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Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. This way back in the biggest regret of the thing you regret more than anything else not be honest with yourself, you really spend time with the question, is this the lives and the answer is just rights for joining us today on this additional fellowship in the world. Pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana and Castroville never now once again he shows us how God's word are oral when I have something in common. We both got our share of really stupid things stuff that we wish we could forget stuff that we regret money that we wish we hadn't spent invitations that we wish we hadn't accepted relationships that we wish we had never got involved in jobs.
We wish we had never taken partnerships that we wish we had never entered into contracts that we wish we had never signed and places we wish we had never gone you look back on your life and you wonder how can I been that dumb. How could I have been so blind and some of the stupid things we've done in the past are not really big deals but others are, you know, it's one thing to buy some bad stock based on a bad tip it's another thing to find yourself $25,000 in credit card debt, you know, it's one thing to go out on a date that maybe you should've gone out on it's another thing to find yourself in a long-term relationship that you virtually regret every day of. In fact, what we find among ourselves is sort of a principal here. I don't believe any of us planned to mess up our lives, but on the other hand, I think there are very few people that actually plan not to mess up their lives. They have a failing marriage.
No one plans that responsible or co-dependent children.
Nobody plans that to become an addict or alcoholic.
Nobody plans that to be buried in debt.
These are all situations that I've run into in counseling and the question that is usually asked by people is this one.
How did this happen to me. How did this happen to me.
The problem is it that's the wrong question. Many of the greatest regrets of our lives are regrets because we failed when we were making the decision of the choice to ask the right question.
You see, if you ask the right question. It'll save you time and money and stress and tears regrets, in fact, if you asked the right question. It can touch every area of your life.
It's a question that literally could foolproof your life. It's a question that in the word of God is hidden in plain sight for all of us to see, but it's not a question that you really want to ask when you're making choices. You see we can make a bad decision or a poor choice and it's astounding how we can justify in the words that we use when were making this process. We say things like where this is a good or hurt anybody. I can handle this.
I can quit whenever I want to, that's a classic I can quit whenever I want to. I have needs. Hey we all need to live a little.
I mean after all.
I live in the real world those of the things that we say when we make really poor choices with our life.
The right question cuts through those excuses like a hot knife through butter. You see a propensity for self-deception makes this difficult for us to ask the right question we have to ask open your Bibles to Ephesians chapter 4 a great epistle, the apostle Paul. Sort of takes all of his thoughts in Romans any repairs it down in Ephesians.
It's sort of the Magna Carta of Christianity. You want to know what it's like he spends the first three chapters telling believers just an emphasis just like you and me what it means to be a Christian. This this new identity that we have were not the people that we were. He tells us what it means to be one of his favorite phrases to be in Christ.
He gives us all of these spiritual resources that are ours and then in chapter 4, he turns the corner and he says now that you know who you are. This is how you should act and so when he gets the chapter 4 verse one he says therefore I the prisoner of the Lord, implore he says you to walk in anytime you see walk.
It's a metaphor for life. He said the live in a manner worthy of the calling for which you have been called. He said you need to act out and live out the life of who you really are and then in verse 14 he says as a result, were no longer children, tossed.
He says here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness of evil scheming exhibitors. What we should be doing, but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects in him who is the head, even Christ. In verse 17 he says we are to walk no longer is the Gentiles walk in the futility of their mind. In verse 22. He says in reference to your former manner of life you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the loss of deceit and that you be re-noted in the spirit of your mind. You put on your new self, which is in the likeness of Christ, he says, which has been created in righteousness and holiness and truth. In verse 25 pieces were to lay aside all falsehood. Verse 26. Work can be angry but were not the sin in verse 28.
He says that he was deals must still no longer, but rather he must labor performing with his own hands, what is good so that he will have something to share with those who have need defenses let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth in verse 31 let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice you need to be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also forgave you. And then in 51 he says this therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children so in chapter 4 verse one he said has walk in a manner worthy of your calling and I think all the same thing I do that I like to do that and then in chapter 5 pieces, let me express that differently be imitators of God know when you hear that in your honest when you think it come on Youngman imitate God ethically says imitate God will there's a problem God's holy and unholy.
