A LOOK BACK
Today is the first day of 2016, and before you launch out on yet another year, why not take a moment today to look back and reflect on all that God has done for you over the past 365 days of 2015? Now, I certainly don’t know all that God did for you last year, but here is one universal that we all experienced that is easily missed:
ANOTHER YEAR OF LIFE!
God was pleased to give to us yet another year of life. Life was one of God’s great gifts to all of us this past year, and our gift back to God was simply this: how we lived it. The end of the year is a great time to reflect on the past year and examine just how we used—and at times, misused—the precious and unrepeatable time God was so gracious to give to us.
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Paul was telling the Ephesians, and he is telling you and me today, that it is critical to make the most of the time God gives us. It is so easy to major on the minor things of life that we can miss God’s best for us. We need to remember a few critical truths about life:
- When we spend a minute we have one less minute to spend
- When we spend an hour we have one less hour to spend
- When we spend a day we have one less day to spend
- When we spend a week we have one less week to spend
- When we spend a month we have one less month to spend
- And when we spend a year we have one less year to spend
We have been given many things in life which, if lost, we could get more of it back. We can get more money, more possessions, more jobs, more relationships, more opportunities. But we cannot get more time! Time is incredibly precious and limited; when something is precious and limited, its value increases. Compared to eternity, we are here on earth for only a fleeting moment, and none of us knows when that moment will come to an end. That is why we must make the most of every moment we have been given.
The devil will always try to convince you that you have lots more time, and those who believe his lie waste a great deal of time.
The great Reformer John Calvin wrote:
There are so many allurements which can easily lead us astray. Our society offers us an endless variety of allurements. We need to be rid from these temptations and thorns. We must abandon every hindrance and even hard work and toil may not be an excuse for neglecting the day of grace, or neglecting to do good.
God tells us to redeem the time, which simply means we are to value the time we currently have by rescuing the opportunities God gives us: opportunities to love unconditionally . . . opportunities to forgive completely . . . opportunities to do good . . . opportunities to serve others . . . opportunities to put God on display and advance the cause of His kingdom in this world.
So when opportunity knocks this year, will you be ready to respond to it and make the most of it? Your answer, of course, will be a resounding “Yes!” . . . IF you keep Jesus on the throne of your life and live in the light of eternity.
May God bless you as you make the most of every opportunity throughout this New Year!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!