It has been said that “when Raphael died at thirty-seven years of age, they carried his marvelous painting, ‘The Transfiguration,’ only half finished, in the funeral procession as a symbol of the incompleteness of life and the brevity of time.”
Time is a precious commodity! When the Apostle Paul instructed the Ephesians to redeem the time, he wanted them to make wise use of it. They were not to squander it on worldly pursuits that would draw them away from the things of the Lord. But redeeming the time also implies taking advantage of opportunities that present themselves in life. When Paul, for example, was unjustly incarcerated at Rome, he did not view his circumstances as a setback in his ministry, but as an opportunity for the furtherance of the gospel. It gave him access to Caesar’s household that he would not have otherwise had. And as a result, many were saved.
Rather than dwell on his mitigating circumstances that would have only frustrated the grace of God, Paul instead chose to produce what is perhaps his greatest body of work—his Prison Epistles that continue to minister to the Body of Christ to this very day. This is why it is important to follow Paul’s example, that we too might be more productive in the Lord’s service. His unfaltering love and devotion to the Savior, Who saved him on the road to Damascus, was the motivating influence in his life, as it should be in ours.
As you read these lines, there will be numerous opportunities throughout the coming year to make a difference in someone’s life. But it is essential to take advantage of them as Paul did. Perhaps it’s a neighbor down the street who needs a helping hand. Reach out to them, as the Lord reached out to us; and when you do, take the gospel with you. Become a mentor to someone who is new to the faith, someone who has more questions than answers about the Word of God. Make a difference in someone’s life. Only eternity will bear out the fruits of your labor for Christ. You will be amazed when you get to Glory and someone walks up to you and says, “Thank you for the word of encouragement that day, it was a turning point in my Christian life.”
May God help us to live every day in light of the Judgment Seat of Christ, where we will all stand astounded at what could have been.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.