Monday, January 2, 2012

2012: A Year of Lists to Help Redeem the Time

Good day all!

We have the first snow of the season on the ground here in Western PA, the Steelers are (as usual) in the playoffs, and as always; our God is is sovereign, holy, and just. It's shaping up to be a good week. . . a week that just happens to be the first week of 2012.

I felt it was important this year for my son and I to take a week off between Christmas and New Years. I let him be lazy and play with his new things that he was blessed with for Christmas. However, I did not allow myself much time off in that week and devoted my time to organizing our upcoming year. I found myself making a lot of lists.

One of the things I wanted to do this year was to de-emphasize entertainment and recreation, but rather redeem the time. Redeeming the time is evangelical lingo that comes from Ephesians 5:15-17 which says:

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord [is]. - Eph 5:15-17 NKJV

I always liked the concept because I think its interesting how God links foolishness with wasting time. I also find it interesting because He calls it foolish due to 'the days being evil'. It's almost as if the Lord is saying "GET OFF YOUR BUTTS! THERE IS WORK TO BE DONE!"

Note the language used in the verse. Circumspect in this passage is the Greek word "ἀκριβῶς" (akribōs - Strongs g199) which is here translated "circumspectly" but has also been translated as "diligent" & "perfect".

Redeem here is the word "ἐξαγοράζω" (exagorazō - Strongs g1805) which means to buy with a price, recover, or ransom. It is the exact same word used in Gal 3:13:

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed [is] everyone who hangs on a tree"), - Gal 3:13 NKJV

Paul is saying in Ephesians 5:15-17 "be diligently perfect, not a fool, and in that effort; rescue your time because it's pretty bad out there!"

The emphasis is on the redemption of your time. All the other statements are either the reason why you should emphasize it, or a continuation of the thought of redeeming time.

So this year, I decided to take the Lord seriously in this exhortation. It is little wonder what the goal of redeeming our time ought to be as God always has the same goal in mind; our sanctification. I could type for hours more about what that means, but this is a blog (not a sermon), I'm running a little behind in my schedule, and I want to get to my lists, I'll just say that I want to be more like Christ. Which means. . .

  • I want to be a man of prayer. It's not that I didn't pray before, but prayer has never been my strength. So I made a check list for prayer. I'm finding that making the list is the easy part. However, I have about a hundred things to pray for and I figure if I check each one of them once a week, it's a good start.

  • I want to be a man who opens up the word of God to his family. So, I made the proverbs chart I showed you yesterday, a chart for our family time to study the word that we call family worship (I'm excited about all the books we're going to dig into together):

  • I also want to be a knowledgeable and studious man, and I think my free time is best spent reading, so I made a reading list for the year:

I also made a bunch of lists for my little guy's homeschooling. Lists of goals to accomplish, lists of things to memorize. I'm swimming in lists over here.

The point, however, isn't to make a list for the sake of making a list. The point is to be earnest in keeping the list, and hopefully, in the process, be earnest is becoming more like Him. My friends over at Cripplegate had some interesting things to say about how seriously God takes "vows", and I was encouraged (and convicted) by what was written there, particularly their advice for keeping one's vows.

Here's to a great year, and make it great because you glorified Him!

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  1. Cool stuff Jason. I just finished some homeschooling lists myself today. I like your perspective and goals you've picked. God bless.