Use the gift of time

use the gift of our timeOn the 20. In September, the Jews celebrated the New Year, a festival of multiple importance. It celebrates the beginning of the cycle of the year, commemorates the creation of Adam and Eve, and it also recalls the creation of the universe, which includes the beginning of time. While reading about the topic of time, I remembered that time also has several meanings. One of them is that time is an asset that billionaires and beggars alike have. We all have 86.400 seconds a day. However, since we can not save them (time can not be overdrawn or withdrawn), the question arises: "How do we use the time available to us?"

The value of time

Paul was aware of the value of time and urged Christians to "buy time out" (Eph. 5,16). Before we take a closer look at the meaning of this verse, I would like to share with you a poem that describes the great value of time:

To experience the value of time

To find out the value of a year, ask a student who failed in the final exam.
To find out the value of a month, ask a mother who gave birth to a child too soon.
To find out the value of a week, ask the publisher of a weekly newspaper.
To learn the value of an hour, ask the lovers who are waiting to see each other.
To find out the value of a minute, ask someone who has missed his train, bus or flight.
To find out the value of a second, ask someone who has survived an accident.
To learn the value of a millisecond, ask someone who won a silver medal at the Olympics. Time is not waiting for anyone.
Collect every moment that stays with you, because it is valuable.
Share it with a special person and he will become even more valuable.

(Author unknown)

How is time bought out?

In terms of time, this poem brings it to a point that Paul similarly reveals in Ephesians 5. In the New Testament there are two words that are translated from Greek to auskaufen. One is agorazo, which refers to buying things on a normal marketplace (agora). The other is exagorazo, which refers to buying things outside of it. Paul uses the word exagorazo in Eph. 5,15-16 and admonishes us: "Pay close attention to how you live; do not act unwise, but strive to be wise. Take every opportunity to do good in this evil time "[New Life, SMC, 2011]. In the Luther translation of 1912 it says "buy the time." It seems Paul is trying to force us to buy time out of the normal market.

The word "buy out" is not very familiar to us. In business life it is understood as "buying empty" or in the sense of "accepting". If a person could not pay their debts, they could make the agreement to make themselves servants of the person who owed them until the debts were paid. Their service could also be terminated prematurely if someone paid the debt in their place. If a debtor was bought out of the service in this way, the process was called "trigger or buy off".

Valuables can also be raised - as we know it today from pawnshops. On the one hand, Paul tells us to use or buy time. On the other hand, we see through the context of Paul's instruction that we should be followers of Jesus. Paul tells us to understand that we should focus on the one who has bought the time for us. His argument is not to waste time on other things that keep us from concentrating on Jesus and participating in the work to which he has invited us.

Below is the commentary on Ephesians 5,16 from volume 1 of "Wuest's Word Studies in the Greek New Testament:

"Auskaufen" comes from the Greek word exagorazo (ἐξαγοραζω), and means "buy out". In the middle part that is used here, it means "buying for yourself or for your own benefit." Figuratively speaking, it means "use every opportunity for wise and sacred use to do good", so that zeal and good-doing as Means of payment through which we acquire the time "(Thayer). "Time" is not chronos (χρονος), ie "time as such", but kairos (καιρος), "time that should be regarded as a strategic, epoch-making, timely and favorable period of time". One should not endeavor to make the best possible use of time as such, but to take advantage of the opportunities offered to us.

Since time can not normally be regarded as a commodity that could literally be bought out, we understand Paul's statement metaphorically, which essentially means that we should make the best possible use of the situation we are in. If we do that, our time will have more meaning and meaning, and will "pay off" as well.

Time is a gift from God

As part of the creation of God, time is a gift for us. Some have more and a few less. Due to medical advances, good genetic engineering, and God blessings, many of us are going to become old over 90, and some even over 100 years. Recently, we heard of a man in Indonesia who died at the age of 146! It does not matter how much time God gives us, because Jesus is the Lord of Time. Through the incarnation, the eternal Son of God came into eternity from eternity. Therefore, Jesus experiences created time differently than we do. Our created time is limited in duration, while God's time is unlimited outside of creation. God's time is not divided into sections, like ours, past, present and future. God's time also has a completely different quality - a kind of time that we can not fully understand. What we can (and should) do is live in our time, confident that we will meet our Creator and Redeemer in his time, eternity.

Do not misuse or waste time

When we speak metaphorically about time and say things like "do not waste time," we mean, in a sense, that we could lose the proper use of our precious time. This happens when we allow someone or something to spend our time on things that have no value to us. This is figuratively speaking, the meaning of what Paul wants us to say: "Take time out". He now reminds us not to misuse or waste our time in a way that causes us to fail to make a contribution to what is valuable to God and to us Christians.

In this context, when it comes to "buying the time," we must remember that our time was first bought out and regained through God's forgiveness by His Son. Then we continue to spend time by using our time properly to contribute to a growing relationship with God and one another. This purchase of time is God's gift to us. When Paul exhorts us in Ephesians 5,15 to "look carefully at how we live our lives, not as unwise but as wise," he instructs us to seize the opportunities that the time offers to honor God ,

Our mission "between the times"

God has given us the time to walk in his light, to share in the ministry of the Holy Spirit with Jesus, to advance the mission. To do this, we are given the "time between times" of Christ's first and second advent. Our mission during this time is to help other people find and to know God, to help them lead a life of faith and love, and to confidently trust that in the end God will create all of creation has fully bought, which also includes the time. I pray that in GCI we will buy out the time God has given us, faithfully living and proclaiming the gospel of God's reconciliation in Christ.

In gratitude for God's gifts of time and eternity,

Joseph Tkach


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