How many times have I wanted to have time back to do something again? Sometimes I’m looking for a different outcome, or I just want to do it better. But, sometimes, I want time back because I realize I significantly wasted it. It’s pretty frustrating to lose time, knowing that you can’t get it back, especially when you see what it “could have been.” Sometimes, it’s watching too much TV, or sleeping too long. Maybe it’s spending too much time at work and not with family or in meaningful relationships with people who don’t know Christ. Grace gives us second chances… but it also gives us a deadline.
- As you read today’s passage, reflect both on what the passage is asking us to do and how to do it.
READ THE WORD: EPHESIANS 5:15-21 (ESV)
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- In verse 15, Paul said to walk wisely. How did he describe that “wise walk” in verse 16?
- Paul equated foolishness with not understanding the will of God (vs. 17). How do we best understand the will of God?
- Why did Paul contrast the effect of wine with that of the Holy Spirit? Why is a Spirit-filled life necessary for a “wise walk”?
- What 3-4 words (that are not used in the text) would you use to summarize verses 19-21?
- Consider your life and ask the Lord to show you things that are keeping you from “making the best use of [your] time.”
RESPOND TO GOD
Praise God for second chances! I am the recipient of many “do-overs” handed out by God. Grace also gives us a deadline—a time that calls us from “evil” behavior and also frivolous activities that bring pleasure now, but have no lasting value. This is an act of grace, because he gives us the chance to move from a wasted life to a useful life, and to live that life with joy, happiness, and thankfulness. Paul calls us to live wisely by “making the best use of the time.” Why? “Because the days are evil.” But, also, simply because time will end. And when that moment comes, the opportunity we have to honor Jesus through effective, Spirit-led lives will also end. But the Spirit-led results will live on forever!
- Confess those things to the Lord that are keeping you from making the best use of your time.
- Yield to the Spirit’s leading in your life to follow a wise path.