Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. If we want to walk in wisdom, we have to keep our purpose in sharp focus. Through Christ's work, God grants us a stewardship, a beautiful opportunity to glorify God for His great redemptive work. We can't lose sight of that purpose or of the one we serve. Keeping our eyes on our Lord Jesus and His purposes enables us to live out this life fully for His glory.
Let's listen in on this message titled, Walk in Wisdom. In today's, in our culture, when we hear the word success, the first thing our mind goes to is somebody with a lot of wealth. They have done well at their job. They've built up a lot of wealth.
They have nice stuff. And that is the definition of a successful person. We need to retrain the way we think. We need to use terminology of the scriptures. We need to define our lives by how scripture defines truth in reality.
Because you know what? Just because you have stuff doesn't make you successful. Just because you've done well at your job doesn't necessarily make you successful. You could have been very, very successful, if you will, at your vocation, but have failed in life. What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?
Having popularity doesn't make you successful. Having intelligence doesn't make you successful. It is wisdom that does. What is the wisdom that God gives? The apostle Paul calls us to this morning is to walk in wisdom. Because of the riches of his grace, we can walk in wisdom, and we're called to walk in wisdom. The first verse here, and I'm reading from the ESV here, in chapter 5 in verse 15, it says, look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise.
These verses today, I would encourage you to write in the margin of these verses. This is, this paragraph, verses 15 to 21, defines success. This paragraph defines a life well lived. It has nothing to do with intelligence. It has nothing to do with material wealth.
It has nothing to do with popularity. This paragraph defines a life well lived. It is a life of wisdom.
It is the definition of success in God's economy. And when it says look carefully then how you walk, I mean, you know, when you're walking, you're not supposed to be watching your steps, right? Walk circumspectly.
That's not a term we use every day, is it? Circumspectly. I'm walking circumspectly. People look at you like, are you feeling okay? You know, what does he mean by look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise, but wise.
Let's break that down a little bit. Look to look, that means you are self-aware. You are made in the image of God, therefore you are self-aware. And in that self-awareness, observe how you're walking and assess your walk. We're called to do that. That's what this verse is calling us to do. But it says look carefully. Carefully means accurately.
Don't be self-deceived. Be brutally honest with your walk. Look carefully how you walk, and that walk means the steps that you take, the direction of your path. And he says not as unwise, that means not foolishly. Without understanding, in darkness, the ignorance, as Paul refers to the light versus the darkness constantly, because Christ has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love. So we are in the light, and Paul says you are light. Now you were darkness, now you are light.
So we studied last time. So not in that foolishness, not in that dark prison cell of self- preeminence, the ignorance of the big picture that God has revealed to us. No, we need to walk in the light of that big picture, and that's what wisdom is. Wisdom, what does it mean to be wise? To be wise means to be skillful. It means to have understanding. It means a life lived well according to design. Wisdom, a life lived well according to design.
This is what he's calling us to. So three points that I want to make this morning, and they come from the text here and the rest of these verses, verses 16 through 21. And the first one is stewardship. To walk in wisdom, first of all, means stewardship. You understand what stewardship means?
Look at verse 16 with me. Making the best use of the time because the days are evil. We all know it as redeeming the time. Stewardship is this. Stewardship means you are entrusted with something that belongs to another to manage skillfully. Your, listen, your life is a stewardship.
Do you understand that? Your life doesn't belong to you. You didn't create yourself. You can't keep your heart beating. Your life doesn't belong to you. You have been entrusted with life. You have been entrusted with life. You have been entrusted with life. And it belongs to somebody else, but it's been entrusted to you to manage skillfully. That is this wisdom of which the apostle Paul speaks here. Not as unwise, but as wise. And so we need to understand that life is stewardship. And look what he says in verse 16. Making the best use of time because the days are evil.
