BE CAREFUL HOW YOU LIVE!

EPHESIANS5:12-20. “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” NLT
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OBSERVATION: Am I living my life carefully in these tumultuous times? Am I making the most of every opportunity? Do I understand what the will of the Lord is for my life? Is my life marked by sincere worship and thankfulness?

If there was ever a time to live with our eyes wide open it is now! I have never witnessed or faced what we are facing today in both the church and the world. The words of the Apostle Paul sound like they have been ripped from the headlines.

  • “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.”

Our human tendency when we face difficult times is to hide. We look for ways to escape the challenges that we are facing. To hide from our problems is to live like a fool. Hiding does not change anything, it just prolongs the inevitable. In stark contrast, Paul calls us to engage in difficult times – “Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.”

These are days that require “all hands on deck!” This is not a time for the believer or the church to shelter in place. The harvest is white and ready for harvest. The world is in a panic and their hearts are open to hearing some Good News. As believers, and as the church, we are the only ones who have the answer. Only Jesus Christ can bring hope in these troubled times!

So how do we do this? It is really very simple!

FIRST – we refuse to hide!

SECOND – we press into the presence of God and live a life of worship, service, and thankfulness!

  • “Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The church does not have time to debate the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church today. It is time to lay aside our reservations regarding the gifts and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Every believer needs to be baptized in the Holy Spirit – anew! We cannot engage the world if we are empty vessels. Paul’s words are not a suggestion – they area command!

We also need to rediscover worship in spirit and in truth. So much of the attention today is on style and performance. God is looking for those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. Our sincere worship of the Lord is where we are prepared for battle. It is where we get our marching orders and leave filled and strengthened to engage in the harvest of lost souls. Worship is more than 30 minutes of singing. True worship is the full surrender of our lives as living sacrifices given freely for the Lord’s work!

Finally, our engagement is meaningless unless the world sees the true light of Christ. How can we proclaim the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ when we are filled with anger and complaining. If we are living a life of complaining and regret how can anyone take our message seriously. We must be filled with the Holy Spirit, surrendered in true worship, and giving thanks to God for His goodness and mercy. Thankfulness is the key to effective engagement!

As a youth, I would love to attend the LA County Fair in Pomona, CA. Each year I would walk through the exhibit booths and glean all the free samples they were offering. One year, however, I ended up bringing back some Ginsu knives and a vegetable slicer. Why did I buy these? Why did I take the time to listen to the salesman’s pitch? It was because he made it seem like these two tools would change my life! He constantly proclaimed the goodness of these items and gave thanks for all they could do!

What would happen in the world if we did this for the Lord?

Lord, we truly live in evil times. Like anyone else, I would rather hide and shelter in place. Yet, I feel the stirring of Your Holy Spirit. I need to be baptized in the Holy Spirit anew. I need to engage in true worship as I surrender my life to You as a living sacrifice. And, I need to live a life of thankfulness, proclaiming to all Your goodness and mercy!

Lord, help me make the most of every opportunity in these evil days!

In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy-to-follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com. Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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