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January 28, 2022 3:00 am
Anytime were faced with choices, it's tempting to go with whatever is easiest attractive war reasonable, but that's not always the wisest decision today on Truth for Life will find out why here's Alastair back with part two of a message titled walking in wisdom were in Ephesians chapter 5 the person who is wise is paying attention to God's word. He is heeding God's word. She is focused on God's word and she is making decisions in the now, in relationship to that then one of the unwise ways to go through life are one of the indications of the five that I am not wise is where I am constantly focused on the now it's all about now. This is a great mantra of our age. You watch golf tournaments. He always say the same thing. While just concentrating on the now is just this moment. And that's it makes perfect sense. Only insofar as it is within the framework of those four or five hours but the now of existentialism. If you like has to be said, within the framework of eternity that God has said, eternity in the hearts of a man so that a man inside knows there is more than this, so that it is foolishness to say all that matters is now an consequences. Forget there's no consequences. It doesn't matter know you see the Bible introduces the then two eyes, so that we can make sense of the now and without the there is actually no particular sense in the now. Jesus did the same thing.
The man says.
I highly tells a story of a man who had a very good business going highly successful and as a result of that he had resources he said to himself with my resources. I think I can do a little bit more work. Nothing wrong with that at all.
There's no condemnation that in the parable, where is the issue alive. Jesus said and God said to him, check the text. God said to him, full tonight. Your soul will be required of you and who will then get all that you have acquired for yourself.
In other words, he said, when you take the now and you said it in the context of their changes.
Your mentality and the wise person recognizes a some time ago Sonny sent me a book written by a lady I've forgotten who was but it was essentially helping one to navigate through life and the suggestion was, it was cold as it was called 10 1010 and and she said in the book when you're about to make a decision, ask yourself, what will the implications be in 10 minutes, 10 months and 10 years.
The fool says, who cares, I like your words 110 seconds all I care about is right now. Look carefully how you will not as unwise but as wise, the people of me the greatest impact in the world. Other people have lived there now in relationship to that date. For example, Marie McShane dies at 29 is a Presbyterian minister in Edinburgh. What was it that Mark McShane out it was the fact that eternity impinged upon them to such a degree that it radically affected the way in which he spent his time and preach the sermons and everything else and so it's no surprise that he's the one who wrote the poison which became the him when this passing world is done when has sunk you on the glaring sun when we stand with Christ in glory looking or life's finish story. Then Lord shall I fully know not to then how much I/O so this wisdom you see is not merely knowledge is not a possession of facts is not SATs is not postgraduate qualifications. It is possible to be have all of that and not be wise so wonderful thing if you have that and you are wise, but if you had to choose to go for simplified wisdom rather than complicated absence of wisdom know the wisdom is the ability to process knowledge in light of the truth of God's word and then to be able to apply that knowledge to the practicalities of life. So it is a God-given was because by nature. We look at things upside down inside out. It's only when the light shines in that we see where dark. It's only when the light shines on the word that we sale what at this that does make sense. Until then, we walk in darkness. Note he was on then to say one of the ways in which this book that will be revealed is in the matter of tying look carefully how you walk and then making the best use of time. How will we know that somebody is a wise person. While the use of time will be one of the indications now time, of course, in itself is a challenge is for philosophers and scientists have been wrestling with the question of time for all of time and that sort of high-level contemplation eventually filters down to the man on the street like me and usually in contemporary music and so for example if you're familiar with the song by James Taylor called the secret of life.
It begins the secret of life is enjoying the passage of time. Any fool can do it.
Nothing to nobody knows how we got to the top of the hill, but since were on our way down we might as well enjoy the right of the thing about time is the time isn't really real is just your point of view. How does it feel for you.
Einstein said he could never understand it, a tall planet spinning through space. The smile on your face.
Welcome to the human race.
Some kind of lovely right I'll be sliding down I'll be gliding down. Try not to try too hard is just a lovely right sliding down, gliding, we want to do with that. Does that does that lift your spirits fuel your zeal say I want to seize every opportunity that is mine now you see this man's kind of assessment of things and it is takes the word of God to assess things as they really are in the making of the use of our time is in the context of days that are evil things that are evil. There's another one. Louis Armstrong says is so wonderful world and it is in many ways one of mass mass.
