Ephesians 5:15

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. 

Deuteronomy 12:32

Verse of the Day Devotion: Deuteronomy 12:32 

“Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it.” – Deuteronomy 12:32        

This is a very Important command to follow, however, this command is increasingly becoming more ignored in today’s culture.  And I am referring here to the church.  God has given in His Word what we are to do, and what we are not to do.  And it breaks my heart to see additions and subtractions from His Word that takes away from the message we as Christians are to put forth, both in the words we say and the lives we live.  I pray you look read through this devotion and understand I am simply pointing out areas in which we can improve in order to clarify our message and not being accusatory.

When I have visited various churches, there have been things that the scriptures tell us to do, but no one preaches or teaches them.  However, many things are not taught for fear of offending people.  For instance, loving our enemies and praying for those who persecute or hate us.  Yes, these are difficult things, but we must not ignore them simply because we choose not to love those who treat us badly.  God calls us to love everyone, however, if we pick and choose who we will love, then we are ignoring the verses which tells us to love everyone.  “If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.” James 2:8-9.  In the same sense, if we only fellowship with certain people and not with those who, we believe, are of a lessor class, then we again are leaving out one of His commands.  “Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.” Romans 12:16

Also, we must not add to God’s Word.  Today, we hear that homosexuality is an approved practice within the church because He made some people that way.  And because of this, we are not to call it a sin.  And we see the same thing regarding abortion.  I have even heard it said that abortion should be a right in the church.  We must not fall for this because this is adding to God’s word by including them in what God approves.

I want to encourage us all to ensure we do not take anything away from His Word, such as acts of love pointed out above, or to add things to His Word, such as making sinful acts acceptable.  This is so important, and when I see where our church is regarding these things, as I stated above, it breaks my heart. People are being taught that there are certain things in His Word that do not apply today because we live in a different time than when the scriptures were written.  And thus, we are approving of sin and in some ways encouraging its practice.  It is important that we read and study His Word and sit under solid bible teachers who will ‘rightly divide the word of truth.’ 2 Timothy 2:15.  People need to hear the whole truth.  And God has provided it to us.  We just need to teach it properly and accept it fully.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.