Prepare to Listen. ‘Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’
Prayerfully Read. Ephesians 5:14b-20
14bTherefore it says, ‘Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’ 15Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, 16making the most of the time, because the days are evil. 17So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, 19as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, 20giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“Therefore it says, ‘Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’” This saying echoes Isaiah’s admonition: “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you” (60:1). Paul used the saying to introduce plain words on how to obey the commands to rise and shine in the light of Christ.
First, be careful how you live. This highlights the importance of living thoughtfully, considering how our behavior aligns with the goal of letting Christ’s light shine in and through us. Take your in Christ life seriously.
Second, Paul uses three pairs of contrasts, beginning with to live not as unwise but as wise. The wisdom of Christ in us gives us the ability to discern between the worthless, that which wastes time, energy, and resources, and the worthy, that which gives life and glorifies God. His 2nd contrast, explains the unwise/wise contrast; don’t be foolish but understand the Lord’s will. Discernment of and understanding God’s will requires thoughtful reflection and evaluation of what is good, bad, and the best choice. Think about what consumes your time and resources. Do they align with the way of Jesus our Messiah?
Finally, don’t get drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit. Paul connects the contrast between wisdom and foolishness with the need for the Holy Spirit, suggesting that true wisdom and wise living are only possible through the indwelling Spirit. The Spirit helps us discern how to live carefully so that Christ’s light shines through us and is visible to the world.
What steps can you take to be careful how you live today?
Lord Jesus fill me with your Spirit so that I live carefully, choosing wisdom over foolishness. Amen.
Live obediently. Think about how you live.