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Ephesians 5:15-17

Today

  • Matthew Dodd
  • Weekend Messages
  • January 1, 2017

Your story is a continuing one. The fact that you’re here means there’s more to be written and each day is another page written in your story. How do you want the remaining “Todays” to read? Let’s turn in our Bibles to Ephesians 5 and discover principles for making our "Todays” a story that glorifies our Lord.

  • Sermon Notes
  • Scripture

Today

Ephesians 5:15-17 

Introduction

1. First impressions matter.

2. I’ll never forget the first time I met my wife, Heidi…

3. What is your story?

4. The fact that you’re here means there’s more to be written and each day is another page written in your story.

5. How do you want the remaining “Todays” to read?

6. Let’s learn turn in our Bibles to Ephesians 5 and discover principles for making our "Todays” a story that glorifies our Lord.

Ephesians 5:15-17

Context

1. “Walk in a manner worthy of your calling” (4:1).

2. “Be imitators of God” (5:1).

3. Contrast Light vs. Darkness (5:3-14).

I. Today - Watch Your Walk (15) 

A. Keep your eyes wide open (15a) 

1. In the Greek, this is a present tense command which means “Look and keep on looking”, “be alert and keep on being alert”

ILLUS – Walking through the Ape Caves

2. Pay attention to your priorities – line up with God’s

3. Pay attention to your choices – line up with God’s

4. Result - We will avoid the way of the unwise!

APPL – The devil has mastered the art of distraction. Pleasure, leisure, procrastination; devices at his disposal which lead the unsuspecting, distracted, and deceived to believe they can put off weighty matters for another day. Along the way, they get off course, miss the mark, and suffer the consequences resulting in the loss of another day!

APPL – Perspectives on living: Young people vs. Older people…

Young: Fun without consequences

Old: One choice negated other choices…

ILLUS – Adam’s Football Team vs. Scappoose

1 Peter 5:6, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

B. Walk wisely (15b)

1. Humble yourself – Admit your mistake, own it!

James 4:6-7, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

2. Be teachable - Stop and ask for help! 

James 1:5, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

3. Act upon God’s Word – “Just do it!” 

Quote: The word “wise” involves “forming the best plans and using the best means for their execution.” (Strong’s Lexicon)

James 1:22, “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”

ILLUS – Adam’s Team vs. Scappoose… Finishing well!

Trans – After failure it is easy to pack it up and give up… but the Lord has more “Todays” to write in our stories… He uses our failures to teach us about His love, grace, wisdom, and power! Give God room to move.

II. Today - Make a Difference (16)

ILLUS – Malina at Anna’s volleyball game

A. Redeem the time (16a) 

Quote: Strong’s Lexicon states “making the most of your time” literally means “redeeming the time.” “To buy up, to make wise and sacred use of every opportunity for doing good.” 

Quote: Warren Wiersbe adds, “As we obey His will, we buy up the opportunities and do not waste time, energy, money, and talent in that which is apart from His will. Lost opportunities may never be regained.”

1. Implied - Rewards for good stewardship.

2. Implied - Our days are numbered.

Psalm 90:10, 12, “As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years, yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; for soon it is gone and we fly away. So teach us to number our days that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” 

3. The problem is life can be so mundane. 

4. But there are opportunities to buy up even during mundane times.

5. Our choices during the mundane “Todays” prepare us for handling future peaks and

valleys.

ILLUS – Ed Whitlock, 85-year-old who recently set a record in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon when he completed the race in under 4 hours.

APPL – To compete, athletes must make the right choices everyday…

1 Corinthians 9:24-27, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore, I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.” 

Trans – Redeem the time. Make the most of every opportunity. Walk as children of the light. Be imitators of God. Walk in a manner worthy of your calling.

B. Overcome evil with good (16b)

1. The days are evil…

2. But God’s answer for evil is His grace lived through people like you and me who walk

carefully, wisely, making the most of every opportunity.

Romans 12:21, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

3. Eternal perspective - Our God Wins! 

4. Even when it appears, from an earthly perspective, He will not.

Quote: “Whenever light confronts darkness there will be tribulation.” ~ Pastor Rich

Quote: “Don’t doubt in the darkness what God has revealed to you in the light.” ~ Pastor Rich

Esther 4:14, “And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?”

Quote: Old Rabbinical saying, “And if not now, when?”

III. Seize Your “Todays” (17) 

A. Value what God values (17a)

1. Repeated warning – “Avoid the way of the fool.”

2. “Foolish” means “without reason, without reflection or intelligence, acting rashly.” Like a

sleepwalker…

APPL – Don’t sleep walk through life!!! Wake up!!!

Ephesians 5:14, “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

ILLUS – On December 16th we remembered Markelle on what would have been her 21st birthday…

Heidi told me that she always made choices regarding Markelle’s health and life that she would not look back on with regret. I believe she did just that. 

APPL - I believe the Lord wants all of us to not only be able to say that but to experience it as well.

B. Understand what the will of the Lord is (17b) 

1. Throughout his epistles, Paul references the value of knowing the Lord and walking in His

will.

2. God’s will is what we were made for. To love, to be holy, to be thankful, to seek unity, to serve one another, to help the poor, to protect the orphan and widow, to share our faith, and eagerly wait for Christ’s return!

Trans – How do we make Christ’s Lordship a reality?

Romans 12:12-1-2, “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

APPL – Living the Lord’s will is living life to the full!!! This is what we were made for… 

Conclusion 

I am confident that as we live by these principles from God’s Word, God will do something miraculous because He is a God who redeems, restores, and gives new beginnings!!!

Joel 2:25, 26, “I will make up to you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, … Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God and there is no other; and My people will never be put to shame.”

Ephesians 5:15-17    NASB

15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

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