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Live like those who are W-I-S-E.  Ephesians 5.15-20


“If I tol’ you once, I tol’ you a thousand times,” (okay maybe not a thousand!), ‘this life is not all there is!  We are all just passin’ through.’

Hmmm … I remember when I was 15 years old and in a play at church—a play we took to a campground, and performed at Yosemite’s Church Bowl.  I was the secretary who was at the gates of Heaven, checking for new arrivals’ names in the Book of Life.* My job was simple—look for the name and report if it was there … or not.  If an individual’s name was in the Lambs Book of Life, she was told to step to the right, and into Heaven; on the other hand, if the name could not be found, the alternative was awful . . . and eternal. . . separation from God and any form of love or goodness forever.  The setting included dry ice and drama—quite obviously, it was impactful; I remember it all these years later! 

What a silly thing to reference, eh?  Maybe.  Perhaps you and I ought to think more about how we live, because it may determine something about our forever.  Actually, I believe it does have a lot to do with our lot in eternity.  Otherwise, we have no reason at all to even consider what Paul wrote:

“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.”

What difference does the substance of our lives make, unless there is something more, after this life?  For if there is only this life, should it not be lived entirely for one’s self …for the pleasures of which one can avail himself?  Indeed, if we only go around once, well then, we gotta go for all the gusto we can, right? 

Apparently not, for Paul wrote, ‘Be careful how you live… don’t live like fools, but live like those who are wise.’  Friends … it is July of 2013, and I ask you, how do the wise live? Mind you, I love this subject, for as I have moved closer to wisdom, I have seen that it is certainly multi-faceted.  Our Lord’s half-brother James told us that if we do not have wisdom, (and we do NOT), we should ask God for it, and he will give it to us.  So, as Paul tells us to live like those who are wise, are you asking God for wisdom … daily? 

While the term ‘wisdom’ is somewhat antiquated, the notion of it is nonetheless valued; my oldest son called today and said, “Mom, I need to run a scenario by you, because you are wise, and I know your insights will be helpful.”  There it is … we value wisdom when we realize that it is beneficial to our lives, now and forever.  And so Paul says, ‘live like the wise, rather than like fools.’   Okay, Paul … count me in.  I want to be wise in my life, rather than playing the fool!’ 

When I live with wisdom, I conduct myself with . . .

understanding - what is true, right, lasting

discretion - the ability to decide responsibly

prudence - wise in handling practical matters, exercising good judgment, common sense, careful about one's conduct

discernment - keen insight

knowledge - the sum of scholarly learning through the ages; wise teachings of the ancient sages

action - exercising discretion, prudence, discernment in choosing a course of action for ourselves

In addition, wisdom will certainly include being of ‘right mind’, that is to say, not being drunk with wine, but rather being filled with Spirit.  Oh God, grant us these things, we pray.  May we be careful how we live, may we take care with our conduct, because in doing so, we honor you . . . we please you.  Amen!


* – Revelation 20.15

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