Summary: Paul calls on us to 'make the most of' or 'redeem the times." How do we accomplish this? This message offers some thoughts.

Making the Most of It

Ephesians 5:15-33

* It was my Senior Year of High School. The last year to play football. I had missed my entire Sophomore year of playing because of a broken ankle and now I found myself riding the bench for the first 2 games as a Senior. We had a truly good football coach, one that I respected, and so after the first game, I went to him asked if I was wasting my time or would get to play. He told me about the upcoming JV game that was scheduled the next week and I that would play and would have an opportunity to move up on the rotation if I played well. While I didn't care for his answer, I took his last words to heart, “Make the most of it.” That night I did and enjoyed my Senior Year immensely as a playing part of the football team.

* For me, I had to make the most of it because it was my Senior Year and at 145 pounds, I had little chance of playing college ball, so my time was short. I had to make the most of it.

* In our text the Apostle Paul has said, “Make the most of the time” or in the old KJV, “Redeem the Times.” Why are we called on to do this? Because the days are evil and time is short. We are God-creation and for many, God's Children, who have been given a short time to make an impact here on earth. The days are, as the HCSB (along with almost every other translation) says, are evil. Peterson (The Message) says, 'these are desperate times,” while another paraphrase terms it 'difficult days.'

* Since these are indeed difficult days, God's children must redeem or make the most of the time. The Greek word means “to buy up”, “to buy out,” and even to 'rescue from loss.' This is what God's children have been placed here to do. We are to be a part of the redemptive and restoration process, but how exactly is this accomplished?

* Our text begins with two words; Pay Attention. We are told to pay attention to at least 3 things (which encompasses all of our existence)

1. Pay Attention to your life. - While this may seem trite, I will submit that we have been so blessed and so wealthy for so long that there is a temptation to breeze through life without much thought to the consequences. We give little thought about the legacy and heritage which we lead. The scripture gives us 3 parts of our life which demand our attention.

a. The Excluded – If we are to make the most of or redeem our times, there are some things which God's word tells us should be excluded from our lives. Verse 18 says, “Don't get drunk with wine,” verse 17 tells us to 'Don't be foolish”, and verse 15 tells us to “Not be unwise.” Make no mistake. being drunk with alcohol is excluded for the believer. Outside of all the other reasons, it is because to be drunk with alcohol is to be controlled by the alcohol not the Holy Spirit. By the way, look at the cascade effect. For the believer to be filled with something other than the Holy Spirit is to be controlled by whatever you are filled with, such leads to foolishness & being unwise. It seems that Paul is determined to make this point to the church because he is literally reminding us of his words in Chapter 4.

b. The Essentials - Once again, I find 3 essentials for the believer just like we named with the excluded. The first essential is found in verse 18. It is first of order of priority and to be able to fulfill your purpose, it is a basic requirement. The word tells us to “be filled with the spirit of God.” Being filled with the spirit of God is about the awareness that He is with you. This is born out of personal times of prayer which includes ACTS (Adoration , confession, thanksgiving, supplication). It is impossible to walk in the spirit without spending private, personal, and transparent time with the Lord. When we do spend time with Him and are honest before Him, wonderful things happen. Let’s go back to the text and lift out this process; “be filled with the spirit (18) so that you may understand what the will of the Lord is (17) that you may was as a wise person.” We can conclude that to be wise in the sight of the Lord is to understand what God desires because of walking in the spirit. If we are going to make the most of our time by redeeming the times and making a difference in our culture, these are essential to our walk.

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