There is a very interesting word in the New Testament that has puzzled translators for many hundreds of years. It is in Ephesians 5:16 and Colossians 4:5.
From the Ephesian letter, Paul wrote, “Redeeming the time because the days are evil.” From Colossians 4:5, he wrote, “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.”
The word “redeem” in the original language of the New Testament means “to ransom.” It has been the practice in many places of the world through the ages to buy back a loved one from slavery or imprisonment.
However, the word in Ephesians 5:16 and Colossians 4:5 is not the same word for “ransom” as in Titus 2:14. Those who study the meanings of New Testament words aren’t sure there is a one word definition of the term used by the apostle Paul in Ephesians and Colossians.
The closest they can come to it is, “Make the most of your time.” That statement agrees with the context of both books. In Ephesians chapters four and five, Paul taught the Ephesians they were to walk in the light and not as other Gentiles who walked (conducted themselves) in darkness. One of the things that children of light do is they make the most of their time.
Why make the most of our time? Because we have a finite amount of it. These days, people are considering what the U.S. will do when the oil runs out. Oil is a finite resource. Shouldn’t some thought be given to how the nation will power itself when the oil vanishes?
Those who walk in the light need to make the most of their time while they have it. Time is running out. Someday, death will come for us all. Someday, Jesus will descend from heaven and reward those who have made good use of their time and punish those who refused to make the most of it (2 Thessalonians 1:7-8).
When time runs out, where will Jesus find you? Will he find you taking every opportunity you had to teach the gospel to those you know? Or, will he find that you have squandered those opportunities foolishly by using your time in other pursuits? Perhaps you may help someone else take the gospel to the lost. Will the Lord find you using your time and money to help in that work, or will he find you didn’t make the best use of those resources?
All of us have been given the same amount of time. We can use it any way we wish. It’s a foregone conclusion that using our time in godly pursuits is more valuable than sitting in front of a television set or swinging a golf club. Showing the lost the truth is a much better use of one’s time than spending it in more worldly ways.