It’s been said that each day we have is a gift. This is true! Yet, it’s a gift that is also meant to be useful in service to the Lord. As we’ve seen throughout our study in Ephesians, the Apostle Paul put a strong emphasis on the necessity – in fact, the command – for Christians to walk the walk we talk. The same is found in Christ’s teachings and throughout the whole of Scripture. As we’ll see today, part of this walk includes using our time wisely and for the glory of God.
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Eph 5:15-17 NASB
In verse 16, “making the most” is translated from the Greek word exagorazō, which is more accurately rendered “ransom” or “rescue from loss.” This translation seems to amplify Paul’s point that one way we can be mindful in our daily walk as believers is by rescuing our time from being wasted or lost. It is a task which requires diligence and determination and does not happen by accident.
While I find no Biblical prohibition against hobbies, and the Jews were even given a full day of rest each week, we should not waste our time. This waste can come in many forms from raw laziness to just being focused on the wrong priorities and goals. Spending too much time on anything that yields only worldly results or pleasures is a poor use of the time God has given us. Instead, we should be conscientious with our time so that it is used in a way that furthers the kingdom, blesses others, and brings the Lord honor and praise.
Paul says we should do this because the “days are evil.” This comes from the Greek ponēros which means bad, wicked, and worthless. Indeed, as we can easily see looking at the pursuits of the lost, the days we live in are quite evil. The celebration of everything ungodly and immoral is just the tip of the iceberg; this evil stems from the world’s rejection of Christ as Savior and the worship of self and created things.
When I read this verse, I was reminded of the Apostle John’s statement in 1 John 2:18: “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.” These antichrists are those who stand proudly in opposition to Christ and the true Gospel.
Jesus also made mention that near His return evil would increase so much that it will be very difficult even for believers to remain faithful. In His prophetic Olivet Discourse He said, “because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.” (Matt 24:12-13)
So, while we have today, let’s make the most of it, standing firm in our faith and using our time wisely in ways that glorify God.
Paul follows up this instruction with a command not to be foolish, but to “understand what the will of the Lord is.” An obvious question here might be: how do I know what the will of God is? Thankfully, this is clearly revealed throughout Scripture, even earlier in our study of this letter where we read, “for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Eph 2:10
In 1 Thes 5:18 Paul wrote, “in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
And in 1 John 3:23 we find, “this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.”
Understanding God’s will is key to bringing Him honor and praise. God’s will for us is fairly simple: that we be believe in His son, walk in love, give thanks in all circumstances, and bring Him praise and glory. With this in mind, every day we can use Paul’s lesson here as a grounding rod for deciding how best to use the time and resources God has so graciously granted us.