As we live in the world we are reminded that this is not our home. We are children of light in a dark world (Eph. 5:8).
What does the Bible teach us concerning the world?
- It is fallen and with fallen people; far from God; and full of evil.
- It has values/ways of this world are opposed to the kingdom values.
- We are in this world but not of this world (Jn. 17:14-16).
- Satan is the prince of this the rule of this world (Jn. 12:31; Eph. 2:2)
- Its structures are against godly values
- The world is passing away
- It not the ideal place…
- The truth is, we can influence the world or still it can influence us….
In this world, people have become:
- Disobedient; drifting from truth
- Lovers of themselves and pleasure, and not lovers of God
- Immoral- degeneration of morality; empty
- Biblically illiterate
- Materialistic- pursuing money as the ultimate goal
- Selfish and do not think of others or God
As a matter of fact, it is very easy to live, talk, and think according to the patterns of the world or according to the ways of the people who are of the world are; especially if we often interact with them more than God’s Word.
So how can we live in such a world as and remain Christ followers? In other words, how can we shine our light in a dark world? How can we live godly lives in the present evil age?
Paul in his letter to Ephesians 5:15—20 and Titus 2:1–14, helps us to practically address this question:
- Be Careful How You Live (v.15)–
By being wise, watchful, discerning/cautious to avoid danger.
Watchful of our belief and conduct. Christians should be wise people.
Being cautious that the waters we are swimming have crocodiles, the path we are walking have mines and thorns.
Be careful not to lean of your own understanding- Prov. 3:5
Be careful if we think we are firmly standing, 1 Cor. 10:12.
Once again, be careful not to fall into the deception of the enemy…
Living not as unwise but as wise– Bible exhorts us to be wise. Wisdom can be attained through asking (Jas. 1:5); through read and applying God’s word (2 Tim 3:14,15).
The word of God is able to guide you, build you up, make you wise, make you grow, cleanse you and shape your character and attitudes. At its base, wisdom is the fear of God (Prov. 9:10).
Be wise about what is good and innocent about what is evil (Rom 16:19).
Be watchful and wise about the company you keep (2 Cor 6:17).
- Making the Most of Every Opportunity (V.16)–
Time and chance happens to all (Eccl 9:11)
Opportunities are seized. Grab every opportunity to grow, know Christ.
Make use of time and opportunities to be a blessing, to touch lives, to participate in big things, to serve God, to improve your present situation….
Why? Life is short (Ps. 90:12); and the days are evil (present times are full of temptations, evil people).
Be like the men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do (1 Chron. 12:32).
- Understand the Lord’s Will (V.17)–
God created us for a special purpose; but we need to discover/seek to understand and APPLY that purpose for our OWN lives.
The will of God is revealed in His Word. It is the will of God that you should be sober, holy, and steadfast.
It is the will of God that you submit to the Lordship of Christ. It is the will of God that you should be committed in the church. We seek to know and accomplish what pleases Him.
It has never been easy thing to be a true Christian in any generation…
What does God want you to be if you live to be 80?
- Be Filled With the Holy Spirit (V.18)– Have the God-influence over your life, by allowing God’s Spirit to indwell, control, and transform you. “Drunk” with the Spirit.
The Spirit of God enables us to receive strength, overcome evil forces of the enemy (Ep 6:10-18;) overcome sin (Rom 8:13). Overcome flesh (Gal. 5:16, overcome the word (1 Jn. 5:4).
When you are filled with the Holy Spirit the fruit of the spirit will be manifest.
- Be Joyful and be Thankful (V.19-20)–
One of the characteristic of people of the world is that they are both ungrateful and have no true joy.
Encourage one another; speaking to each other, enjoying the fellowship of one another and praising God.
Be thankful to God for all things or all persons- including your family, situations… Acknowledge God, the one who has graciously gifted you with unmerited favors. A grateful and joyful heart makes a lot of difference.