You see God's perfect and is all you know I'm imperfect. You see how light imitate God. Why does he give us that kind of standard. In fact, in chapters 4 and five.
He gives us all these values and all these virtues that we are to live on in our life as Christians and to be imitators of God, who can pull that off. It's almost like Paul anticipates that that's the way people would think you see any makes a shift. He says maybe I can help you whenever you think what do I have to do to imitate God. You're kind of overwhelmed because there's another question that naturally comes your mind. It's much more important how to light imitate him how I do that you want me to walk in a manner worthy of my calling. You want me to live out my life what it means to be Christian, you want me to be an imitator of God is one of his children.
How do I do that will Paul says there's a way that's what he picks up in verse 15 of chapter 5. Three verses.
He says this. Therefore, once again, be careful how you walk, be careful how you live not as unwise but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is right there in those verses is the question didn't in plain view question. It can change your life a question. It can change your future question I can change the day the question you when I need to ask ourselves with every choice, every decision that we make. The question is this what is the wise thing to do. See, that's not a question that comes natural for most Christians is the kind of questions. A lot of Christians talk to me about a pastor when I want to know is how close to the line of sin. Can I go actually be here before I step over how close can I get right here how close can I get the being wrong and still be right. By the way, that's the kind and right based on that. That's why you have the regret. You do that's the choices and the decisions you make. You see, what can I do and still have the minimum of consequences in my life.
In other words, we want say it this way, how unethical, how immoral and how insensitive can I be and still be able to manage the outcome. That's what we ask ourselves, and God is not mocked when ends up happening.
You reap what you sow and for a lot of us. It's a lot of regrets now. If you are sitting there piously and thinking. But that's not the way I think it all. Let me try this picture has this thought ever crossed your mind how far over the speed limit. Can I drive and still not worry about getting pulled over by a policeman you ever thought that ever of course you have in fact usually know somebody like I know a guy who knew a policeman and a state trooper said that the give you 78 miles an hour on the interstate before they pull you over so what your new speed limit 78 miles an hour, but what does the sign say speed limit 70 in a dozen underneath. It's a negotiable it doesn't it doesn't say that, but that's the way we think. You see, that just reveals our heart.
How far can I go and not have to face the consequences.
See how many times can I take this drink that you see how far can I go how much can I do and not be an alcoholic cannot be an addict. How far can I go that's the question that we ask ourselves not as Christians I know we have limits.
All of us do.
If you know Christ you have limits but for most of us.
I'm afraid it's more like this whenever God said, thou shalt not, that's my limit so we pretty much a 10 Commandment kind of people you want to break when the 10 Commandments, you know, I think I will align their now the implication of that for us, though, is fatal because it's this when you think okay I know what my limit is. Thou shalt not, and anything that God hasn't said that thou shall not means to me. Thou shalt see if God hasn't said I can't do it then I can and I'm going to and then we reap what we sow. The apostle Paul said in first Corinthians 6. He said you know all things are lawful for me, but all things are not profitable.
All things are not expedient. What is Paul applying their wisdom. Paul says this because I can do it doesn't mean it's the wise thing to do. In fact, I think the Lord is telling us here with Jesus said in John 10, when he said I've come to give your life and to give it to you abundantly. It's a life that God intends for you to live as one of his children and God says that one of the things you have to learn to do in your life is you have to be careful how you live you have to be careful how you live you have to make wise choices. If you're going to read what I have for you, let me say this way. Think for a moment back to the biggest regret of your life. The thing you regret more than anything else in your life that you did and I'll be honest with yourself.
Did you really spend time with the question is this. The wise thing to do before you did. And the answer is almost always of course not, you just did, and then you had the regrets. That's why this question is so important. Let's look at these verses a little more carefully. Pulses therefore be careful how you live. He says not as unwise but as wise, unwise, is the word Sophia. The word wise is the word wisdom is Sophia don't live off Sophia lived. Sophia, a synonym for off Sophia means foolish. He is saying don't be foolish what you need to do is you need to live as a wise person and every time you and I make a choice it as a believer in Jesus Christ. This is the extremes of that choice. I can make an unwise choice or I can make a wise choice.
