MISSED OPPORTUNITIES:

The Apostle Paul urged the church at Ephesus: “See then that
you walk carefully, not as fools but as wise men, redeeming the time because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:15-
16). The word redeeming in this text means simply “To buy back” or “To buy up.” Paul is urging
Christians in Ephesus to “TAKE ADVANTAGE OF” / “MAKE THE MOST OF” / “BUY UP” EVERY
OPPORTUNITY. Why Paul? “Because the days are evil.” In other words, you do this BECAUSE THE
DEVIL WILL CERTAINLY “BUY UP” / “TAKE ADVANTAGE OF” / and “MAKE THE MOST OF” EVERY
OPPORTUNITY HE HAS! Surely, the same is true and applicable for us today and in every generation!
Peter warned about the devil’s ill intent and ‘taking advantage of us’ activities: “Be sober (of sound mind),
be vigilant (watchful), for your adversary, the devil, walks about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour”
(1 Pet. 5:8). The devil is surely pleased when we squander an opportunity to go, grow, and/or “glow” (let our
light shine – Matt. 5:16) FOR GOD. You’ve heard me say that the bottom line with the devil is this: “If he can
keep us ignorant of God’s word, he can keep us impotent in God’s service.”
Perhaps we forget what a BLESSING it is for us to be able to freely “search the scriptures daily” (Acts 17:11)
so that we may “hide God’s word in our hearts, that we might not sin” (Psalm 119:11). The little song I sing with
the kids in the Day Care Chapel each week is SO TRUE: “Read your Bible and pray every day and you’ll Grow!
Grow! Grow!” BUT, on the other hand… “Neglect your Bible and forget to pray and you’ll Shrink! Shrink! Shrink!”
In addition to personal Bible study, I HOPE EVERYONE will TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EVERY FORMAL
corporate OPPORTUNITY we have at Hilldale to MEET WITH THE CHURCH IN WORSHIP and BIBLE
STUDY together (Heb. 10:24-25)! Just as one’s physical body cannot grow without proper nourishment.
The same is true with one’s spiritual self – one’s soul. The psalmist said: “The entrance of Your word gives
light; it gives understanding to the simple” (Psalm 119:130). With reference to the opportunity and blessing of
worship, the psalmist said: “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the LORD’” (Psalm
122:1). Only a heart that is trying to be “in tune with God” can be glad for opportunities of worship and Bible
study. I hope that’s the kind of heart, attitude, and spirit that each of us will strive to cultivate daily!
“See then that you walk carefully, not as fools but as wise men, redeeming the time because the days are evil”