redeeming the time for the days are evil.” The NASB says “making the best use of the time.”

Are we making the best use of our time? “Statistics say that the average American watches television for over seven hours every day, and those figures are probably true of Christian people also. Is the tube worth that time? The Bible says, “[Make] the most of the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:16). It means, make your life count. I wonder if many Christians are not missing out here and if the challenge of the age is not going to require us to sharpen up in such areas.” (James Montgomery Boice, Foundations of the Christian Faith: A Comprehensive & Readable Theology (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1986), 684).

The Greek word translated “redeem” or “making the best use of” is ἐξαγοραζόμενοι and has  “commercial associations of the verb ‘buy, buy up'” (BDAG, 343). The same word is used in Colossians 4:5, “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time” (ESV).

In Ephesians 5:16 and Colossians 4:5 the word is used “in the sense ‘take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way’. (The context of Col. 4:5 relates to opportunity for evangelism; Eph 5:16 to avoidance of anything that interferes with understanding of the Lord’s will)” (BDAG 343).

How can we make the best use of our time? Ephesians 5:16 and Colossians 4:5 tell us. In 2017 let us focus on understanding God’s Word and (Ephesians 5:16) and spreading God’s Word (Colossians 4:5).  In order to fulfill these goals, we must 1) spend much time in prayer, 2) spend much time in Bible study, and 3) spend much time with others while looking for evangelistic opportunities.

I promise you that every minute spent in prayer, study, and evangelism will be eternally beneficial. Not one second of prayer time, study time, or evangelistic time is ever wasted. Instead these three areas promise immeasurable return on investment.  Let us make the best us of our time.

Sow with a view to righteousness, Reap in accordance with kindness; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord Until He comes to rain righteousness on you.

Hosea 10:12.

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