Summary: to seize the day, we must Be Prayerful (follow God’s example!) Be Holy Be Wise Be Witnesses Be Thankful/musical
“The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible.” George Burns
Read Ephesians 5
Today we’ll focus on verses 15-
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
The last line in a poem by Horace says
carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.
seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the next day
This phrase has become a part of popular culture.
Robin Williams’ character in Dead Poets Society famously exhorted his students “seize the day, boys, Make your life extraordinary”.
It seems Paul is giving this same exhortation-make the most of every opportunity-seize the day.
But how do we seize the day? How do we make our lives extraordinary?
Is it possible to live an extraordinary and spiritual life in a world that is so corrupt?
If it is possible, How?
This seems like a worth-while topic as we begin our new year, the second Sunday of the year
This isn’t the only passage in which Paul exhorts us to seize the day, to make the most of every opportunity. He says the same thing in a similar context in his letter to the Colossians (we’ll read that in a moment).
I’d suggest from these exhortations to seize the day there are at least 5 lessons Paul gives us-five means by which we become people who’s lives are extraordinary-five “Be-Attitudes”:
Be Prayerful (follow God’s example!)
Colossians 4 2Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
The Disciples’ Cross- by Avery Willis – seems to emphasize these principles:
Everything begins with Prayer
John 15:7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
Abide in Christ
John 15:15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
John 15:8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 8:31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
The Hymnist said
What a Friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer
O what peace we often forfeit,
O, what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer
So, we must be Prayerful. We also must be Holy.
Ravi Zacharias gave a message on the subject “is it possible to walk close with God & live a completely satisfied life?”
He said when he was young, growing up in India, that pornography was simply not an issue. He was never exposed to it as a child, and it never became an entanglement for him.
But India has changed. There may not be pornography staring at you from magazine stands on every street corner as it is in Europe, but it is freely available on the net, and many have been snared in that net. Ravi went on to say, what happens when a young boy 12 or 13 years old is exposed to that kind of stuff, and his mind is set in a direction. He begins to seek after satisfaction that no living human being can provide.
“Be very careful what you begin to toy with
Because it’s very easy for it to toy with you.” Ravi Zacharias
In the letter to the Hebrews the writer said “let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith”.