Summary: You can't help but be filled with something. Be filled with the Spirit of God.

March 18, 2018 Sermon - Be Wise and Filled with the Spirit - Ephesians 5:15-20

You have got to be filled with something.

Aristotle, an ancient thinker, said “Nature abhors a vacuum.” He based that on noticing that nature requires every space to be filled with something, even if that something is colorless, odorless air. (See Meme at doc end). You’ve gotta be filled with something.

Our cats are super happy to sleep 20 hours a day. To be fed, to be petted, played with on occasion, to have their litter box changed. That’s all they need to be happy. To be filled.

But humans, we’re different. We crave stimulation, in order to feel fully alive - whether it’s physical, mental, emotional, social, or spiritual.

And if we feel under-stimulated, we'll generally complain of being bored, antsy, anxious, irritable, lonely, or even depressed.

So, You’ve gotta be filled with something. Question is, what’ll you be filled with?

Today’s passage give us some insights about this:

“Be very careful, then, how you live —not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”.

Paul gives us 3 contrasting ways of being and then he gives us a cure for depression

He says:

· Don’t be unwise but wise - make much of all opportunities

· Don’t be foolish but understand God’s will

· Don’t be drunk on wine but be filled with the spirit

Don’t be unwise but wise, making the most of every opportunity (Stewardship)

Every Pastor wants the members of the church he leads to live a life that makes God smile. To find healing, to live well, to be content on the one hand, but also to want to make a difference in the world because of the gospel

I want for you what I want for me: I want you to live a life that brings glory to God. There is, in fact, no better way to live your life than to be focussed on making God smile, on bringing glory to His Name.

And to do that we need wisdom. We need wisdom from God. In fact, Scripture says:

Don’t be unwise but wise, making the most of every opportunity (Stewardship)

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

11 For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life.

12 If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer. Proverbs 9:10-12

So real wisdom is wisdom that comes from God and that makes a difference in our lives.

If you want to be wise, you will fear God. That includes respecting God, having genuine reverence for God and it includes fidelity to God.

We seek to align our lives with His will as He has revealed to us in the Bible.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Now, I love the water. Sunsets by a lake are among the most beautiful things I've experienced.

I’ve been a pretty good swimmer since I was tossed into the lake at age three by my grandmother and left to sink or swim.

Not quite that bad, but she was old school and I guess she figured she could teach me both fear of water and mastery of water at the same time. Apparently it worked because I’m here to tell the story.

I learned how to swim, but I didn’t learn to fear the water until about 15 years ago when Barb and I were at the Pinery Provincial Park with the kids.

I decided one bright, sunny afternoon to swim out to the only buoy that I could see after seeing someone else do the same thing. I figure, hey, if he can do it so can I.

So I started to swim out to the buoy that was maybe 25 metres out from the shore. About half way there I started to feel the undertow.

There was water coming in to the shore and water leaving the shore at the same time.

About 3/4’s of the way there I started to feel tired, but I was proud and wanted to accomplish this ‘little feat’, so I kept going. When I reached the buoy I was pretty tired. I started to get nervous about swimming back.

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