In the song “Live Like We’re Dying,” 2009 American Idol winner, Kris Allen, sings, “Every second counts on the clock that’s tickin’” and urges people to “live like we’re dying” (“Live Like We’re Dying,” azlyrics.com). As a Christian who was a worship leader and served on multiple mission trips during his days in college, Kris Allen’s song emphasizes the need to make the most of every opportunity in life, living each day as if it were the last.
This message is more than just fuel for a catchy song but rather resonates with biblical truth. Scripture teaches that human life is fragile and fleeting, like a flower (Job 14:1-2). For Christians, they should be motivated to make “the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16).
Using every opportunity in service to Jesus, bringing glory to Him, and making Him known to others, is worth the effort since God cares how people use their time, Jesus can return at any moment, and life is fleeting.
After discussing the proper conduct for children of God, Paul introduces the subject of the importance of walking wisely in life (Ephesians 5:15). Instead of losing opportunities because of unwise living, believers are called to make the most of every opportunity or to redeem the time (Ephesians 5:16, BSB).
Using one’s time properly is essential since, as the end of Ephesians 5:12 states, “The days are evil,” and many people are still in their sin.
Like the verse in Ephesians, Colossians 4:5 can also be interpreted as “redeeming the time” or literally in Greek to “buy up” and “rescue from loss” (Strong’s Greek: 1805).
The time one has with unbelievers should never be wasted, but rather should be redeemed and used to point them to their need for Jesus Christ.
While using one’s time wisely is readily acknowledged by most people, these verses emphasize the need to make the most of opportunities for the reason of serving Christ and making Him known to others.
How Christians choose to live leaves a lasting impact on watching unbelievers. As Thomas Constable states in his Expository Notes, “We live wisely when we use every opportunity to please and glorify the Lord. Every day and every hour provide opportunities, and we should seize them for these purposes” (Ephesians 5, Verse 16, Study Light).
Scripture, therefore, urges believers to act wisely in the use of their time since redeeming time makes a lasting impact in serving God and in one’s interactions with the unsaved.
Jesus Is Coming Soon
Redeeming time is also important since Jesus is coming soon. The New Testament writers strongly believed that Jesus was going to return in their lifetime (Romans 13:11-12). Such a belief was warranted since Jesus told His disciples to be ready for His soon return (Luke 12:40; Mark 13:33).
Also, in Revelation 22:7, He specifically said, “Look, I am coming soon!” (NIV). Today, believers should be anticipating the return of Christ just as the disciples did 2,000 years ago.
Making the most of every opportunity while awaiting Jesus’ coming can be compared to the Parable of the Talents. In the parable, the master entrusts each servant with a specific amount of money (Matthew 25:14-15).
At the master’s return, he expected the servants to have wisely used the money for his own sake. While two of the servants made the most of their money and doubled it, one servant wasted the opportunity to earn more money for the master and was aptly rebuked (Matthew 25:16-30).
Wasting the resource of time and opportunities is like the unwise servant who did not properly serve his master. Tied in with Jesus’ coming for the church is judgment. Such judgment by Christ has nothing to do with salvation but rather is focused upon what the believer has done in their Christian life.
Based on one’s deeds, words, motives, and use of resources, Jesus will judge each believer according to what they have done (1 Corinthians 4:5). Known as the Judgment Seat of Christ, the result of this judgment will be rewards or loss of rewards (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Considering this judgment, the Apostle Paul was more eager to ensure he would not be disqualified from rewards, which included making the most of his time to serve Christ (1 Corinthians 9:26-27).
Like Paul, believers should allow the future judgment to motivate them to make the most of every opportunity to build up treasure in Heaven (Matthew 6:20).
Life Is Fleeting
Another reason Christians should make the most of their time is because life is fleeting. Scripture compares the human life to flowers, which quickly wither and blow away in the wind (Job 14:1-2; 1 Peter 1:24). Humans spring up like new grass, but just as quickly fade away (Psalm 37:2; 103:15).
As Isaiah 40:7 states, “The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass” (NIV). Another example in the Bible compares the brevity of human life to breath and to a passing shadow (Psalm 39:5; 144:4).
Human life is fragile but very important. Although there are many great things that the Lord blesses His children with, these things should not be the focus of a Christian’s life. Jobs, material possessions, entertainment, even friends and family are all wonderful gifts from the Lord.
However, one day the entire world will pass away (1 Corinthians 7:31). No more will those trendy clothes, cars, or television subscriptions matter. As 1 John 2:17 declares, “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever” (NIV).
Living in light of the brevity of human life should motivate believers to spend their time wisely for Jesus. Such a life does not consist of following a set of rigid rules of dos and don’ts but rather involves living in a close relationship with Jesus, which overflows into all aspects of life. Giving oneself fully to the work of the Lord is never a waste of time (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Avoiding a Wasteful Life
Thus, Christians will be much wiser if they choose to redeem their time and make the most of every opportunity.
Scripture urges Christians to properly make use of time and opportunities because the days are evil, Jesus’ return is imminent, all believers will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ, and life on earth is short.
Considering these teachings of the Bible, Christians must make the most of their time to avoid living a wasteful life. Serving Jesus and telling others the gospel should be at the forefront of believers’ minds.
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Sophia Bricker is a freelance writer who enjoys researching and writing articles on biblical and theological topics. In addition to contributing articles about biblical questions as a contract writer, she has also written for Unlocked devotional. She holds a BA in Ministry, a MA in Ministry, and is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing to develop her writing craft. As someone who is passionate about the Bible and faith in Jesus, her mission is to help others learn about Christ and glorify Him in her writing. When she isn’t busy studying or writing, Sophia enjoys spending time with family, reading, drawing, and gardening.