Living the Right Way
August 17, 2016 • By Ed Wrather
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be UNWISE, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And DO NOT BE DRUNK with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, GIVING THANKS always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. – Ephesians 5:15-20 NKJV.
What would you do if you won a $3 million dollar lottery prize? Ronnie Music Jr. who is 45-years-old, thought the wise use of his $3 million dollars would be to invest in a trafficking methamphetamine organization. However, he is now in jail and facing a long long prison sentence. When he was arrested, he and his helpers were caught with $1 million in drugs and guns. (Atlanta Journal – Constitution 07.26.2016)
29-year-old Stacy Sanchez is in trouble, a lot of trouble. She was on her way home after spending hours at several Oceanside, California bars when she hit a homeless man with her vehicle. The man was killed by the impact; however, Stacy didn’t stop her car, and she kept on going for ¾ mile with the body of her victim stuck in her windshield. When she arrived at her home, her husband called police. Stacy has been charged with DUI and vehicular manslaughter. (New York Post 06.28.16)
The Family Minute dot com gives eight things that you can be thankful for: family, friends, having a home and food, laughter, job, freedoms, those impacting your life positively, and for your health. The Thought Catalog gives 51 things you can be thankful about. And, Real Simple dot com gives 100 things you can be thankful about. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 says, “pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” That is where perhaps most well-known illustration about thanksgiving originates. Corrie Ten Boom, in a Nazi camp for Jewish people waiting for the gas chambers, is told by her sister to thank God even for the fleas in their barracks. As Corrie found out later the fleas made the guards stay away from their barracks.
The apostle Paul gives the formula for living a successful life in Ephesians 5:15-20: Be Wise, Be Sober, and Be Thankful. How do we have wisdom? We are told this in James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” Sobriety flows out of having wisdom, which will then result in our being filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) instead of being drunk or high. If we are wise, and we are filled with the Spirit, as a result we will be thankful in everything as we are commanded in 1 Thessalonians 5:18. This is how we can live the right way, God’s way.