Summary: The Challanges that lay ahead for the believer who wants to reform his mind.

Get Smart

Ephesians 5:13-20

Great Expectations

Matthew Sullivan

Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” We have been looking at the expectations that the Lord has for us as individuals and as a Church. We have learned we need to Grow up, Be Distinctive, to Keep Pure, and today we find that we need to Get Smart.

The way we do that is by changing our mind. Romans 12 tells us this:

Also, we need to understand that our wisdom, when compared to God’s, is stupid. That’s why we have to pray for God to help us. James 1: “IF any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”

In the text for today, we will find four different challenges that are given to the believer if we want to Get Smart, if we want to grow in wisdom.

The first challenge is that we…

Be Perceptive

Ephesians 5:13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.”

Wisdom helps our perception. That is why Paul used the analogy of light. Light allows us to see clearly. Light clears up what we are looking at.

Paul uses the analogy of light. “13But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14for it is light that makes everything visible.” Light allows us to see clearly. Light allows us to be perceptive. It helps us to understand what we are looking at.

If you were to walk into an operating room in a hospital, you would find huge, powerful lights on the ceiling that help the surgeons see the tiny tissues as clearly as possible.

Have you ever thought about how different the events are that take place in during daylight are from events that take place in the dark? You will never walk into a bar and see lights like an operating room has. You will never find drug deals taking place under the lights of a stadium. They usually take place in a dark alley. Darkness hides while light illuminates.

When did Judas betray Jesus? In Luke 22:52 – 53 Jesus said, “Am I leading a rebellion that you have come with swords and clubs? Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns.” Judas and the other leaders did something in the dark that they would never do in the daylight.

Darkness hides while light illuminates. We need to be perceptive and live in the light. Jesus taught that He was the light of the world. Then Jesus also called His followers to be the light of the world. Therefore, we must reflect Jesus’ standard to the world.

We must be perceptive to know the Lord’s will, to live in the light, and then reflect that light to others. If the church does not reflect the light, then the world will be in the dark! Maybe that explains some of the decline our culture is experiencing.

George Barna is a Christian pollster. He took a survey in which he found only 44% of people who claimed to be Christians believe in absolute truth. The survey also showed that only 9% of teens who claimed to be Christians believe in absolute truth. We have a culture that believes there is no absolute truth. Jesus said, “I am the truth…” If Christians do not reflect the light of Christ to the world, the world will continue to become a darker place.

That’s why it is so important that we be perceptive.

Our second challenge is found in verses 14 – 15. Paul writes, “This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” 15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”

Our second challenge is to…

Be Awake

Have you ever told someone who was missing the obvious to wake up?

Most everyone agrees that we are living at a turning point in history.

The world today very different from the world even one generation ago.

If you’re 35 years old, you’re living in a different world from what you grew up in.

In the U.S. from 1960 to 1991, while the population was increasing by 41%, violent crime increased 500%. From 1965 to 1990, the number of cases of juvenile violence each year tripled. In 1972 12.9% of all pregnancies in the US were aborted. In 1996 31% of all pregnancies were aborted.

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