making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:16
In affliction God teaches us to redeem the time. When life is tranquil, how many golden hours we throw don the stream that we shall never see again. Who is there that knows how to value time at its true worth? Most men waste it as if they had more time than they could ever spend. We make short seasons even shorter. How sad to hear men complain, ‘O, what shall we do to wile away the time?’ But O, when trouble and danger come, when the sword is threatening the body, the pistol is at the breast, the knife is at the throat, and death is at the door, how precious would one of those despised hours be! Evil days cry out, ‘Redeem the time!’ In life-threatening dangers, we can think of redeeming time for prayer and meditation. Yea, then we can gather up the very broken fragments of time, that nothing may be lost. By our lack of skillfulness and lack of planning we are caught off guard by death. We had planned upon years – many years – yet to come, but now we do not have the hours we need to make ready our accounts. This may be the night of our summons, and if our time is gone, and our work is not yet begun, what a state we are in. the soul will be perplexed at the hour of death if its work is yet to be done. A traveler that sees the sun setting when he is just beginning his journey must be aghast. The evening of our day, and the beginning of our task do not agree well together, and the tie we have left is too short to lament the loss of by-past time. God comes upon the soul as the angel upon Peter in prison, and smites us upon our side, and bids us to rise up quickly, and gird ourselves, and bind on our sandals that we may redeem lost opportunities, and seek to do much work in a little time. It is a pity to lose any of our time, a thing that is so precious and so short.
In this classic devotional, John Calvin urges readers to apply the Christian life in a balanced way to mind, heart, and hand. Rather than focusing on contemplative otherworldliness, the book stresses the importance of a devotedly active Christian life. In style and spirit, this book is much like Augustine’s Confessions, Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, or Thomas à Kempis’s Imitation of Christ. However, its intense practicality sets it apart, making it easily accessible for any reader seeking to carry out Christian values in everyday life. Chapter themes include obedience, self-denial, the significance of the cross, and how we should live our lives today.