Trinity XX
Sunday, October 30, 2022

Ephesians 5:15-21

Based on our presence here I think it is safe to say that ALL of us believe our lives are a gift from God.

And if we truly believe that then we certainly need to ask ourselves: what does God expect us to do with it. Since God is the one who gave us the gift of life, He is really the only one who can answer what is expected of us during our lifetimes.

The Bible says in Ephesians 5: 15-17, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” The word “circumspectly” in this verse means “Live purposefully”.

And that is the kind of life God expects us to live; a life that is lived guided by His purposes. A purpose is a reason for the things you do. Webster’s Dictionary defines “purpose” as: Something set up as an object or end to be attained. The definition also includes words like: Intention, and Determination. So, what are the purposes that God has for us? “What does God want from each of us?”

In Romans 6:12-13, the Bible says, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.?” In other words, we are to use our whole bodies, all that we are, as tools to do what is right for the glory of God. We are to give ourselves completely, not 70% - not even 90%, but give everything we are to God. For example: if one 24-hour period, how much time do any of us simply think about God, or what He has planned for us to do that day? Notice, I’m not asking how much we did for God in a day, I’m just asking how much we thought about him, or talked with him, or listened to him.

On average most people can only say maybe 5%, OR on a good day maybe 10%.

My point is, how could anyone be giving their whole life completely to God if they are only “THINKING” about Him less than 10% of the time?

Let’s be honest, if Christianity is true: then shouldn’t it be the most important part of our lives?

If Christianity is not true, then we are all wasting our time. We can all stay home on Sunday mornings, put our Bibles away in a drawer, and live any way we see fit.

Either way, it is NOT something that we can avoid making a decision about. Our faith has to be ALL or NOTHING in our daily lives! Today, more than ever, it is a BIG decision to go all-in with God. It takes strength and courage to consider what God will ask us to do and what it will cost us. We can find that strength and courage in knowing that the Scriptures tell us that God does not change. It states that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. It is we who change: sometimes behaving like believers and other times like non-believers.

If we read the stories of the people in the Bible from Moses to the Apostles and all those who came after them, we will see that God is a loving Father who protects and provides for those who will say to Him, “I am all yours God.” What God required of them He requires of us.

God wants our whole life - every area, everything that we are or will be.

As Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and depise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” This verse means that we cannot tell God that we will follow His plans for our lives and at the same time follow our own plans for life. And so, the question we have to ask ourselves is – who is going to be “number one” when it comes to our time, our plans, and our thoughts.

Are we going to put watching 2 or more hours of TV each day above spending 30 minutes praying and reading the Bible? Are we going to put earning money above helping and serving God in His Church? Are we going to make sports a priority over worshipping God and having fellowship with other followers of Christ? And don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with any of those things in and of themselves, but when we put them above God, when we serve them, we make them our master.

But God says, we cannot give our lives to more than one master!

Therefore, we need to seriously consider: where in our lives right now are we saying to God, “I want to serve you, but I am going to put something else above you for now”. Where in our lives are we saying to God that our desires are more important than His desires? On the other hand, when we say to God that He is our number one priority above all else, He will provide for all of our needs!

Proverbs 3:6 promises, “In all ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” If we want to know what God wants from us, if we want to walk circumspectly, then we need to put God first! So, to answer the question what does God want from us? The answer is everything – every part of our lives! God wants fulltime - not part time believers. He wants fulltime not part time laborers for His harvest of souls.

The obvious question then becomes - how can we give God what He requires? There are spiritual disciplines or exercises that we can do each day that will make the task of giving our whole life to God a lot more manageable.

Proverbs 10:17 says, “Whoever practices discipline is on the way to life.

1 Timothy 4:7 tells us to spend our time and energy in the exercise of keeping spiritually fit.

So, what are some of those exercises? To begin with we can start by letting go of the things that aren’t important. When it comes to doing the Lord’s work, a common response today is “I am just too busy, I have so many things to do that I just can’t.”

That “just can’t” is usually something to do with God! We are living in a fast-paced society and often times it is not even bad things that we are spending all our time doing. But when these things fill our schedules so much that we don’t have any time left for God, it effects our relationship with God.

Hebrews 12, verse one instructs us to, “lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily, beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”

What are the weights in our schedules that keep us from making real progress with God? What are some of the non-important things that we do every week that we could get rid of to make room for God? We must decide what we are going to make a priority or we will not be able to take advantage of the opportunity to see God come, and bless, and change our lives forever!

We may have to get up 15 minutes earlier or maybe watch a little less TV. Maybe we need to drop some activity that we do so that we can read and study Scripture every week. Put first things first! What I mean by that is: when it comes time to choose between what is a good thing to do in a day and what is the best thing, choose the best thing even if it is more work.

Choose the thing that will pay off NOT ONLY in this life, but ALSO in the next one! The best use of our earthly life is to invest it in something that will outlast this world that we live on!

It is a hard thing to do, but listen to what Paul says in Philippians 2:13: “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” In other words, God is always at work in us to make us willing and able to obey His purposes.

We simply need to ask God to give us the help we need to make the right priorities.

We know what God wants from us is…EVERYTHING. And we know what it takes… it takes discipline and it takes spiritual exercises. The only question that remains is: Why should we do it? Why bother? Why put forth the effort? Why should we not waste the gift of life God has given us? The answer is because Jesus gave His life for all for us!

When we had a problem that kept us from having a true relationship with God - when we had a sin problem that sentenced us to death - Jesus came and gave His all! Jesus came so that we might live. He came so that we can be forgiven and free from our wrong choices and mistakes. The Bible says, “Through the blood of his Son we are set free from our sins.” (Ephesians 1:7)

Jesus gave us His all so that we can have a real, personal relationship with God the Father. Without Jesus we have NO life, we have NO hope, we have NO peace. Without him we have NO way to God and NO way to eternal life! Jesus came so that each of us can know: God loves us, and He has a plan for each of our lives.

Therefore brethren, we must, “walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise…” “We must redeem/reclaim our time, because the days are evil.” And, “We must not be unwise, but rather understand what the will of the Lord is.” AMEN


Last updated - November 12, 2022.