Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Are you redeeming the time?

John turned 60 today. He is the first man in his family to make it past 55 years of age. We have the privilege of sowing gospel seeds at the Orlando Women's Center killing place for many years. John holds a sign that personally designed and had printed. It says 'Trust God'. As I wrote birthday blessings to our friend and co-laborer, I searched the scriptures for a way to bless John's day. I began to think of how the Holy Spirit reminds us: "Only one life twill soon be passed. Only what's done for Christ will last."

I believe, and I am not alone, that our nation and the visible church, is at a pivotal point before the Lord God of the universe. America has been in grave moral and spiritual decline for decades, with false prophets of self-indulgence comforting sinners in the way of depravity. Universalism is rampant. Degrees of sin and degrees of punishment is rejected. Worldliness abounds. Total depravity is denied. It has become a popular strategy in churches and ministries (including pro-life ministries) to purposely avoid biblical language, especially the Law of God. Repentance is glossed over. Holiness and real gospel evangelism are the exception rather than the rule in the church. It is in this spiritual wasteland that the blood of over 50 million infants cries out from the ground for justice. These children are slain, through all nine months of pregnancy, in the shadow of churches that call themselves Christian. The precious little boys and girls are as much a gift, and as dear to God, as our own sons and daughters. They should be considered valued and protected as if they WERE our precious children, especially as they are emotionally-orphaned and rejected by their aborting parents. Each baby who is dismembered alive or delivered into a toilet is created in the image and likeness of the Lord. The Bible teaches us that every child is a personal gift of His kindness, a reward, an inheritance, to their mothers and fathers (Ps 127:3; Genesis 33:5), but they were also given to to us, the community of faith who are their neighbors. How can it be that Christians would stand by as innocents are led to slaughter? How is it that people who say they are following Jesus Christ live lives that are so far from His example of patient continuance in preaching the gospel and doing good? While the devil works in unholy alliance with the evil heart of flesh in lost mothers and the world. Sadly this genocidal agenda is perpetuated in the worldly church, which promotes tolerance to the point of depraved indifference to the suffering of little babies. Abortion has become Satan's weapon of mass destruction and vast numbers of our nation's professing 'christians' (including pastors!) voted Barak Obama as president to see that the slaughter of innocents continues here and is promoted abroad. It's a disgrace!

It is my prayer that the conscription of grace and duty to rescue the perishing that came when you were born-again by the imperishable seed of the Word of God would be renewed in your soul. It is my earnest desire that you might recognize the signs of the times and redeem the time you left left ... for your children, your grandchildren, your neighbors, the babies, but most of all, in response to the glorious call of Jesus Christ upon your life to love Him with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself ... the way the Master showed you. Christ died for us, shall we not live for Him? I hope that you are called and impassioned to step lively to visit the orphans in their affliction by the following biblical study of 'Redeeming the time'.

Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:16

Geneva Study Bible: This is a metaphor taken from the merchants: who prefer the least profit that may be before any of their pleasures. Using every opportunity; buying them by giving up present enjoyment. The times are troublesome and severe.

With all possible care redeeming the time -
Saving all you can for the best purposes; buying every possible moment out of the hands of sin and Satan; out of the hands of sloth, ease, pleasure, worldly business; the more diligently,
because the present are evil days, days of the grossest ignorance, immorality, and profaneness.
~ John Wesley

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary:

16. Redeeming the time-(Col 4:5). Greek, "Buying up for yourselves the seasonable time" (whenever it occurs) of good to yourselves and to others. Buying off from the vanities of "them that are without" (Col 4:5), and of the "unwise" (here in Ephesians), the opportune time afforded to you for the work of God. In a narrower sense, special favorable seasons for good, occasionally presenting themselves, are referred to, of which believers ought diligently to avail themselves. This constitutes true "wisdom" (Eph 5:15). In a larger sense, the whole season from the time that one is spiritually awakened, is to be "redeemed" from vanity for God (compare 2Co 6:2; 1Pe 4:2-4). "Redeem" implies the preciousness of the opportune season, a jewel to be bought at any price. Wahl explains, "Redeeming for yourselves (that is, availing yourselves of) the opportunity (offered you of acting aright), and commanding the time as a master does his servant." Tittmann, "Watch the time, and make it your own so as to control it; as merchants look out for opportunities, and accurately choose out the best goods; serve not the time, but command it, and it shall do what you approve." So Pindar [Pythia, 4.509], "The time followed him as his servant, and was not as a runaway slave."

because the days are evil-The days of life in general are so exposed to evil, as to make it necessary to make the most of the seasonable opportunity so long as it lasts (Eph 6:13; Ge 47:9; Ps 49:5; Ec 11:2; 12:1; Joh 12:35). Besides, there are many special evil days (in persecution, sickness, &c.) when the Christian is laid by in silence; therefore he needs the more to improve the seasonable times afforded to him (Am 5:13), which Paul perhaps alludes to.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary:

Another remedy against sin, is care, or caution, it being impossible else to maintain purity of heart and life. Time is a talent given us by God, and it is misspent and lost when not employed according to his design. If we have lost our time heretofore, we must double our diligence for the future. Of that time which thousands on a dying bed would gladly redeem at the price of the whole world, how little do men think, and to what trifles they daily sacrifice it! People are very apt to complain of bad times; it were well if that stirred them more to redeem time. Be not unwise. Ignorance of our duty, and neglect of our souls, show the greatest folly ... by fervent prayer let us seek to be filled with the Spirit, and to avoid whatever may grieve our gracious Comforter. ..God keeps believers from sinning against Him ... to promote His glory, and to fulfil their duties ...

Only One Life

By Charles Thomas Studd, Missionary to China, India, and Africa

Two little lines I heard one day, Traveling along life's busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart, And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in 'that day' my Lord to meet, And stand before His Judgment seat;
Only one life,' twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice, Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave, And to God's holy will to cleave;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years, Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill, living for self or in His will;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore, When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way, Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep, In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e'er the strife, Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

Oh let my love with fervor burn, And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone, Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, “twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, Now let me say, “Thy will be done”;
And when at last I'll hear the call, I know I'll say 'twas worth it all”;
Only one life,' twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

May Jesus be pleased to give you many more years of fruitful, Christ-glorifying life to live pure religion and undefiled and visit the imperiled infants (James 1:27) while we still have time.

Deliver those who are being taken away to death,
And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back.
Proverbs 24:11

Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.
Psalm 82:4

Feel free to contact me for ways that you can become a soul-winner outside an abortuary where you live. By the strength and power of His grace, let us promote the glory of Christ and defend the lives and the good of our neighbors ...

Together for Life & Eternity,
Patte Smith
Sanctuary Ministries

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