Thoughts for the new year

Therefore, be careful  how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time because the days are evil.  So then do not be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is.  Ephesians 5:15-17

Indeed we do live in days of evil!  Not only do we see evil in the atrocities of Christians being martyred and persecuted, the corruption of corporate greed, and the pervasive wickedness of lusts and addictions, we must admit there is evil in our own hearts.  Jealousy, anger, laziness, pride, selfish ambition, fear, depression and the like.  That’s why Scripture exhorts us to “walk wise”. 

Unpacking this verse, we begin with the “therefore” – we must examine it to see what it’s “there for”!  The preceding verses tell us – But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.  For this reason it says “Awake, sleeper, and rise from the dead. And Christ will shine on you.” (vs. 13,14)

Because all things will be one day brought out into the open – even the secret thoughts, longings and hopes of our hearts – we must be careful.  Careful to live with wise intention. Careful not to live foolishly or naively.  Some translations of this passage use the work “redeem” for “making the most of” regarding how we use our time. It is helpful to think of our time as something that needs “redeeming”.  A commodity that can be exchanged for something of value.

We have been allotted a certain number of days here on Earth.  Days that can be “spent” or “redeemed”. Spent on  our own dreams and agendas.   Or redeemed  - actually invested! – for that which is of Eternal value.
Today, let’s pray that we will learn to “walk wise”.  Verse 17 says it clearly – the word translated as “understand” here literally means “to put the pieces of the puzzle together”.  Let’s start figuring out how to put our life’s pieces together in such a way that the picture points the world to our incomparable Christ. May that be our mindset in this new year.  To "redeem" our time - to make the most of it for Eternity.  Not to spend it on ourselves.