I'm going to kind of start backwards. What does that mean because the days are evil? It means just simply this. We live in a world of brokenness. We live in a world of corruption. Things fall apart. Our lives, our bodies fall apart. Lives fall apart. Relationships fall apart. Minds fall apart. It is a world of brokenness. And one of the reasons why it is broken is because historically mankind thinks he knows better than God. So we are rebels.
We're born rebels. And we abuse the things of life and the things of life break. That's why there's brokenness. And within us is the broken image of God, the corruption of mind, soul, and body. That's the natural state of the human being, that broken image of God. But we don't sit back and just say, oh how terrible life is.
That's not what wisdom does. When you have the big picture, when you have the light of God's self-disclosure, which gives us the big picture, we don't just sit back and mourn the brokenness. Why does he say what he does in verse 16, making the best use of the time because the days are evil? Yes, we live in a context of brokenness, but that brokenness gives you a full opportunity. And those days of brokenness are full of opportunity to glorify God for his redemption, his reconciliation, and his promised restoration. You see the big picture there? If you don't have the big picture then you will be simply able to look at the day and the brokenness of the day without a big picture. And you will be missing context and understanding and purpose. But the brokenness of our reality is full of opportunity to glorify God for his redemption, his reconciliation, and his restoration that he has promised. How does that work?
What does it look like? Well let me give you an example of this. And this is written by John Marks. This is an account of him. John Marks is a producer of the television show 60 Minutes. John Marks, he went on a two-year quest to investigate evangelicals.
It kind of feels like it puts you under the spotlight, right? That's what we are, by the way, if you're wondering. John Marks had grown up as an evangelical but later rejected it. But the church's response to Hurricane Katrina, you remember Katrina? The church's response to Hurricane Katrina turned to the corner for him and became a key reason to believe. Making the best use of the time because the days are evil. It is a broken world and that brokenness partly exists right in here, right?
So that brokenness. So here's an example that he gives. How was the church's response to Hurricane Katrina something that turned the corner for him and gave him reason to believe?
Here's an example. One Baptist Church in Baton Rouge fed 16,000 people a day for weeks. Another housed 700 homeless evacuees. Years after the hurricane, and long after the federal assistance had dried up, a network of churches in surrounding states was still sending regular teams to help rebuild houses. Most impressively, all these church efforts crossed racial lines and barriers in the Deep South. Marks concludes, nothing spoke more eloquently to believers and to non-believers who were paying attention than the success of a population of believing volunteers measured against the massive and near total collapse of secular government efforts. The storm laid bare an unmistakable truth. The only way to reconquer America is through service. Faith no longer travels merely by word, it moves by deed.
This is in Philip Yancey's book, The Question That Never Goes Away. The days are evil, but make the best use of your time, redeeming the time. Even in this brokenness of this age, it provides us with ongoing opportunity to glorify God for his redemption, his reconciliation, and his restoration.
So make the best use of time. Every moment, every hour, every day is a trust. Every moment, every hour, every day is a trust. It has been entrusted to you.
You are a steward of that time. So manage it with understanding and skill. Where does that understanding and skill come from? It comes from God's self-disclosure.
To live well according to design and purpose. That's what we have in God's Word, in his revelation. In other words, we don't just react to the brokenness of the world, we don't just react to adversities or abundance, but we engage them.
And I am, I feel very sincerely that over the last half a century, the church has made a big mistake, and it's one reason why the church is so anemic and uninfluential in our world today, is because in the whole revolution of the 50s and the 60s and 70s, the church, by and large, simply reacted to the culture instead of engaging it. We're so glad you've joined us for Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, Pastor Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. You can hear this message and others anytime by visiting our website, www.delightingrace.com. You can also check out Pastor Rich's book, 7 Words That Can Change Your Life, where he unpacks from God's Word the very purpose for which you were designed. 7 Words That Can Change Your Life is available wherever books are sold. As always, tune in to Delight in Grace, weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-01 17:23:44 / 2023-02-01 17:28:31 / 5