Today’s bible study is Ephesians 5:15-20: So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
These instructions, originally intended for the people of Ephesus, are as spiritually important for us today as they were so very long ago. They are essentially lessons in life and how to live in a way that is compatible with God and acceptable in His sight. If we take each one separately, we will see that they are, indeed, good lessons and, often, those that we try to teach our children.
First we are told to be careful how we live and not to live as fools. In order to do this, we much constrain ourselves from impulsive behavior, and take time to reason out what we are about to do. If we are considering a serious task, we might look at several ways of accomplishing it. If it is in our dealings with loved ones and friends, we need to weigh the hurt carefully, lest we inflict it upon those we cherish most. In our modern society, this is somewhat comparable to ‘anger management.’ The terms may be new, yet the concept very old. Do not make foolish choices. Do not jeopardize anything dear too you in the heat of the moment. Do not act in ways that will show a lack of wisdom and that you will regret horribly in the future.
Next, don’t act thoughtlessly. This is something we have to remember every day. One thoughtless act can have serious, and sometimes irreparable, consequences. The important thing is to think. There is a cute saying that goes, “Engage brain before opening mouth.” While the wording may make us smile, the intent is clear: think before you speak. Think what the thoughtful thing would be, the thoughtful choice you could make, the most thoughtful way in which you could behave. Thoughtful behavior has no place for malice, bitterness, anger or defensiveness. It is open and honest and caring. It is the thoughtfulness personified in our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Then we are told to make the most of every opportunity. This is something many of us have been told to do, even when it seemed impossible to do so. We all hear, “every cloud has a silver lining,” but sometimes it is very hard to see beyond the gloom. We might pass up a chance at reconciliation, at a new friendship, or even a new romance. We might miss an all-important chance to apply to a college, apply for a job, or advance on the ladder of our career. With eyes open and watchful, look for these opportunities. Often they are right there in front of us, and we are too busy or too preoccupied to even notice then. If an opportunity presents itself, make the mist of it. Take joy in it and use it in the very best way that you can.
Then we are told not to be drunk. Surely, at some time, our parents told us not to get drunk and we, in turn, told our children. Yet, most of us did at some time…even if it was only once. Throughout the bible, Jesus himself enjoyed a cup of wine with his followers and loved ones. The fruit of the vine is not, in and of itself, a bad thing. It is the drunkenness that will cause untold problems for you and for those you love.
This chapter continues with even more good, common sense rules for living a good life, the kind of life that will help to make us physically and spiritually healthy and attuned to our own bodies and to the will of God. Glance through them. See how many are familiar, and how many you have live by and taught your children. Some may seem outdated or archaic. Most are not. May we all live by these powerful rules every day of our lives as children of God.
You might also like to read:
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- Kentucky Bible Study Examiner, Timothy Edwards
- Bible Verse of the Day
- Daily Bible Guide
- Growing in Christ
- Bible Study Tools Online
- The Jesus Walk Bible Study Series
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