Ephesians 5:1-20 (NRSV)
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, 2and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Renounce Pagan Ways
3But fornication and impurity of any kind, or greed, must not even be mentioned among you, as is proper among saints. 4Entirely out of place is obscene, silly, and vulgar talk; but instead, let there be thanksgiving. 5Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure person, or one who is greedy (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes on those who are disobedient. 7Therefore do not be associated with them.
10Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. 11Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; 13but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
Rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
“Shine, Jesus, Shine” — written in 1987 by Graham Kendrick, who says, “This song is a prayer for revival.” HERE it is sung by a massive congregation at an annual celebration of songs of praise, the “Big Sing” at Royal Albert Hall in London.
15Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, 16making the most of the time, because the days are evil.
from Experiencing God Day-By-Day,
by Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby
The days in which you live are evil. But often it is not evil pursuits that rob your time. Rather, the temptation is to sacrifice what is best for what is good. The enemy knows that blatantly tempting you with evil will be obvious, so he will lure you with distractions, leaving you no time to carry out God’s will. He will tempt you to so fill your schedule with good things that you have no time for God’s best. You may inadvertently substitute religious activity for God’s will, pursuing your own goals for God’s kingdom instead of waiting for His assignment. Time is a precious commodity. Be sure to invest it wisely.__________
“Redeeming the time” (Ephesians 5:16).
When you read the word “time” in the gospels, please know that two different words are most often used in the Greek language of the New Testament: the words chronos and kairos. The word chronos simply speaks of time in its chronological sequence: seconds, minutes, hours that become days, weeks, months and years. Time flies fast, time goes by. The word kairos is different. It is often translated with expressions such as “When the times were fulfilled; in the fullness of time; when the time had come for such and such to happen.”
I suggest that the spiritual application is vital. What I want you to see is that in every day, in each moment, resides the opportunity to make a decision (a resolution) to transform the time that is just “passing by” and wasted, into a divine moment in which “by faith with the resolution” we release something supernatural and redemptive that can revolutionize our lives.
Please pay close attention to this important key. One of the Greek words from which we draw the word “moment” is the word atomos. You can easily note that the words “atom” and “atomic” find their root in atomos. It is the perfect picture of what is hidden in the moment. The image of the atom reminds us how we can so easily miss a moment and underestimate its potential and possibilities. The atom is considered to be the symbol of perfect unity, the smallest particle of an element, most commonly called an irreducible unit. The idea is that it is impossible to find anything smaller. This is why we can so easily miss our moment. Like atoms, these moments with God come and go and are available to us in infinite numbers which can appear insignificant in stature or importance because they are so minute.
Moments are easy to miss or to ignore. At the same time, we find a picture of the atom in the moment. In this nucleus, so incredibly small, is also found nuclear capacity and the release of nuclear fusion in all its magnitude.
I would say it this way, “When you seize the moment with God through prayer and by faith with a resolution, you can release a supernatural reaction of atomic spiritual proportions!”
17So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, 19as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, 20giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
from Edges of His Ways, by Amy Carmichael:
The reason why singing is such a splendid shield against the fiery darts of the devil is that it greatly helps us to forget him, and he cannot endure being forgotten. He likes us to be occupied with him, with what he is doing (our temptations), with his victories (our falls), with anything but our glorious Lord. So sing. Never be afraid of singing too much. We are much more likely to sing too little.
There are times, however, when we cannot sing aloud. This verse covers that inward singing that so often lifts the heart Heavenward. God make us a singing company.
Psalm 34:1-3 (ESV)
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.