Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil.

(Ephesians 5.15)


Every time we leave the courts of the Lord and return to the world, to that place where He has sent us to mini­ster, we are conscious of how little time we have and how essential it is that we make the most of it. But making the most of the time is not so easy--or so it seems.


There are those who are always feverishly busy. They never seem to have a spare minute. It's as if everywhere they go they have this invisible briefcase which must surely contain very important papers. So important that they never have time to stop and listen to the troubled souls who are striving to get their attention.


Ten years go by and we see them again. Still rushing down the street with their ominous briefcase. At last their busy lives come to an end. They stand before the Throne still clutching the briefcase.


"All right," says the Lord, "Let's see what you have there." They fumble through their pockets, searching for the key without success. An angel is dispatched to open it, and to the astonishment of all but the living God, the briefcase is absolutely empty.


Just because we hustle and bustle, look important and speak in grave tones of voice does not necessarily mean that we are making the most of the time.


Then there are those for whom the press of time be­comes an almost physical pain. Even in their dreams they are haunted by the compulsion to accomplish something in the dwindling span of life allotted to them. Yet they never get beyond agonizing over decisions. "Maybe  I should do this... No, I  really should do that...

On the other hand... And yet...."


Even their guidance from the Lord seems to come like a seesaw. Today they are absolutely certain that God is telling them to go north. Tomorrow they are equally certain that He is commanding them to go south. Such strain! Such agonizing! Perhaps in the back of their minds is the belief that God will give them an “A” for agonizing. They are so worried about doing the wrong thing, they end up doing nothing.


"And what have you done with your life, Child?" says the Lord as they come to the end of their journey.


"Lord, can't you see this furrowed brow? Can't you see these bags under my eyes? Lord, I agonized! I spent my life trying to decide!"


"Yes, I know, but what have you done?"




Then there are those who are convinced they can't win. "If I try to make the most of the time, I'll only fail." So they take the talent the Lord gave them and bury it. Then they look for a grassy spot by the river and spend the rest of their lives daydreaming. Endlessly striving to escape the voice that keeps speaking to their heart, "Wake up!" Forever seeking some new way to dull the pain of guilt.


When Paul tells us to look carefully how we walk, making the most of the time, he is calling for something much more simple than feverish activity, agonizing over decisions, or living under pressures that drive us to despair of even trying. Surely Paul means for us to rise in the morning knowing who we are,

who we belong to,
what we have to do,
and rejoice in doing it.


And the one Teacher who is able to show us how to make the most of the time is our Lord Himself. All we have to do is look at Him, and listen as His Spirit teaches us to follow in His steps. In Jesus we see

- no fever,

- no painful wavering in decision making
- no daydreaming,

we see a man who is undistracted by

threats, danger or compliments. He

just goes on doing what needs to be



Jesus knows who He is

who He belongs to

where He's heading

what He has to do

and so without haste and with joy
in His heart, He makes every day He lives

every word He speaks
every act He performs
count for eternity.


And we can too, if we will practice the following lessons until they become our second nature:




At that very hour some Pharisees came, and said to him, "Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you." And he said to them, "Go and tell that fox, 'Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course. Nevertheless I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following; for it can­ not be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem'...."

(Luke 13:31-33)


Jesus has the absolute certainty that he is going to Jerusalem to lay down His life. That's His goal. And the Heavenly Father will see to it that He will get there at the right time. But Jesus is also absolutely certain that before He reaches that goal certain things that have to be done will be done. Nobody, not even Herod, will stop Him. "Go tell that fox, 'Behold I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course." "You're not going to stop me, Herod, from doing what I have to do today and tomorrow, because you're surely not going to prevent me from laying down my life when the day comes."


 And so for us, once it's settled in our hearts that
we're heading toward our cross
once we've agreed to lay down our life
once we've presented our bodies as a
living sacrifice,

the work of each intervening
day becomes clear.


If you don't know what you're supposed to do today, If you're still confused about where you're supposed to be tomorrow,

it's because you still haven't made up
your mind to pick up your cross. You are
still trying to save yourself.


Set your face toward Jerusalem,

Start carrying your cross behind Jesus,

and the glorious work of each day will

come to life before your eyes.

You will cast out demons and perform
cures today and tomorrow, and the third
day you will finish your course.




As he passed by, he saw a man blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "it was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night comes when no man can work. As long as I am in the world I am the light of the world." As he said this he spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and anointed the man's eyes with the clay, saying to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam."....
So he went and washed and came back seeing.


The issue is not, who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind? The issue is, What does the living God want us to do for this blind man today? The issue is not, What's the matter with this man, that he's an alcoholic? Is it his fault? Is it his heredity? Is it his nagging wife? Is it a demon? The issue is, What does God want us to do for this man now?


John and Mary had another fight last night.
I think John was to blame.

No he wasn't Dummy, it was Mary!

Stop evading the issue and do something for them. The most important thing you can do for John and Mary is pray. And when you pray, don't waste time telling God whose fault it is. Pray!


Christians waste more time speculating, judging, analyzing, criticizing, splitting hairs. God help us to leave all these things and do the works of Jesus who sent us while it is day, before night comes when no one can work.




After this he said to the disciples, "Let us go into Judea again." The disciples said to him, "Rabbi, the Jews were but now seeking to stone you, and you are going there again?" Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any one walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if any one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him." Thus he spoke, and then he said to them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awake him out of sleep."

(John 11;7-11)


The consequences of Jesus going to Judea this time will be his death. But that is in God's hands. The problem calling for attention is that Lazarus needs to be raised from the dead. That is all Jesus has to concern Himself with.


We want to see all the consequences before we make a move. Will it succeed?

Will it add to our enterprise?
Will it cause trouble?

The consequences are none of our business. They are in
God's hands. They will come as they come.


Our business is that right now there is a person who is crying for some evidence of God's mercy. And their cry has been assigned to us by the Spirit. We don't know what the final results will be. We hardly know how to begin. But we know that we have to respond to that cry in the Spirit of God.


What a wonderful thing to be set free from having to gratify our own ambitions... and from having to live up to our illusions of our own importance. So free that we can do what needs to be done,

time-consuming as it may be,
and be utterly carefree
of the consequences.


Look carefully then how you walk, not as
unwise men, but as wise, making the most

 of the time, because the days are evil.


Too many of us are still trying to make the most of the time according to this world and its standards. And we are turning ourselves into nervous wrecks.


May the Spirit of the Lord help us to make the most of
the time, not by the standards of the world....

news value....       
but by the glory

of the Kingdom where the last shall be first and the lowly shall be exalted.   



God help us to walk in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus Himself....


Today and tomorrow with Jesus we shall cast

out demons and perform cures, and the third

day we shall finish our course with Him.


We shall work the works of Him who sent us
while it is day, before night comes when no
one can work.


We shall walk in the day without stumbling,
ministering God's mercy in Jesus,

having God's joy as our strength

and leave the consequences to Him.