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
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!