Verse of the Day Devotion: Ephesians 5:15
“Therefore, be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,” Ephesians 5:15
Paul here is telling the Church in Ephesus that they need to be careful how they walk, how they conduct themselves. The idea in the Greek is a double idea expressed in one sentence. ‘Take heed how you walk’ and ‘see that you walk circumspectly.’ The word ‘circumspect’ has the idea of looking around about on all hands, being every way watchful, wary and cautious in order to avoid any danger, discern any enemies before they affect you in any way, and ensure that everything we do is possible and legal. And the word this derives from signifies correctly, accurately, consistently and perfectly.
Going back a few verses we read, “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.” Ephesians 5:11-12. He begins here warning them not to participate in sin, but on the contrary, expose them for what they are. And the best way for us to do this is to live in the light, to live this Christian life in the open so that all may see it. As Albert Barnes put it, ‘By your life, your conversation and all your influence.’ Our lives should be a standing rebuke of a sinful world, and by living this way we should be ready to express our disapproval of wickedness in every form. And Paul continues with, “for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.” Ephesians 5:12-13. Sometimes we cannot even talk about what is going on in this world, however, our lives lived as Christ calls can speak much more than any words could express. Jesus called us the light of the world, and because we are the light, we expose the worldly ways for what they are, as sin. And we, through the life we live should communicate to those in darkness, in sin that they should change their ways. “For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:14.
Coming to our focus verse, Paul is letting the Church know that they need to be careful how they walk. To avoid the foolish ways of this world and live wisely as Christ requires. And this relates to us today. We need to be careful how we live our lives. It is essential that we do not give into the temptations that are abundantly found in this world. It can be easy at times to lose our focus and find ourselves acting as the world does. The Christian walk has two facets. The inward and the outward. Our inward walk is focuses on our relationship with Christ, and our outward on our relationship with our fellow man. And how we live our inward lives will denote how we live our outward lives. Therefore, we must always work to strengthen our relationship with Christ so that we can avert any temptations to sin and remain the light in the world we are called to be.
Therefore, we must be careful that our focus is on Christ and His ways. In doing this, we will be ready for whatever comes our way and can show this world the reality of our walk in Christ and show that life in Christ is infinitely better than the ways of this world. We need to be watchful in everything. Matthew put it this way. “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.