Be Very Careful
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but wise, making the best use of time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and make melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. - Ephesians 5:15-20
Do you remember the Bible passages you studied in Sunday School as a child? Were they important ones that you had to memorize? And once memorized, did you understand what they meant? “Be very careful then how you live…” is from Paul’s letter to the Church in Ephesus. What does Paul mean? It does us very little good to merely admire a verse. Jesus did not come to teach us about trivial things; he came to teach us the life and death realities centered on his role and the Savior on Earth.
Paul reminds us in this book about our earthly priorities. Brothers and sisters, the gospel truth demands a decision: either you are in or you are out. For those of us who are in, always give thanks to God for everything in the name of Jesus Christ. For those who are not sure, I implore you to seek the grace of Jesus Christ, reach out for the Savior’s hand before the opportunity passes. If you do not, you will find yourself forever seeking and never finding the answer. C. S. Lewis once said; “Those who call for nonsense will find that it comes.” In the early 2000’s, the Conservative Presbyterian theologian, J.W. Robbins said that Lewis’ waring is precisely what has happened. Robbins warned us, and I warn you as well, do not expect any reformation, do not expect any awakening, or any change in society until the church - US - is willing to totally repudiate the “irrationalism” - the nonsense - of the present age. What we will stand on if we do not stand on the Bible?
Fortunately for those in Christ we have grace, assurance and the promise of protection from all the forces of darkness and the world. Here is the final score: Jesus wins; the Devil loses! Where sin prevails, grace abounds for those in Christ! For those of you that are walking with Christ, keep on keeping on. And for those who are not sure, listen to the words from Hebrews 10: “Let us not give up the habit of meeting together…” We have had a whole year of separation because of the pandemic. But now you have a choice and there are many opportunities right here in Deer Creek for you to meet with fellow believers:
Tuesday 9 am Bible Study Group
Wednesday 6 pm Study Group
Sunday 9 am Adult Sunday School
10 am Worship Service
First Saturday of every month - Breakfast
Becoming a deacon or elder
Get back into the habit of meeting together for yourself and for the community of believers. Make time with other Christians: “let us encourage one another all the more since the day of the Lord is coming.”
If you have doubts, if the uncertainty of the world news has shaken you, if you have sidelined your faith because of what is going on in the world, take your doubts to God. Ask God to renew your heart. Ask God to strengthen your faith. Ask God to renew your heart. Ask God to make the gospel real to you! If you are not sure about your faith, here is some helpful pastoral advice from 17th century English Reformer, Thomas Manton :
- If you cannot say “ Father” to God, plead on your fatherless condition - “in mercy the fatherless find mercy” (Hosea 14:3)
- Like the prodigal son, come to the Father confessing your unworthiness.
- If you cannot call him Father with directness, do it with desire. Let us pray ourselves into this relationship.
- Make use of Christ. If you cannot come to God as your Father, come to him as the father of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Let Christ bring you into his presence.
Jesus Christ extends his offer of forgiveness, truth and eternal life to you. Submit yourself, your life, your heart to him, THE WAY, THE LIFE and THE TRUTH!
Yours in the Strong Name of Jesus Christ,