150823 Ephesians 5:15-20

Last Updated on Monday, 24 August 2015 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Text: Ephesians 5:15 – 20
Theme: Are You a Smart Christian?

It is that time of year again. Many schools in our area, including our own St. Matthew's Lutheran School, are beginning classes. Are you sad or excited that school is starting again? Maybe you are sad, because summer didn't seem long enough to you. Maybe you are excited, because as a parent it means your children can get back to a more "regular routine"; or as a student you are excited because you know that you will get to see your friends and classmates more often. One of the main reasons for going to school is to get smarter. How about you? Are you smart? I am not talking about whether or not you have a lot of "book smarts". Rather, are you a smart Christian? Do you make the most of every opportunity? Do you understand what the Lord's will is? To answer these questions, we will use the Second Lesson from God's Word assigned for our worship this weekend. I invite you to listen as I read from Ephesians chapter 5, verses 15-20:

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. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Are you a smart Christian? The first two verses before us offer this answer to that question: "Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." Certainly, you and I don't have to look very far or do too much research to know that we are living in evil days. In our sinful society we see example after example. News story after news story tells of the violence taking place around the world or in our very own streets. Even church bodies are giving in to the pressures of an evil society to be "politically correct" and saying things like abortions are just another choice in life and that homosexuality is simply an "alternate lifestyle".

Are you a smart Christian? In the face of all this evil, what can a smart Christian do? You can "be careful how you live", God's Word says. You and I need to ask ourselves the question: "Do I make the most of every opportunity to live as a smart Christian in God's eyes?" "Do I make the most of every opportunity to spend time in God's Word on a regular basis, whether that is privately in my own home or here in God's house?" "Do I make the most of every opportunity to come to the Lord's Table often?" "Do I make the most of every opportunity to tell others of the danger they are living in, by allowing their sinful nature to control them?" "Do I make the most of every opportunity to tell others about Jesus Christ, and the forgiveness of all sins, which he won?"

Are you a smart Christian? Those who have real wisdom, real spiritual wisdom, are saddened by their sins because they know that that time after time they fail to make the most of every opportunity the Lord gives to live as a smart Christian. Those who are spiritually smart know that a holy and just God says that sin must be punished. However, those who are spiritually smart also know that Jesus Christ lived a perfect life in their place. Jesus Christ, in love for mankind, suffered and died for all sins, including the sin of not making the most of every opportunity to live for him. True Christian wisdom, given to you and to me by God the Holy Spirit, trusts and believes that Jesus Christ is the one and only Savior and that he is by our side at all times. Real Christian wisdom is confident that the Holy Spirit will give you and me the power you and I need to make the most of every opportunity. Are YOU a smart Christian? Turn to your one and only Savior, Jesus Christ, and his Holy Word for the God-pleasing motivation and the strength to make the most of every opportunity.


Are you a smart Christian? What is it that makes someone a smart Christian? In God's eyes, a smart Christian is one who desires to be spiritually smart by spending time in God's Word. For it is only from the power of God's Word that you and I are able to find the motivation to make the most of every opportunity. It is only from the Word of God that you and I are able to understand what the Lord's will is for our lives here on this earth.

Are you a smart Christian? God's Word encourages you and me, "Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit." There are those who like to dive into a bottle of alcohol to "solve their problems", "to heal their hurts" or at least forget about them for a while. Better than abusing our bodies with alcohol or drugs, which are able to offer only a temporary solution, be a smart Christian and turn to the Word of the Lord. Open God's Word to learn what his will is for your life. Open God's Word and the promise is that you will be filled with the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit, working through the powerful Word of God, and not some bottle or some pill, which alone can offer you true and lasting joy, healing and peace. This is because the Holy Spirit will point you not to yourself or to another human being or to any man-made solutions, but he will point you to the cross; the place where Jesus Christ died for all your sins, and made you part of God's family, so that you are now able to call him your Father.

Are you a smart Christian? As the Spirit fills your heart by the power of God's Word, you desire to join together with your fellow believers in Christ in singing the praises of our Gracious Savior-God in worship services such as this one. As we read from God's Word before us, "Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." A smart Christian doesn't reserve praising the Lord for only those times that he or she is in God's house. Be a smart Christian, and sing his praises in private – in your car, in your boat on the lake, or in your room at home. As one author has written, "Singing is worship . . . [it is] the vehicle for expressing our appreciation for the amazing grace of God." Through the gift of music, you and I are able to give thanks to our God for his gifts of forgiveness, peace, joy, love, hope, happiness and all the blessings we receive from our heavenly Father. Are you a smart Christian? Do you understand what the Lord's will is? Spend time in your Bible. Continue to learn what the Lord's will is for your life. Live a life of thankful praise and glory to your Savior-God!

Are you a smart Christian? True and lasting wisdom is not found in a textbook, written by some human author. It is not gained by practical experience or something that we can learn on our own. Yes, this type of wisdom is valuable and is a gift from God. However, true and lasting wisdom is found only in the Word of God. It is only in God's Word that we hear the Good News of the forgiveness of all sins that Jesus won for us. It is only by the power of God's Word that we are motivated by our Lord himself to make the most of ever opportunity. It is only in God's Word that our Lord teaches us what his will is for our lives. Are you a smart Christian? Listen once again as God's Word tells you and me how we are able to be smart Christians: "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. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Amen.

 

Our Mission Statement:

Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.

 

Worship Schedule

Sunday
8:00 A.M. & 10:30 A.M.

9:15 A.M. Bible Study for All Ages

Monday at 7:00 P.M.

Television Broadcast
Thursday at Noon & 7:00 P.M.
Sunday at 10:00 A.M.
on Charter Cable Station 985

 

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
818 West Wisconsin Avenue
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
262-912-6060

Map

 

 

 
© 2012. St. Matthew's Lutheran Church • Privacy Notice
Powered by Joomla 1.7 Templates