December 21 | Ephesians 5:8-20
Be Very Careful
by David Thompson
Growing up, especially in my teen years, my mother would always bid me a farewell to whatever party, dance or even date I was going to with the words, "Remember God is always with you, so behave accordingly." I kind of let the warning slide off my back as water does off of a duck's back. I heard it, but I am not sure it changed my behavior. Perhaps it should have as I was a pretty rotten kid and got myself in way too many scrapes. Today, fifty years later, those words from my mother still play in my head as tapes do on a tape player (or today an mp3 player).
Today's passage is a similar warning. It states that we were in the darkness as all unsaved people are, but then we came into the light of the Lord. "The fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth." We are challenged to find out and do what is pleasing to the Lord. The passage goes on to proclaim, "Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret."
We are all human and if you are like me, I slip back into doing what is wrong, especially when it is done in secret. It might be while driving, doing taxes or just speaking to someone and in order to save face, a small lie is told. This passage is very clear that these things are wrong and need to be repented of when realized. Luckily for us, we have Christ's sacrifice on the cross. Christ's "love covers a multitude of sin." (1 Peter 4:8) However, our willful disobedience hurts the Lord so, "Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is."
The passage concludes with the words "be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything." I couldn't say it better. I thank God that I had a Godly mother and even though I didn't always appreciate her words of wisdom, much of it sunk in and those words have served me well throughout my life. If you are living in darkness, I pray that you will see the light as I did when I was seventeen years of age.
Dear Lord, thank you for the admonition to be vigilant and to take your words to heart. The day is coming when we will be extremely glad that we heeded the warning as we meet Christ on that judgment day. Like your light, let us be a beacon of light to the world. In Your most wonderful name. Amen.