Okay, how can you say how can you say this place is wonderful how how long are we. How long are we supposed to keep working at this and get it so unbelievably wrong. We can't live with one another has been scanned live with wise parents with children races with one another country states was going on 12 courses to do with this with the end of course with the next day. The problem with the next while. By the idea that the days in which we live are evil. However, the fact that Ross do that in the New York Times actually was brave enough to say I know nothing about Ross but I was intrigued to see that after all the hoopla about the death of Mr. so-and-so from the Playboy mansion he had the guts to write a piece in the New York Times entitled an honest obituary for a wicked American write an honest obituary for a wicked American I can believe that he managed to get the adjective it really come up with that. On what basis is he wicked only on the basis of the beer moral standard of rectitude. Where is the basis of the moral standard in God because God made it known in his word summarized in the 10 Commandments worked out throughout the whole of life, thereby able to say this is good and this is by the DAs say. He says to the Ephesians are evil days. That's why he's going to go on in chapter 6, and point out the real issue that is involved is not against physical things, but is against spiritual wickedness in the heavenly places.
Just last night as I was thinking about going to sleep.
I was reading that the London Times for today because by that time it was already today in London and I should've done it because he just call me more ticked off before I went to sleep that is harder to sleep, but particularly when I went to the Scotland section and there in the Scotland section some well-meaning politician was explaining why Scotland is in the forefront basically of turning everything that the Bible has to say about marriage, about family, about child rearing and saw and in the course of the article. The fellow says, and of course we have wonderful precedent for this because 52 other countries in the world have already done this, and we are happy to join them, and indeed to lead the way. I said, can it be, can it be that the land of John Knox is producing this kind of stuff. Can it be that Scotland has been known as the land of the book can have people now are declaring these things with such forcefulness. How does this happen will be incidents in Genesis chapter 3 where we have the pro to and jelly on. He will bruise your heel and he will crush his head in other words, the great dilemma of the world is because of the darkness that exists into which the light comes in the darkness cannot ultimately extinguish it. But whether you are in Ephesus or whether you're in Cleveland. Paul is saying you going to have to make the most of your time in a context that is dark and is evil or does it mean to make the most of your time. Given that the heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked. What is it mean what is it mean to redeem the time, how do buyback time. Time may be money but money can buy time. Time is our greatest commodity, not money, we can we can add we can stretch it in any way. That's what Jesus said in the sermon on the Mount. He says to his disciples, why why are you anxious about these things. He said which of you could actually add a single hour to your span of life answers, nobody nobody could so how in the world are we to do what he says to make the best use of the time. How do you make the best use of the time.
What is the price that it needs to be paid in order to do that. The answer is self-discipline. Self-discipline to glorify God.
Deciding that everything I am and everything I have is ultimately to be sent in that direction so that all of my time not not like Sunday time religious time and then secular time, but all of time, and time is the creation of God. Don't forget has been given to us and although my glorify God. Remember this article having this advertisement in an old old newspaper under the Lawson phone: said lost yesterday. Somewhere between sunrise and sunset two golden hours each said with 60 diamond minutes. No reward offered for they are gone forever. Wisdom will be displayed in our understanding of time set again within the context of eternity, and in the way in which we take the opportunities which time affords to live to the glory of God. So he comes back almost full circle in verse 70 back to the negative again therefore do not be foolish.
Do not be foolish. Why do you have to say. Do not be foolish, you written to these people there believers in Jesus, the following Jesus because were foolish. We are absolutely foolish. The warnings are not there is a sort of some some external concept there there to say you know you, you've got a great potential to be stupid like a simpleton in this one. You're not thinking, you're not thinking he's already said back in verse 10 try to discern what it is that pleases the Lord. He doesn't say you'll find what pleases the Lord by just like sitting and having a moment. He says you're going to have to try and discern it. How would you discern it by thinking by thinking what by thinking universal principles to be applied to individual questions in such a way that the principles that drive the thinking and ultimately the decision simpletons don't think simpletons do stuff and they are still unprepared to acknowledge that there are consequences to them Christian and hopeful the very thing in that moment. This looks like a reasonable way to go. It's easy is attractive.
Let's go well. You need to understand we need to understand that when the Bible talks about making an understanding of what the will of the Lord is is really very straightforward, because ultimately God's will for his children is to make us like Jesus. If you'd want to stand way back from the picture and say what is God doing with us what is he doing, whether that is true of every single one of us, whether you work in the bank for the work as a carpenter. Whether you're a mom query or student with your scientist are not just a ploy at a musician. Whatever it is, what is God doing what is the will of God to make you like Jesus. If you doubt that read Romans eight, he those he predestined he called to be conformed to the image of his son. So we know that all day every day he is committed to making us like his son.
