Make the most of every opportunity

Do not you wish that you could extend your time? Or, better yet, turn back time to make better use of it the second time? But we all know that time does not work that way. It just keeps ticking no matter how we use or waste it. We can neither repurchase wasted time, nor can we recover misused time. Perhaps that is why the apostle Paul instructed the Christians: So now look carefully at how you live your lives, not as a bad thing, but as a wise one, and buy the time [a. B .: make the most of every opportunity]; because it is bad time. Therefore, do not become ignorant, but understand what the will of the Lord is (Eph. 5,15-17).

Paul wanted the Christians in Ephesus to benefit from every moment, to use their time in harmony with God's will. In a big city like Ephesus, there were a lot of distractions. Ephesus was the capital of the Roman province of Asia. She was home to one of the seven wonders of antiquity - the Temple of Artemis. Just as in our modern metropolises today was a lot going on in this city. But Paul reminded the Christians that they were called to be Christ's hands and arms in this godless city.

We all have talents and resources, and we all have 24 hours a day. But we are also servants of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, and that makes our time in the world unique. Our time can be used to glorify God instead of satisfying our selfishness.

We can use our working time to give our employers the best we can, as if we were working for Christ (Col. 3,22), rather than simply taking a salary or, worse, stealing from them. We can use our free time to build and strengthen relationships, and to regenerate our health and emotional life rather than use it for immoral, illegal or even destructive habits. We can use our nights to get some rest instead of getting wet. We can use our time available for study to improve ourselves, to help people in need or to reach out a helping hand instead of just lying on the couch.

Of course, we must take time to worship our Creator and Redeemer. We listen to him, we praise him, we thank him and bring our fears, concerns, worries and doubts before him. We do not need to waste time complaining, blaspheming or gossiping about others. Instead, we can pray for them. We can repay evil with good, entrust our crises to God and avoid stomach ulcers. We can live that way because Christ lives in us, because God through Christ has turned his grace on us. In Christ, we can make our days worthwhile, something that matters.

Paul was imprisoned when he wrote the letter to the Christians in Ephesus, and he could not help but be aware of every minute that passed. Yes, because Christ lived in him, he did not allow his imprisonment to be a barrier to make the most of every opportunity. Using his imprisonment as an opportunity, he wrote letters to the churches and challenged Christians to be aware of how they should live according to God's will.

Our homes today show much the same immorality and corruption that Christians experienced during Paul's time. But the church, he reminds us, is an outpost of light in a dark world. The Church is the communion where the power of the gospel is experienced and shared with others. Its members are the salt of the earth, the sure sign of hope in a world longing for salvation.

There was a young man who worked his way up in an organization and was eventually appointed to replace the old, slightly irritable, president. A few days before he took office, the young man approached the old president and asked if he could give him advice.

Two words, he said. Right decisions! The young man asked: how do you meet these? The old man said: It takes experience. How did you get that? the young man asked? The old man replied: Wrong decisions.

May all our mistakes make us wiser because we trust in the Lord. May our lives become more and more Christlike. May our time bring glory to God as we do His will in this world.

by Joseph Tkach


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