“Making the best use of the time”
Our world is full of distractions to us – far more than in any previous age. Paul in today’s chapters in Ephesians (5:16) wrote the above words and they apply so much to the way we live our lives right now. He also wrote, “sexual immorality and all impurity … must not even be named among you … let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk, nor crude joking …” (verses 3,4). The kind of life in Ephesus must have been a lot like today – but at least they did not have the internet, TV, radio and magazines constantly influencing them with nearly all of its content leaving God entirely out of the picture.
How can a true Bible believer have anything to do with so many of the attitudes and fleshly values which surround us? They are so blatantly portrayed as entertainment!
Now note what Paul then writes, “Instead, let there be thanksgiving”. We must realise the point of that comment.
Are we thankful that we can see the true meaning and purpose of life? We should be utterly thankful! Those around us who are largely living for the experiences they can have each day, have their minds fed by the instincts of the flesh instead of the word of God. They have no thought that awesome judgements from God that are hanging over the world of today.
This leads us to think of our readings today in Ezekiel 33 and the blindness of the people in Jerusalem as to their impending fate. As a genuine prophet of the one true God he had a role and responsibility as a watchman. We have the same responsibility. God tells the prophet, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked”. His message was to be, “turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?” (verse 11).
Our message should be something similar. It may fall on deaf ears but we have a responsibility to try. Lot, living in Sodom, obviously tried, otherwise Abraham would not have thought there could be “fifty righteous within the city” (Genesis 18:24). Peter comments on how God rescued “righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct around him” (2 Peter 2:12).
Do you feel distressed? Perhaps you are not “making the best use of the time”? We read today how Paul wrote to the Ephesians telling them to “look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (5:15,16). Is it your time? No – it is God’s time! Let us spend it in the wisest way possible.