Redeeming the Time – Colossians 4:5

by Pastor John Fredericksen

Print This Article

Harry Chapin’s 1974 number one song “Cat’s In the Cradle” sends a message to fathers about redeeming the time. The lyrics describe a father too busy for his son when he was born and when he learned to play, because there were planes to catch and bills to pay. As the father grew much older, he wanted time with his grown son and with his son’s family. But his son declines, as his father had, because he was too busy. After it was too late, the father realized he’d raised a son just like him, foolishly hurrying through life without taking time for what is really important.

As Paul closes his letter to the Colossians, he urges them to: redeem the time (Colossians 4:5). The word “redeem” means to buy up, or purchase. People used to receive green stamps with purchases, then later use them to redeem, or purchase, products. The time God gives us needs to be used to purchase what He thinks is valuable. This principle is so important that it frequently occurs in Scripture. In Colossian 4:5-6, Paul tells the saints to redeem their time by walking “in wisdom toward them that are without [outside salvation]…Let your speech be always with grace…” The time to guard our testimony and seek to have a positive impact for Christ on lost souls is now, not some future day. Redeem the time. In Ephesians 5:16, Paul tells the saints to be “redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” The very fact that we live in spiritually dark days is intended to motivate us with a sense of urgency in living for Christ and reaching the lost with the Gospel of Grace. The context tells us how: “not as fools, but as wise” (vs. 15), “…understanding what the will of the Lord is” (vs. 17), and “giving thanks always for all things” (vs. 20). Solomon likewise urged the young to redeem the time. He told them: “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth…” before you arrive at old age having never done so (Ecclesiastes 12:1).

Most of us live as though we have all the time in the world to waste before getting serious about living fervently for the Lord. But we don’t. Our time will soon be all gone. Redeem your time now by getting serious about a close, living relationship with Christ that is being transformed day by day. Redeem the time.

Free Mail Subscription

Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."