Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Be Careful

Ephesians 5:15

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise…

I have five granddaughters. All five were over last night and one of the phrases I used a number of times – as they played out back with us on the patio was – be careful. They were running around – playing with each other – and at times they did not think about the consequences of their actions – after all – they are 4 – 4 – 2 – 2 – and the baby is 4 months. They are just excited to see each other and to build on their memory banks of fun.

Our patio has a drop off and rocks too. They will come close to the edge – aware and at times unaware of the danger. They will stand on the big rocks – boulders really – and be queen of the hill. Pop – the oldest family member present – knows the dangers and constantly reminds them to be careful – don’t fall. At times I would get up (other adults too) and walk them away from the edge of the patio or sit so that we could stop them – or at least try to – from falling.

We made it thru the evening without incident. We even got one granddaughter – previously scared of Pop’s lawnmower – to ride with him as he cut some of the yard. For most of the evening – she would stand on the edge of the patio and watch me cutting the backyard. She wanted to ride – like her older sister and cousin had the day before – but when she was placed on the mower – she panicked a little. It took several tries before she would stay on and once we started she was fine the whole time. As she was getting on the mower and off the mower (blades off of course) – Pop could be heard saying – be careful.

One of my daughter’s is a police officer and I often tell her – be careful out there – when we talk before a shift. One daughter travels a great distance to visit with us and I often say – be careful – as she travels with her children. Two of our daughters are social workers – like their mom – and I often tell them to be careful as they travel to hospitals or neighborhoods where their clients live.

We have tried to walk the balance with our children of being careful and having fun. It is not an easy balance. Play hard and have fun but be careful. Much of life needs to heed the words – be careful.

Here’s today’s passage in partial context. Ephesians 5:1–20 – 1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” 15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Much of life – even all of life – requires a plan. We cannot live whatever way we wish and expect to have success – financially or spiritually. We cannot live a life of sin and expect Jesus to just wipe out the consequences. Yes – Jesus has paid for our sins – if we accept Him and strive – by His grace – to walk with Him. We need to be careful to walk with Jesus. We are called to seek His face and desire His grace. There are consequences to living a life of sin.

Much of life – even all of life – requires a plan. As a pastor I run into people who just don’t seem to have a plan (or the plan is simply to have fun like my granddaughters on the patio and not worry about the consequences). Way too many people are living hand-to-mouth – not because they can’t make enough but because they do not have a plan. They are in their 30’s – 40’s – even 60’s and older – and have not been very careful with their finances. They have not had a plan for the future. There are consequences to living a life without a plan – without striving to be careful.

We need to be careful and to make a plan and stay with it in our lives – spiritually and physically. How many times have we tried to diet only to fail because didn’t stick with the plan? How many times have we allowed our desires and feelings to come between a good financial plan and us? We allow our wants to supersede the plan. We need to hear the call of Pop to be careful. We need a plan and we need to stick with it.

Ephesians 5:15-16 – 15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.


May 9, 2017 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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