My wife told me that she knows someone who owns a brewery, which is using part of its facilities to manufacture hand sanitizer. The owner delivers the sanitizer to local hospitals in 5-gallon buckets. Other companies have converted their factories from producing their normal products, to making products to deal with the virus consequences, such as car companies producing ventilators.
This speaks to me of the gospel – God changes the course of a life because Jesus saves them, and the Holy Spirit lives inside them. All things can become new. The consequences of sin can be reversed, and old habits can be redeemed into new, productive ways of living. Is anything too hard for the Lord, God Himself asks. Jesus says all things are possible with God, to him who believes.
This repurposing speaks of the gospel, and it also can apply to current difficulties in the life of the believer. A friend of mine recently remarked that he was hoping Christians would appreciate that the center of our lives is not at a building called a church, but in the emphasis Jesus puts on how we love one another. I agreed with him, and added I wonder if now that Christians can’t meet together regularly in person, they would pay more attention to the quality of what they are offering in each in their relationships. In other words, Ephesians 5:18 would take on new meaning: they would redeem the time, because the days are evil.
Redeeming time – buying something back from its captivity is the cultural background to the Greek word which we translate as redeem. We can all feel rather captive right now – I know I do. So, how can we redeem the time? I have been calling the people in the congregation I serve to ascertain how they are getting along. I’m happy to report that everyone says they are getting along, and find themselves growing as well. One woman, in her late 70’s told me: “the Great Physician is take good care of me. The Lord is using me to pray with people. Our Shepherd wants his sheep to shine His Light and Love.” Wow – I was so impressed and blessed by her response to my call. And this reminds me of “. . . let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:9. This sister in the Lord has chosen not to focus on the captivity, but on redeeming; she is repurposing her time by reaching out, instead of focusing inward.
What about you? First of all, have you been redeemed – have you asked Jesus to save you from the captivity to sin? If you are believer, are you looking for how God can repurpose this time, how you can redeem it for Him? Remember, His Spirit lives inside you – live in that same power that raised Jesus from the dead! If breweries can make hand sanitizer, and car companies can make ventilators, Jesus can do much more than that with our lives if we give Him everything – the failings of our past, our fears in the present, and the unknowns of our future. Turn to Him today.