Summary: This message expounds upon the important traits or characteristics of a Christian as outlined by Paul to the Ephesians.
Text: “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise” (v. 15).
I wonder how many people ever think along these lines.
Many people take life for granted and do what other people do. They never stop to consider how to live.
Children are influenced by their parents. If the parents are loving, understanding, do things for each other and exhibit role models like Beaver and Wally’s parents, there is a very good chance the children will follow their parent’s example and follow in their footsteps.
On the other hand, if the parents are always arguing, fighting, calling each other names and ignoring the wishes of the other, then the children will probably think that this is the way life is suppose to be.
Furthermore, if children are brought up in a broken home, there is a good chance they will think this is normal. In some families children are from different fathers. We had one family in our neighborhood that consisted of 4 children from three different fathers. Is there any wonder why our children are confused as to what is right and what is wrong? Society or the world has a tendency to accept these as normal, but I believe this is not the way God intended families to be.
I am convinced that we teach by example. If we do not want our children to drink, then we as parents do not drink. If we do not want our children to smoke, then we as parents do not smoke. If we don’t want our children to do drugs, then we don’t do drugs.
In our Scripture Reading, Paul specifies a number of things that project an image to others concerning our relationship with our God.
These important traits or characteristics are:
1. How you live or walk through life
2. How you use the valuable asset of time
3. Your understanding of God’s will – serious or foolish
4. Your use of alcohol to produce a high
5. Your relationship with the Holy Spirit
6. Your ability to praise
7. Your thankfulness
Let’s take a look at these items.
Paul tells the Ephesians to be careful how they live. In other words, watch how they walk the Christian life.
Would you say that the Christian lifestyle is different from Jewish lifestyle, the Moslem lifestyle, the Quaker lifestyle, the Mormon lifestyle and the Jehovah’s Witness lifestyle?
Paul understood that the Christian lifestyle was different that other lifestyles. The first Christians came from a number of religious groups. Many of they people were Jewish, Roman, Greek, and some had no known religion.
Paul preached and taught Christianity as he journeyed from one place to another. He was a missionary and he invited many people to accept Christ and become Christians. Paul realized that people were accustomed to doing things a certain way, believing what they had been taught, and reluctant to changing their standards.
The same applies today. When we witness to someone of a non-Christian faith, we must understand they will not be thinking like we are thinking. They have a certain lifestyle, a certain way of thinking, and rules and regulations they have been taught.
Our life must exhibit or project the Christian lifestyle if we are to convince others that Jesus Christ is the “Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
Story: “The Best Way”
Not long ago, a Hindu woman was converted, chiefly by hearing the word of God read. She suffered very much persecution from her husband. One day a missionary asked her, “When your husband is angry and persecutes you, what do you do?”
She replied: “Well, sir, I cook his food better; when he complains, I sweep the floor cleaner; and when he speaks unkindly, I answer him mildly. I try, sir, to show him that when I became a Christian I became a better wife and a better mother.”
The consequence of this was that, while the husband could withstand all the preaching of the missionary, he could not stand the practical preaching of his wife, and gave his heart to God with her. (Evangelical Visitor)
The best way to witness is to walk the talk.
I heard this little poem one time. It goes like this:
“We are living a Gospel
A chapter each day,
By deed that we do,
By word that we say;
Men read what we live,
Whether faithless or true,
Say, what is the Gospel
According to you?”
If we follow in the footsteps of our Lord and Savior others will see that we practice what we preach or we walk the talk.
It is the responsibility of every Christian to spread the Good News that Jesus is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
Paul went on to tell the Ephesians that time is very important. All of us have been allotted a certain amount of time, but we don’t know how much. The only time we know we have is the present time. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow has not come. We can’t relive yesterday and we don’t know if tomorrow will come. The time we have is at hand and that time is today.