Redeeming the Time

Ephesians 5:15-16 Be careful how you walk not as unwise but as wise, making the most of your time because the days are evil. Don’t be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is.

How are we able redeem the time? We have been given long quantities of time at home. What are we to do to wisely make the most of our opportunities? How can we invest in eternal things? How can we work within the limits imposed upon us?  What seeds can we plant that will bear fruit over the weeks or months or years?

We can be inspired by Paul’s attitude as expressed in Philippians; he realized that even though he was imprisoned the gospel was not. That truth remains. God is not limited, and His purposes will prevail. Instead of focusing on what I cannot do, I want to look for open doors.

How many times have I thought,” If only I had more time to pray and study God’s word”?  Now, I am gifted with the opportunity to delve more deeply into God’s word and draw near to Him. I can pray more intentionally for missionaries, persecuted believers, our spiritual and governmental leaders, and my brothers and sisters in the Lord.

I can worship our Everlasting God, our Creator and Redeemer. I can sing praises.  I can fix my eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith.

I am able to think on whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and of good repute. If there is anything excellent or worthy of praise, I can dwell on those things.

I can still write blogs and send texts or make calls to encourage others.

I have wanted more time for painting and to learn a language.

There are closets and garages to clean.

Now I can even take a nap.

We can ask the Lord to show us how to leverage this time for His glory. The answer will be unique for each one of us, but when we trust in the Lord and do not depend on our own understanding, God will guide us in all our ways.  


Photo by Inactive. on

A friend and I were discussing the manifest presence of God. She had been reading and hearing messages, and she wondered what I thought. At that time, I was not prepared to answer, but her question has had me mulling over this for several weeks.

In Exodus, God presented Himself to Moses in the burning bush and later to the nation of Israel as the Shekinah glory of the Lord hovered over the community appearing as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. When Moses asked to see God’s glory, God hid him in the cleft of the rock and the Lord’s goodness passed before him.

When Elijah asked for a sign from the Lord, it was not given in the earthquake or fire, but in God’s whisper.

In the gospels, Jesus Himself is the manifest presence of God. He performed many extraordinary signs. In John 14, Jesus tells his disciples, “I will disclose myself to you.” Jesus then promises a helper, the Holy Spirit who will come make his home in us. From my understanding, it is not whether we will experience the manifest presence of God, but will we perceive it?

In Hebrews we are to boldly approach God’s throne where we receive mercy and grace in our time of need.  Every instance of God’s grace in my life is His manifest presence.

Yes, the manifest presence of God can be dramatic, such as a voice bellowing from the clouds. However, I think few believers experience God in that way, but each of us is gifted with experiencing the manifest presence in the sublime. Is it less spectacular that while reading His word, He whispers?  When the sun rises and sets, His voice goes out into all the earth. Hebrews describes the mature believer as one who has been trained to discern good from evil. Spiritual maturity also enables us to discern God’s presence and voice in the beauty of creation and in the mundane of daily life. Moreover, every believer, filled with the Holy Spirit manifests the presence of God. God chooses us, fragile, imperfect jars of clay to showcase Himself.

And where is God in our darkest times? Even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, He is with us. The more we dwell on this truth, the more we fine tune our senses to experience His presence. When we attune our ears to listen, we will hear.

Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God:
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes.

– Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Comfort My People

Comfort My People…

Like a shepherd He will tend His flock,

In His arms He will gather His lambs and carry them at His breast. Isaiah 40:1,11

I am always in awe of how relevant God’s word is today. Although the Lord spoke those words in Isaiah about 2700 years ago, I am comforted right now by what is written. Having to remain at home has given me time to meditate and write. As I write, I want you to know and embrace the Lord’s comfort and peace. I want the Lord’s words to Isaiah to be as real to you today as they were for the people of his time.

Do not fear, for I am with you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely, I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Unfortunately, the voices of panic and fear are crying out in the streets. It is hard not to let them direct our course, but I am reminding you of Christ in you, our hope of glory. He will not leave you or forsake you.  Peter wrote these fiery trials should not surprise us, and Jesus warned us that in this world we will experience trial and tribulation. BUT Jesus proclaims that He has overcome, and He grants us His peace. His peace does not result from having enough toilet paper! His peace assures that even today He has given us what we need to live a life glorifying to Him.  We not only have a certain future inheritance, but His Spirit is empowering us right now to stand firm and speak truth. He is enough. He is our anchor, the stability of our times.

Unlike when you go to the store and the shelves are bare, God says, “Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters…come buy and eat without cost…Why do you spend your money on what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me and eat what is good, delight yourself in abundance. Incline you ear and come to Me. Listen that you may live.” Isaiah 55:1-3  Don’t let the enemy distract or deceive you or steal your peace. Jesus is enough. He is the same yesterday today and forever! Keep fixing your eyes on Him because the Lord has created you for a time such as this. He has gifted us with every breath we take and orders every step we make. As crazy as it sounds, live confidently entrusting yourself to His tender care.

 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary. TO the one who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:28-31