Summary: It is always wise to walk in God's ways. We have a choice in how we will walk. With the aid of the Holy Spirit we walk in harmony with and understanding of God.
1. The Septic Tank Service
A older preacher said: When I was a young minister, a funeral director asked me to hold a grave side service for a homeless man with no family or friends. The funeral was to be at a cemetery way out in the country. This was a new cemetery and this man was the first to be laid to rest there. I was not familiar with the area and became lost. Being a typical man, of course, I did not ask for directions. I finally found the cemetery about an hour late. The back hoe was there and the crew was eating their lunch. The hearse was nowhere to be seen. I apologized to the workers for being late. As I looked into the open grave, I saw the vault lid already in place. I told the workers I would not keep them long, but that this was the proper thing to do. The workers, still eating their lunch, gathered around the opening. I was young and enthusiastic and poured out my heart and soul as I preached. The workers joined in with, "Praise the Lord," "Amen," and "Glory!" I got so into the service that I preached and preached and preached, from Genesis to The Revelation. When the service was over, I said a prayer and walked to my car. As I opened the door, I heard one of the workers say, "I never saw anything like that before and I've been putting in septic systems for twenty years." Everyone needs wisdom for life, both young and old preachers included. Wisdom will help us keep from making certain mistakes in life and especially, if we receive the wisdom that is from above.
2. There is no question that we need God’s wisdom to direct our steps
3. We have a choice in how we walk before God
4. Ephesians 5.15-20
I. We Can Be Wise or Unwise (5.15-16)
A. It is ALWAYS Wise to Imitate God (5.1-2)
General Grant was to be entertained at a banquet in the city of Houston, Texas. All that money could do to make the affair a success was done. The most notable men in the Lone Star State were present. After all were seated, the headwaiter approached the place where Grant was seated and was about to pour out the first glass of wine for the guest of the occasion. Quietly Grant reached forward and turned his glass down. With the true spirit of Southern chivalry, every Texan present, in the same quiet manner, reached forward and turned his glass down, and for once in the history of banqueting in the Southwest a famous dinner was served without a drop of alcoholic liquor being drunk. EVERYONE PRESENT IMITATED GENERAL GRANT.
1. Walk in LOVE
a. Not a mushy, emotional feeling – action
b. Sometimes God acts with “tough love” –
Money-Changers; Rain and Sun; Rebuking Disciples
To discipline – he gives what we want – Idolatry and Babylon; US without God
2. Walk with a Sacrificial Spirit
a. The new commandment – John 13.35 – Love as I love
b. Easy to love those who love you, but what about those who don’t? Sacrifice
c. Washing feet; Greater love;
3. Walk as a Fragrant Offering
a. Seen at the tomb – 39 Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. 40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. John 19.39-40
b. An Example – For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 2 Timothy 4.6
There was a factory in northern France where lavender for use in perfumes was produced. Each evening as the workers would head for home and walk the streets the little town, the whole village would be filled with the sweet aroma of lavender that had clung to the workers.
Heroes, in Paul’s day, were usually great generals, leaders of mighty armies, and conquerors of nations. That is why we know who Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great were. These men whose fame and fortune came from desolated cities and enslaved people—were allowed what was called a “triumph.” A triumphal procession was arranged in their honor and this was the event for any Roman general. The general was received at the city gate by the nobles and wealthy of the city and was led through the streets of the city. The streets were crowded with shouting people and adoring fans.
The parade was in a very specific order. First, the older Roman Senators would walk and simply by their presence you knew what was coming was important. Then, other leading men of the city would follow behind them—leading merchants, government officials, and other politicians. Then, then came the trumpeters ringing out the huge sound above the crowds. They were announcing the real beginning of the celebration. Following the trumpeters, were carriages and wagons full of the spoils of war. The most beautiful and rare items were out on display for all to see. Look what this general has done! On a flat wagon, there might be a model of a fort or city that had been conquered. Then in cages, animals of the region would be on display. Gold and silver statues or perhaps articles dedicated to these defeated people’s gods.