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Walk wisely making the best use of your time (Ephesians 5:15-17)?

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In our daily lives, we use our time for many things, whether good or bad, gain or loss. Often, this “time” is used in various ways to fulfil our desires and needs because time is a precious commodity. In contrast, once you are a follower of Jesus Christ, how you use your time is very different because believers see and do everything differently. 2 Corinthians 4:18 says, “as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

So, we are commanded in Ephesians 5:15-17, saying, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

To understand this passage, let us look at what “walking wisely and making the best use of the time” looks like for a disciple of Christ? To study, read this passage in its context from Ephesians 4:17 to 5:20. 

Firstly, do not walk like the world.

The command in Ephesians 5:15-17 is to look carefully at how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise, making the best use of your time. To know what “unwise walking” looks like, we find it described in Ephesians 4:17-19, saying, “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.”

At one point in your life, this was your thinking – the hardness of heart, full of ignorance, callous, loving sensuality, greed, and practising every kind of impurity. These are the ways of this world. But it is not the way we have learned from Christ. Ephesians 4:21 says, “assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus.” It is not good enough to say you are a follower of Christ, but you must continuously learn the truth and apply it to your lives through the word of God. 

To walk as a wise person, you must cast off your old self, which is corrupt through deceitful desires. Instead, walk by being renewed in the spirit of your minds. By putting on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:20-24). Amen!

What does the new self look like? It is by:

  • putting away falsehood, 
  • speaking the truth with your neighbour, 
  • not sinning through anger, 
  • not letting the sun go down on your anger, 
  • giving no opportunity for the devil, 
  • not stealing but working hard, 
  • doing honest work with your hands, 

so that you may share with anyone in need. 

Let no corrupt talk come out of your mouths. Instead, let it be words to build someone up as fits the occasion and give grace to those who hear. When you do not do these things, you grieve the Holy Spirit by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:25-32).

Secondly, be imitators of God and walk in love.

It is foolishness to walk like the world. Ephesians 5:15-17 says we must carefully look at how we walk not as unwise but wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is. The “will” of God is given to us in this passage and the entire word of God. Ephesians 5:1-2 says that we are to be imitators of God as beloved children and walk in love as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. This is God’s “will” – to be imitators of God and walk in love as Christ did!

Once we are in Christ, we are called saints of God, so we must do what is proper among saints. We are to refrain from sexual immorality, all impurity, or covetousness. There is to be no foolish talk or crude joking, which are out of place. Instead, there should be “thanksgiving”. Otherwise, there is no inheritance in the kingdom of God. We are not sons of disobedience because the wrath of God comes upon them. Just as Christ was an obedient Son, likewise, our aim must also be to do the will of the Father (Ephesians 5:3-6). Amen!

We are not to become partners with worldly people because we are no longer in darkness but in the light. The fruit of light is found in all that is good, right, and true. So instead of taking part in the unfruitful works of darkness, we are to expose them. We are to stand up for the truth and the righteous requirements of Christ. We are not to align ourselves with what the world thinks is right or culturally relevant; instead, we are to be biblically relevant, exposing all the evil of our times which the world accepts as good. You will be persecuted for doing so, even from among brothers, when you stand for biblical standards and Godly requirements. Stand for the truth in the church and the world.

Conclusion

In conclusion, when you walk wisely, you make the best use of your time. Ephesians 5:16 says, “the days are evil”, so we must be aware of the times, and in like manner, understand what the will of the Lord is. So, instead of being drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, be filled with the Spirit. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you, guide you, teach you, and strengthen you to make the best use of your time and walk in the light. 

When you are full of the Spirit, and He has control over you, then you will address one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to the Lord with your heart. Always giving thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Walking in love, being led by the Spirit, and putting on the new self after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. When you practice these things, you are walking wisely and making the best use of your time because its end brings glory to our God and Father in heaven. Amen!

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