15: “Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise.” – Paul continues his discussion on how we are to respond to the magnificence of God’s love. Our lives are filled with possible pitfalls and opportunities and we are to step carefully, choosing wisely our path.
16: “Making the most of the time, because the days are evil.” – Our days, our limited time on earth, can be filled with difficulty. Because of this Paul’s urges us to make the most of the time we have.
17: “So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” – Do not live our lives carelessly. Remain constantly focused on God and the purpose that He has created for us.
18: “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit.” – Turn to the Holy Spirit for fulfillment. Looking elsewhere, seeking out the earthly pleasures of life, will lead us away from God’s influence.
19-20: “…singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Always, no matter what the circumstances, lift praises to God.
Points to Contemplate:
Are you a wise person? What does Paul mean by “wise” people? Is he referring to a heightened level of intelligence or is this an issue of the moral and ethical dilemmas we face in our lives? Do you see that you have a choice to be wise or foolish? How is Paul suggesting that you become wise? Does the wisdom he refers to come to us by the care we take with each decision we face in our lives? Do you agree that each step we take can be filled with either the pitfalls of foolishness or with opportunities to serve God? Are you planning to be more careful and diligent about the choices you make?
How are days evil?
Is Paul suggesting that the wastefulness of the time we have possibly leads to evil? Do you sense Paul’s urgency when he tells us to make the most of the time we have? Do you see that lost time is also lost opportunity to serve God? Have you had opportunities to serve God’s kingdom only to see them slip away? Have you felt foolish because you did not respond to a situation the way God would have wanted you to respond? Do you see how these lost opportunities are gone for ever? Are you ready for the opportunities God is sending your way each day?
Do you seek fulfillment in earthly pleasures?
Do you see that Paul’s admonishment concerning wine can apply to any over-indulgence we seek or give into? That these indulgences are not as innocent as they may seem but can, instead, lead us away from God and His guiding Spirit? Do you seek the Holy Spirit in all things? Do you recognize that when you are filled with the Spirit that there is little room for anything else and that you are more likely to be fulfilling God’s purpose for your life?
Do you always have a song of praise on your heart? Could this be as a result of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in your life? When you are filled with the Spirit can your heart do anything but burst forth with songs of praise to God? Do you see the importance of singing praises in all circumstances, especially during times when you are feeling down or depressed? Can singing be God’s way of lifting and strengthening you during the difficult experiences you face in life?
Promises of the Gospel:
Paul continues to teach us that the manner in which we live our lives makes a difference. God loves us and He has provided us with a wealth of blessings that include His grace and forgiveness. In response to His love, we are to lead purposeful and intentional lives for Him; making each action we take a reflection of that immense love. As we are filled with His Spirit our lives are changed and we begin to bear His fruit building His kingdom for the entire world to see.