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Summary: Through God’s Word the Holy Spirit fills us with a thankfulness that seeks to use our time wisely, as he brings God’s truth deep into our hearts through music. Parts: A. Wisely redeeming your time. B. Singing spiritual words to your Lord with your heart.

Text: Ephesians 5:15-20

Theme: Be Filled with Spirit-worked Thanksgiving in Jesus

A. Wisely redeeming your time

B. Singing spiritual words to your Lord with your heart.

Season: Pentecost 13b

Date: August 30, 2009

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Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Word from God through which the Holy Spirit brings us to live for Jesus is Ephesians 5

"Therefore, watch how carefully you walk [through life] -- not as unwise people but as wise, redeeming the time, for the days are evil. Because of this don’t be ignorant, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And don’t become drunk with wine, which wastes you away, but be filled in the Spirit, speaking among yourselves with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, always giving thanks to God, the Father, for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Ephesians 5:15-20)

Dear friends in Christ, fellow saints washed clean in the blood of our risen Savior:

Uncle Billy had drunk too much at Harry and Ruth’s engagement party. He staggers out of the Bailey house, planning to head home. Good thing George was there to point him in the right direction.

So often we see drunkenness portrayed as comic relief. And maybe you have stories of college days or the local drunk at the bar or what happened at a wedding dance or Christmas party. But drunkenness is nothing to laugh at. It wastes you away. It dissipates your health -- physically, emotionally, and spiritually. How many fatalities come from drunk driving? How many livers have been lost to liquor? How many homes and families torn apart, emotionally abandoned or even physically abused? How many sins committed and opportunities to do good lost because the drinker was no longer thinking clearly? How much self-inflicted spiritual harm! Remember the drunkenness of Noah after the Flood and the shame and harm that brought.

Instead, dear friends, how much better to be filled with the Holy Spirit! "Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18 NIV), the Apostle Paul writes. Be filled with the Spirit. For the Spirit points you to Jesus Christ. He works in you true thanksgiving. Be filled with Spirit-worked thanksgiving in Jesus. That’s the theme to take to heart. Be filled with Spirit-worked thanksgiving in Jesus, wisely redeeming your time (part one) and singing spiritual words to your Lord with your heart (part two).

A. Wisely redeeming your time

1. Why is using our time wisely so important?

For you see, when we live Spirit-filled lives giving thanks to God in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, we grow wiser in using our time. The Apostle writes, "Be very careful, then, how you live -- not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:15, 16 NIV). The Holy Spirit leads us to redeem our time wisely with an attitude of thanks centered in Jesus.

How precious time is! Consider the stock market. Compared to a year ago stocks are down 10% to 20%. But there’s a good chance that a year or two from now they will have made up much of that ground (though past performance doesn’t promise future profits). Money comes and goes and comes back again. But those 365 days from a year ago, you will never get back. Time goes but it doesn’t come back.

How important to redeem our time wisely, for (as Paul says) the days are evil! If we just go with the flow of our age and its priorities our minutes and day will be stolen bit by bit, for we live in an evil age. The world’s glitz fools us into spending our time amassing stuff, time making a name for ourselves, time getting ahead in life, time making money, time for entertainment and sports, time for our leisures and pleasures, me-time, time trying to escape life’s problems and lose ourselves in the moment. On a lot of these things it may be fine to spend a little time. But the world monopolizes our time. It pushes it’s agenda and priorities first, robbing us of our time.

Redeem your time, dear friends. You can’t buy back the moments past, but you can redeem the time yet to come. The world wants to rob you of that as well, to keep you on its schedule. It makes us feel we need to spend our time on its priorities or we’ll fall behind and miss out on happiness. It makes us feel as if we’re paying a great price to redeem our time. But, dear friends, the biggest lose comes when you fail to wisely redeem the time and instead keep following the world priorities.

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