2023. 2. 2.(목)


How Should We Live? (Ephesians 5:8-17)

[872호 13면, 발행일 : 2017년 11월 8일(수)] In 1884 a young man died, and after the funeral his grieving parents…

By editor , in Globe , at 2019년 7월 16일

[872호 13면, 발행일 : 2017년 11월 8일(수)]

By Scott Radford

In 1884 a young man died, and after the funeral his grieving parents decided to establish a memorial to him. With that in mind they met with Charles Eliot, president of Harvard University in his office. After they expressed their desire to fund a memorial, Eliot impatiently said, “Perhaps you have in mind, a scholarship.” “We were thinking of something more substantial than that….perhaps a building,” the woman replied. In a patronizing tone, Eliot brushed aside the idea as being too expensive and the couple departed. The next year, Eliot learned that this simple couple had gone elsewhere and established a memorial named Leland Stanford Junior University, better known today as Stanford. They gave $26 million dollars. Eliot is definitely not as wise as he thought he is as he misjudged the couple completely. I would like to look how we can live wisely.

I. Wise believers know how to live.
Verse 15; “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise.” Paul said to be careful how you live, as wise people not as foolish. When the Bible speaks of a fool, it is not talking of someone who might have intellectual limitations, rather, it speaks of the person who is without Christ and as a result lives a life of foolishness. If we as believers are careful in how we live, we will learn how to be careful in what we do and where we go. When we are not careful, temptation lures us into unwise behavior. Do you know what gets most Christians in trouble? They have made no plans for how to avoid falling into temptation. An eagle was soaring high above the forest looking for something to eat during the spring thaw. As he followed the course of a river he looked down and saw a small rodent trapped on a piece of ice floating down stream. Seeing an easy meal, he swooped down, landed on the ice, killed the mouse and began to eat. As he continued his meal, he saw that he was rapidly approaching a water fall, but he was determined to finish eating as he had no worries and would just fly off any time he wanted. As the ice neared the falls, the eagle finished his last bite and then attempted to rise skyward. While enjoying his meal however, he had failed to notice that the warmth of his feet had caused his claws to become embedded in the ice. He could not dislodge himself and fell to his death on the rocks below. Are we aware if we are embedded in the world? Paul taught we need to know how to live.

II. Wise believers seize the day.
Ephesians 5:16, “making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized in the lifetime of the opportunity. Carpe Diem, “seize the day.” We have a limited amount of time on earth. Paul tells us to make the most of every opportunity. We must learn to seize the day. The call of Christianity is unlike that of the world. The world focuses on what you can get out of life. A Christian should focus on what they can give. Too many Christians are no longer fishers of men but keepers of the aquarium. A study asked people to use single words to describe Jesus. They responded, “Wise, loving, accepting, compassionate, gracious, humble.” Then they were asked to use single words to describe Christians, they said, “Critical, exclusive, self righteous, narrow and repressive.” We must remember there is a difference between knowing the good news and being the good news. Paul states wise believers are to know how to live, and they are to seize the day.

III. Wise believers understand God’s will.
Ephesians 5:17, “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” Knowing God’s will is not based on a feeling we might have because feelings change, it is based on knowing God and His Word. Romans 12:1-2, speaks of a transformation which takes place when we walk in the light. Abraham Lincoln said, “I don’t think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.” Wisdom is something every Christian should ask for. It requires wisdom to understand wisdom; the music is nothing if the audience is deaf. A small boy had been consistently late for dinner. One particular day his parents sternly warned him to be on time, yet he arrived later than ever. He found his parents already seated at the table, just about to begin eating. Quickly he sat at his place, and then noticed a slice of bread and a glass of water was set before him. There was silence as he sat and stared at his plate. Slowly he saw his father’s hand reach over, pick up his plate and set it before himself. Then his dad placed his own full plate in front of his son, smiling warmly as he made the exchange. When the boy became a man he said; “All my life I’ve known what God was like by what my father did that night.”
Jesus clearly taught us that we were to emulate Him with our lives. We are called to be transformed into his image. The wise understand the will of God. The will of God is that we are to emulate Christ. We are Christ followers. We are not Christ fans. Fans sit on the sidelines followers get involved. Followers are in the midst of the action. We must be men and women of action. It is time to seize the day and let Jesus be Lord of every aspect of your life.

Scoot Radford  |  ysrest@jj.ac.kr

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