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Ephesians 5

16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. 

First, remember every age is a time of evil days. Evil simply means working against God, and there is never a time in human history we humans haven’t been working against God’s ways. Bringing pain and trouble is another way the Bible describes this evil.

As a Christian who is a light in the world, I have the opportunity to be a light and do something about the pain and trouble, rather than be a judge who simply sits back and tells you what is wrong.

So, to act thoughtlessly is to act according to my human nature, which is corrupt and self-centered. The  only way I can stop acting this way is to invite God into my life, live and learn everything I can from God through the teachings and model of Jesus, and also model my life after the Christians around me I want to be like. In this way, I am able to cooperate with God and develop habits that overcome my automatic behavior, which will not be a blessing.

ME

When we try to get people to be fearful, we gain more influence over them if they think we can help. Be discerning of the rhetoric of someone who wants you to question your security.

 

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Ephesians 5

15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.

Psalm 14 an Psalm 53 are virtually identical. Both of these psalms begin this way.

Only fools say in their hearts,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and their actions are evil;
not one of them does good!

The Lord looks down from heaven
on the entire human race;
he looks to see if anyone is truly wise,
if anyone seeks God.

But no, all have turned away;
all have become useless.
No one does good,
not a single one!

So, who is the fool? One who makes the choice not to follow God. That’s what the word “heart” usually means in the Bible. The choices we make. The ability to initiate change. Notice it is not only the atheist who is considered foolish. If you are not seeking to do God’s good in the world, you are foolish. And so we hear these words spoken to us.

But, no. all have turned away; all have become useless.

When we aren’t following God’s ways in the world, we are useless. At least in terms of blessing the world. So, along with the atheist, we Christians find ourselves living as practical atheists, and we are stuck with using our desires to decide how to live. But, if I am following Jesus, I do what he says not what I want, even if I think he is wrong.

Jesus is wrong? I have struggled with some of his teaching. For example, my human nature thinks you should be able to get back at someone who harms you. That makes sense. Jesus says, “No” to revenge.

So, if I am following Jesus, I choose to do what he wants and I take what comes with that. If I think I won’t be challenged when I follow Jesus, I will be quickly surprised.

ME

When are you most likely to be thinking about God?

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Ephesians 5

3 As for fornication, uncleanness of any kind, or greed: you shouldn’t even mention them! You are, after all, God’s holy people.

In our society- sex, sexuality, sexual identity, romance, anything related to sex- is everywhere. Sex sells.

Sex is used to influence our buying choices, sexual issues raise funds for our political parties, and sexual content entertains us endlessly. It seems like half the news, three quarters of all entertainment, and 90% of all advertising is somehow, someway related to S-E-X.

But the Bible says, hold on a minute. Stop the obsession. What in the world is going on here? This is about porne, the Bible word translated, “fornication.” This is sexual obsession, sexual greed, and it tarnishes our relationship with God and others. As followers of Jesus we are to be “set apart” for God’s way of living.

We are to avoid fornication – the casual sex that demeans and cheapens not only the participants but also the gift of sex itself. But the best way of doing that is to work at taking it out of our mind altogether; and the main way that happens is removing it from our speech.

OK…sure…that’s easy…

ME

In one day, try counting how many times are you exposed to some kind of sexual content/ innuendo/ message. Don’t go looking for it, but just notice:)