This post contains the content of a pamphlet, which includes a photograph relevant to the passage, I distribute. I hope you find this post encouraging. If you would like some copies, please email me.
The decision a person makes in the face of the many twists and turns in life can have profound consequences.
GOD’S GUIDANCE ACCORDING TO EPHESIANS 5:15-17
God provides decision-making guidance in Ephesians 5:15–17 (NLT):
15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.
The Apostle Paul wrote this passage to believers – saved people.
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul told his audience not to be a fool but to live like a wise people. He defined a fool as someone who acted “thoughtlessly,” which is the NLT translation of the Greek adjective aphrōn. Aphrōn means to act in a way that lacks prudence or good judgment, especially in practical matters. Of course, sometimes a person can make errors in judgment, but hopefully, that doesn’t define their lifestyle.
Paul contrasted living like a fool with wise living. How does a person live like a wise person? They “understand what the Lord wants” them to do. “Understand” is the NLT translation of the Greek verb syniēmi, which means to employ one’s capacity for understanding, and, thus, to arrive at insight. To arrive at insight about what God wants a person to do they must engage the Bible and do with their “thinking cap” on.
DEVELOPING THE HABIT OF DAILY BIBLE ENGAGEMENT
A believer must develop the daily habit of Bible engagement. How can this be done? Here are a few tips.
First, you must commit to developing the daily habit of Bible engagement. You’ve got to make Bible engagement a priority. The devil will try to distract you with all kinds of things. Commit!
Second, your commitment must be realistic in light of your situation. Every person’s situation is different in the details. There must be a reasonable chance you will accomplish your commitment.
Third, you must pick a time and place for your Bible engagement that is conducive to your success. Usually, the time and place are when it is quiet and immune from interruptions. Make sure you have all the necessary pens, pencils, markers, notebooks, etc., available.
Fourth, you should choose a Bible translation that is easy to read. Many more contemporary translations are easier to read than an old King James Version.
Fifth, if you fall behind, decide to keep on moving forward. Don’t become discouraged.
Sixth, if you fall woefully behind, just begin again. There is nothing wrong with starting over. That is better than just quitting.
While Bible reading is good for everyone, the above tips are directed more to a saved person – one who repented of their sins and trusted alone in what Jesus did for them on the cross.
IF YOU ARE NOT SAVED
If you are not saved, please skip to the back page. Then, please (1) read through “God’s Plan of Salvation” so you can understand what God did for you through His only unique Son, Jesus Christ, and (2), from the bottom of your heart, pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” meaning every word. If you do, you will be reconciled to God – saved – through Jesus Christ.
Upon your salvation, you must engage in daily Bible reading. Put into place the above suggestions. For a new believer, the Gospel of John is a good place to start.
Also, you must find a spiritually solid Bible-believing church that (1) teaches that the sixty-six books of the Bible are the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God, and (2) believes in the doctrine of the Trinity, which means that there is one God who eternally exists as three distinct Persons — the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and each Person is fully God, and (3) teaches that salvation is by grace through faith and not by works (e.g., water baptism by immersion).
Please do not make the mistake of thinking that once you become a Christian, your life will become easy. Most likely, it will become more difficult. God’s blessing of salvation and life’s difficulties are not mutually exclusive. Jesus told His disciples, “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.” John 15:18. Always keep in mind that you have an eternal home in heaven waiting for you per John 14:2–4 (NLT):
2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”
I hope this article helped develop or improve your Bible engagement.
For more information, especially about locating a solid Bible-believing church, please contact Steve Belsheim at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Devotional No. 6 Rev 1.0)
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
God’s Plan of Salvation
In the beginning, God, who is holy, created the entire universe. As a part of His creative actions, He made humans in His image to know Him. For a while, everything was right between God and our ancestors, Adam and Eve. But Adam sinned, and his sin was passed down to all of humankind whereby we became separated from God. Nothing we could do on our own could bridge that separation so that without God’s intervention, hell would be our eternal destination.
Fortunately for us, in His great love and mercy God provided humankind with the only means of salvation, which is through Jesus Christ who is God’s only unique Son. While retaining His deity, God the Son became a man in Jesus, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross, thus fulfilling the law Himself and taking on Himself the punishment for the sins of all those who would ever repent and trust in Him for their salvation. Jesus rose from the dead, showing that God the Father accepted Christ’s sacrifice and that God’s wrath against us has been exhausted. He now calls us to repent of our sins and trust alone in what Christ did to save us.
If we repent of our sins and completely trust in Christ alone that He died for our sins and rose to life from the dead, we are born again into a new life, an eternal life with God.
Scripture References: Genesis 1:1, 27, 31; Habakkuk 1:13; Genesis 2:7, 18, 21-25; Genesis 3:1-7, 23-24; Isaiah 59:2; Romans 3:19-20, 23; 5:17-19; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 6:23; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 1 John 4:10; John 3:16-18; Mark 1:15; Romans 1:4; 4:25; John 3:5-8; 1 Peter 1:3.
Lord, Jesus Christ, the only unique Son of God, thank You for Your free gift of eternal life. I know I’m a sinner who cannot save myself no matter what I do, and I deserve to spend eternity in hell. But, I know that because You loved me so much, You voluntarily died on the cross for me taking my sins upon Yourself, and You physically bodily rose from the grave showing that Your sacrificial death was sufficient payment to give me eternal life in Heaven. I now repent of my sins and trust alone in what You did for my eternal salvation. Please take control of my life as I now receive You as my Lord and Savior. Thank You so much for saving me. I am now Yours forever! (Scripture references: John 1:1-4, 11-14; John 3:16; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:21-26; Isaiah 53:4-6; Mark 1:15; Acts 16:31; Acts 4:12; Romans 10:9-10, 13; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; John 10:27-29).