The Gospel Saves Podcast
Season 2, Episode 1
If God is willing, as the calendar changes to 2022, approximately 45% of Americans will resolve to make a change in the upcoming year. If you are contemplating goals for the upcoming year, have you given thought to improve your spiritual well-being?
In Psalms 90, Moses meditates on the brevity of our existence. The Lawgiver contemplates the difficulties of human existence — time passes swiftly and its days are filled with evil. “So teach us to number our days,” Moses asks God, “That we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
What does it mean to “number our days?”
In the context of the passage, it seems that Moses is urging us to be aware of the passage of time. These thoughts have been with me of late as I turned 45 back in September. If the average life expectancy of an American man is 76.1 years, I am well over halfway to that mark. Moses says that’s about what I can expect and, if I am fortunate, I may live a little longer. Thirty years sounds like a long time when you’re 18; but when you’re 45, it’s really not much time at all. And that sense, I am told, only grows as we age. Returning to Moses, here is the lesson we should draw from his prayer: the clock is ticking, life is short, it’s full of twists and turns and not all of them are pleasant; we need to be aware of the passage of time and make the most of it.
Paul counsels us in Ephesians 5:15-16,
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Paul tells us to “redeem the time.” The Greek word translated “redeem” means “to rescue from loss,” or “to buy up.” Our days can be used for evil purposes, which is another way of saying a lost time or lost days. Other translations say, “make the most of your time,” or “take advantage of your time.”
As we “number our days,” we should seriously consider how we can “rescue” our time from meaningless and purposeless activities. It’s easy to find ways to fill our time, but we should not interpret busyness as a virtue — we can busy ourselves with any number of activities without worth or value. WHAT we do with the time given to us is of greater importance.
As you endeavor to “redeem the time, because the days are evil,” I encourage you to consider that you may have more time than you can see and that time can be filled with meaningful activities.
As you think about the year ahead, let me suggest a few things you can do to improve your life in the short and long term.
Carve out a little time for the Bible every day. Remember, when you read or listen to the Bible, you are listening to God — He is speaking to you through the pages of this wonderful book. And the only way to really know Jesus is to read about Him in the pages of the Bible.
But don’t just listen to God through Scripture, talk to Him in prayer. Faithful people like Daniel and Jesus made prayer a part of their daily routine. And just like making time for the Bible, you can make time for prayer out of the dead zones in your day — pray in your car while you’re driving to work, or in your cab while you’re plowing your field, or early in the morning when the house is quiet with sleeping kids, or late at night when the cares of the day are weighing on you.
And if you’ve gotten out of the habit of going to church or you’ve never been to church, I encourage you to make a little time each week to worship God. There are a lot of churches to choose from and, unfortunately, not all churches follow the Bible as closely as they should, so you should be very choosy. At the church of Christ, we try to follow the Bible as closely as we can; we’re by no means perfect, but we endeavor to be the church we see in the Bible in all of its simplicity and authenticity. Make some time in your week to worship God and find a church that teaches the Bible and follows it as closely as they can.
If you draw near to God, He will draw near to you, so find time in your days and weeks to strengthen your soul and connect with Your Creator while you still have the time to do so.