We want to get things done. We want our days to be productive. Deep down, we always want to get all those items on our to-do list checked off, which rarely happens.
We may have days or seasons where we’re productive and on top of things, and there are other seasons where we feel like we’re trying to catch our breath and we’re always behind, and the to-do list is ever-growing, and deadlines for things are getting missed, and we may even feel overwhelmed at times. I’m so prone to overwhelm mode, so I know it well.
So things brings us to our verse that I want to focus on in our time today: Ephesians 5:15-16:
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
If we want to use our time well, God’s Word tells us an important key point in these verses at the end—the days are evil.
So how do we redeem the time for these evil days we live in? The world the apostle Paul lived in when he penned those words through the work of the Spirit in Him; they were evil days.
As believers, there is purpose to our work. We are now equipped to spend our time wisely and enjoy God and glorify Him in all the tasks we go about in our days.
So in Christ, we have been everything we need to live for Jesus and walk-in wisdom, not perfectly; we are works in progress, but as we do, we will mature, and we will be more productive in our service to Him.
It will make us wise with how we spend our time and what we spend our time on.
A wise man plans.
We don’t know what the day holds, and the Lord appoints our portion for each day, but when we have structure and order and routine to our days, it is a help in dealing with unexpected events or circumstances that pop up.
We don’t just want to live to get things done or get the most things done; we want to get done what we should be focusing on or prioritizing.
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Jumpstart Your Mornings Free Mini-Course
How Can I Feel Productive as a Mom? by Esther Engelsma
Maturity: Growing Up and Going On in the Christian Life by Sinclair Ferguson
“I thought that God's call to us, God's will for us, and God's purpose in creating us all centered on getting things done. They don't. God's call to you is not to get things done but to use time well. God's will for you is not to get things done but to grow in sanctification. God's purpose in creating you is not to get things done but to glorify Him. Getting things done is part of using time well. Using time well is part of growing in sanctification. Growing in sanctification is part of glorifying God. The end of all is to glorify God. The most basic tool is getting things done or productivity. The tool is meant to be used by not idolized. It is a means, it is not an end. Because it is only a means, we will never be satisfied when we make it our end.”
“But daily productivity is important to this long view because it is a tool to help you focus on and further your goal of the sanctification of your family—a goal only God can achieve and yet a goal He has called you to work toward (Proverbs 22:6). Spiritual success is never up to you, yet you must bring the gospel to your children. God is the only one who can give the fruit, yet you are called to obedience and faithfulness. Getting things done is necessary so that you can keep your eyes on eternity. It’s hard to find time to talk to your children about Jesus when you’ve been procrastinating on other things. It’s hard to be an example of devotion when you rarely put down your phone to take up a Bible. A Christian who is living in obedience to God is a Christian who gets things done because the work is given by God.”
~ Esther Engelsma, How Can I Feel Productive as a Mom?
How many “if onlys” He must have left behind, how much more that He “could have” done……still He was able to make that amazing claim, “I have finished the work You gave me to do.” This was not the same as saying He had finished everything He could possible think of to do or that He had done everything others had asked. He made no claim to have done what He wanted to do. The claim was that He had done what had been given.”
~ Elisabeth Elliot
It was used of buying a slave in order to set him free – so redemption is applied in this verse. He continues we are to redeem, buy up, all the time that we have and devote it to the Lord. The Greek is in the middle voice, indicating that we are to buy the time up for ourselves—for our own use but in the Lord’s service.
~ John MacArthur, Ephesians Commentary
“We engage in conflict with the devil in many contexts. But the specific context which gave rise to Paul's teaching here was his counsels on everyday domestic life. In the immediately preceding section of Ephesians, he has been discussing relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children, masters and servants. Why, then, the radical shift to spiritual warfare and armor?
But perhaps it is not so radical after all. For these are mundane areas in our lives where we are often tripped up, and our usefulness hindered. Most of us do not live life on a public stage but within the context of these basic relationships.
These basic relationships within which most of life is spent are really the greatest blessings we can know. That is why it is here that Satan strives to undermine the goodness of the God he hates. So we need to be on our guard against him in the very contexts in which we want to be most comfortable and at ease! For this is where the battle is fought and either won or lost. Awareness of Satan's plans is an important part of this battle.”
~ Sinclair Ferguson, Maturity
From How I can Feel Productive as a Mom? she shared one of my favorite questions we can ask ourselves whenever we're trying to decide what to do next is:
What is the best use of my time now?
And she gives an even better suggestion:
Turn the question into a prayer – God, what is the best use of my time right now.?
~ Esther Engelsma, How Can I Feel Productive as a Mom?
Resources & Scripture References:
2 Timothy 3:15
1 Corinthians 1:30
2 Peter 1:3
2 Peter 3:18
1 Thessalonians 5:18
1 Peter 2:15
1 Thessalonians 4:3
1 Corinthians 2:16