When I was in my 20’s I held a garage sale with a friend in a modest neighborhood. I brought my things over to her house. In the early morning we started setting things up.
People started showing up at least half an hour before the stated time. Some were even earlier. We had to repeatedly tell people we weren’t open yet, as they tried to look over our shoulders at what we were putting out. My friend’s husband finally came out and repeated what we had said, but since he looked more imposing (tall with a beard) they listened to him. They each went back to their car to wait for the appointed time.
When we did open for business I was surprised at what followed. Two people in particular didn’t walk, but ran to the tables we had set up. They seemed to be in competition with each other. They shopped with an ever present eye on what the other was finding or picking up. At one point they both had their hands on the same item. They looked at us to moderate, but we just shook our heads and threw up our hands. Both of them were there with a purpose and they were making the most of their time. When they finished at our sale they literally ran to their respective cars. I assumed they knew of other sales going on and wanted to be the first to get there and buy all they could. They were spending their day purchasing or redeeming things.
Scripture uses at least two Greek words that mean redeemed. Lytroo is one. Another is Agorazo which means to go to market, to purchase, to redeem. It is found in the following verses.
Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. (NASB)
I Corinthians 6:20 For you have been bought with a price therefore glorify God in your body. (NASB)
When I think of these verses I think of God snatching us out of the slave market to be used for His own purposes. Just like those shoppers were snatching things out of our “market” or garage sale. Then I came across a similar word in Ephesians 5:16 and Colossians 4:5.
This time the word is exagorazo which also means to redeem, to buy out of the market.
Ephesians 5:16 Making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
Colossians 4:5 Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity.
I think of my decision to follow Christ and just as he snatched me out of the marketplace I need to have that same thoughtful, purposeful use of my time. Am I looking for opportunities to tell people about Christ? Am I in a hurry to be about my master’s business?
Time is short. May I be found being about His business when He returns.