An Opportunity We Simply Must Buy Up

I just finished hemorrhaging over my latest message earlier today. I decided to study and write with a grand opening of our facility service in mind. I felt led to camp out in 1 Timothy 3:14-16. I entitled the message Why Church?: A Case for Christianity in a Many-Gods Age. I worked from the word pictures Paul employs for showing the true nature of the church and why it should compel our priority participation in its ministry.

We still don’t know when we will schedule such a service. It all depends on the granting of a CO by the city and the timetable for “soft openings” so we can get our act adequately together for a “hard opening” service likely to happen no earlier than sometime in June.

But mark my words. Whenever it does happen we have to determine to act intentionally and strategically with a Colossians 4:5 kind of mentality in mind. Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.

Paul actually uses the metaphor of walking in the original for the way we live our lives. He calls for us to walk in wisdom toward outsiders, those who have yet to embrace faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

What does that kind of wise walk look like? It involves making the best use of the time. This is an interesting phrase in the original. Literally it reads redeeming or buying up the time or opportunity.

The New Bible Commentary makes this remark on the idea here noting that the word redeem or buy up suggests an intensive activity, a buying which exhausts the possibilities available because they recognize that their time is limited. Kind of like determining to purchase all the remaining copies of some print of a famous painting because you know its a limited edition.

May I suggest that the occasion for opening our facility and publicizing an inaugural service in that facility represents a unique opportunity for reaching out to those outside in a winsome and wise way that we as a congregation simply cannot afford to miss?
Thus I wrote a sermon specifically with this in mind. Thus we will do a mail out with this theme in mind. Thus we will provide printed  invitations that you can give to the folks where you live, work and play that you have been laboring to reach for the gospel that they might hear that gospel in a contextually crafted, biblically sound way (oh, Lord, I pray that’s what I have written in this message!) with this in mind. Thus we may determine on that Sunday to host a barbecue following the service to meet and greet those who come specifically because of the opening of our building.
So let me ask you to pray with me that God will work powerfully in this once-in-a-lifetime-of-our-church opportunity to acquaint many of those “outside” with the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is an opportunity we simply must buy up exhausting all the possibilities available because we recognize that the time is limited.