Notice what Paul was saying to the Ephesians and to us.
You have to be careful. You see, this requires a lot of thought and prayer on your part. You actually have to be careful how you live.
He says then making the most of your time. He says you need to be careful how you live, don't live foolishly, live wisely, but you need to make the most of your time and that term making the most of making the most of is one word in Greek. It's the word X garage so they say. What's that mean it means every other time it's in the New Testament, which translated redeem. In fact, you have been X our garage owed by the blood of Christ. You have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, and so you could say here. Redeem your time. It would be the same thing. He says make the most of your time in the word time is not the word Homo, which would get chromatograph from it doesn't. He's not talking about the hours the days, months is not talking about that he's talking about something else. He's talking about the word Kai Ross and it's your time, making the most of your time, making the most of your life. The word Kai Ross means allotted to an interesting word. Your allotted time. You need to make the most out of your allotted time. Now notice what he means by this he is not saying to us all born and to feel guilty because I'm going to have to be one of these guys I'm in a have to keep a day planner and see if I waste any time I got to be serving Jesus every moment of every day that's already means what he means is this. Don't waste your time by making foolish choices don't do that make the most of your time by making wise choices with your life, asking yourself the question, what is the wise thing to do and then he says notice making the most of your time, because the days are evil and Ephesians like what yeah the days are evil. Holy place and go back to chapter 2 the Ephesians just for two verses chapter 2 and verses one and two, he says, and you were dead in your trespasses and sins, and then he says this in which you formerly lived or formally walked according to the course of this world. He says according to the prince of the power of the air, he said of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
So he tells the Ephesians you know what you know why your world was so evil because it's controlled by the evil one.
That's why he said that's the way it is and it was for them to live in Ephesus. If you would visit the ruins in Ephesus today. Their area still carved out near the temple sites where they have all kinds of Fae leak images because it was part of their worship. In fact, if you been worshiping the temple in Ephesus. The two things that were most important for worship service was drunkenness and prostitution that was worship in Ephesus. That's what these people were doing before they came to Christ and he says look, I know that the culture you grew up in has a sort of grip on you and you fight this temptation of going back to living the way you have. Just like you and I nothing's really changed years and years ago.
I think has little boy used to say things like, don't go looking for trouble. I don't think today you have to go looking for, I don't think you have to go looking for trouble. I think troubles everywhere. I think our culture is showing over and over again by all the ways you market culture that is sliding and exchanging any says that all the more reason that you be careful how you live that you be careful to make wise choices about foolish ones that you make the most of the opportunity called your life, because the days in which you live.
He said are evil. There is no morally neutral climate in which we live.
He said almost the same thing the Romans. In Romans 12 when he said don't let the world squeeze you into its mold that is so much easier to have happen and you think it is the work and set our priorities in it since so many of our goals and ambitions. So we said so then do not. In verse 17 B foolish to not be foolish, and then he says, but understand what the will of the Lord is preferable on the radio ministry fellowship Lord, if you ever missed one of our broadcast or maybe you just like to listen to the message one more time. Remember the little a great website called one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen to Fellowship in the Word online that website you will find on today's broadcast but also many of her previous audio program, had Fellowship in the Word. We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make this broadcast possible with all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help his radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting us monthly with just a one-time gift support for ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word. 4600 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, LA 7006 if you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format that is is a sermon, the pastor will deliver during a Sunday morning service of fellowship monitored visit our website FVC Nola.org that FVC Penn of LA.O RG at our website you will find hundreds of pastoral sermon you can browse through our sermon archives defined sensors are looking you can search by title. Once you find the message you're looking for. You can listen online or if you prefer, you can download the sermon on listening and and remember all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website is FVC Nola.org forecaster Bill Gebhardt injuries and heart thanking you for listening to fellowship in order