That's why in Ephesians 1. He's already said that God has come in eternity. Enter time in order to make you holy in first Thessalonians for the same thing and this is the will of God for you. Even your sanctification and John looks to the day when we will see him and we will be like him know that is the big picture and that is the ultimate destination. Paul is not suggesting here that we can as as it were, finally categorically figured out all the peculiarities of our personal discoveries of the will of God. So for example, should I get married to him. Should I get a new job.
Should I retire. Should I retire on November 25 or should I retire on 10 December. Should we move to Maine should read all of those questions. I guarantee you cannot find the answer in the Bible.
It's not in their you heard it from me. Those particular things are not in the Bible not using what is it is it, what are we supposed to do all were supposed to do this, we are supposed to think that's the first thing the only foolish. Don't be daft understand what the will of the Lord is and so then I bring my personal decision-making under my careful thinking about the principles of God's word which then constrained me in relationship to these other decisions. That's the importance incidentally of knowing the Bible as the importance of actually paying attention of the Bible. That's the importance of Christian fellowship. That's the importance of wise counsel because all of these things are been given to us in order to help us with those questions because we do care about whether we getting married or not, we do care about whether retiring or not, and so on. But we can go on financial verse in their says Alastair back retire in November. Okay it's it I'm not planning on retiring in November, but maybe in December so no one eventually will be going to say is nevertheless not my will but then Rita Cusick. Here's the here's the thing that let's just finish. In this way the will of God is perfect, the will of God is perfect understand the will of God. All of the dark shadows. All of the deep pass all of the difficulties, all of the great challenges in the in the dungeon experiences of our life. Still, the will of God is perfect. As for God's way is perfect. At the end of the journey. We will be able to look back and understand. For now, we cannot really find and when I was thinking along these lines into me back again to might speak to my student days and to one of the girls who was a friend of all of us all a Welsh girl a good singer who graduated the year before she went through DZ as it was then she went to work in the in the Pentecostal mission school called the manual mission school.
I won't forget the day and I to CAD Newsweek magazine, and I looked in it and I realized that the description of the terrorist attack over the border from Mozambique into Rhodesia had been a terrorist attack on the school in which Mary was teaching that the article read along these lines 12 individuals were killed in the school on the afternoon of the 23rd, eight of them were adults, four of them were children, the youngest was only three months old. They were bayoneted today and left to lie outside the article said one girl managed after this brutality to drag herself away from this. Unfortunately, seven days later. She also died. That was Mary.
28 years old when he gathered up her belongings and send them back to her mom and dad cassette tapes for their of her singing singing because she was a children's person she was teaching the children they were teaching her Shawna and she was teaching them Jesus and as they played the material back there.
Her voice was singing in Shona to me to live is Christ to die is gain to hold his hand to walk his narrow way. There is no peace, no joy, no thrill like walking in his will to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. Jesus said I am the light of the world he that follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. Perhaps you are here today and you've never stepped out obedience and in faith and trusting in Jesus to walk the path that he is set out for us the promise of God's word is that whoever comes to you will never turn away we come to him as sinners in need of a Savior's children in need of the wisdom that he alone provides and so if you hear God's voice do not harden your heart and may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God our father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit rest upon and remain with each one who believes today and forever more listing to Truth for Life Alastair Greg encouraging us to glorify God by making the best use of our time and Alastair closed today's message with an invitation to trust Jesus. He warned us not to harden our hearts if you'd like to hear more about this invitation and this warning encourage you to visit our website and watch a helpful video presentation titled the story explains how Jesus made it possible for sinners like us to be reconciled to a holy God. It's a gift of God's grace for those who believe in Christ find out more when you visit Truth for Life.org/the story that we trust your finding this series from the book of Ephesians to be helpful. We have just a few more messages in this short series, but you can own Alistair's teaching through the entire book of Ephesians 83 messages on a convenient USB drive titled grace and peace and it's just five dollars find it on the mobile app or email@example.com/store were also in the final days of offering the book spiritual disciplines for the Christian life.
This is a book that will guide you in the wise use of your time to help you grow spiritually. If you haven't already requested your copy do so today. It's yours. When you donate to support the teaching you hear on Truth for Life's visit Truth for Life.org/donate or call 888588784 if you're not listening through the truth like mobile app today you get to download to your smart phone or tablet.
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In your app store. The app is a convenient way for you to hear this daily program. Read the daily devotional reading blog articles keep up with newly released teaching whatever you want wherever you are and you can download the app from your app store or visit Truth for Life.org/about the pain will be a great weekend and are able to worship with friends and family at your local church sure to join us again Monday will find out how Christians are able to live wisely in every circumstance Bible teaching of Alastair back is furnished by Truth for Life with the Learning is for Living