Today’s Reading: Ephesians 5:1-20
So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.
If you’re a university student reading this, chances are your time back home from school has looked drastically different (and longer!) than you thought it would. If you’re a high school student, your spring semester is probably looking incredibly different. If you’re a parent or someone who works throughout the year, chances are your life is not at all what you thought it would be right now.
As for me, I fall into the first category. I’m also someone who loves to stay busy, and my mental and spiritual health thrive when I’m focused on accomplishing a vision or dream. I was on the phone with our very own Hannah Stewart a couple of weeks ago, telling her how I was debating taking summer college courses or not. She encouraged me by saying, “No matter what, I’m sure you’ll find a way to keep learning!”, which made me think…
When else am I going to have all this free time at home again? When is life ever going to look like it is right now? Which reminds me of what Paul said to believers in Ephesians 5:15-17:
“15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.” (NLT)
- “So be careful how you live”: being careful [accurate, diligent, sensible] of how we live can look different for all of us.
- If your life pre-quarantine was a whirlwind of busy-ness and tirelessness, and now you find yourself with more time at home, it might be sensible for you to pause and rest in the Lord.
- If your life pre-quarantine was filled with tasks, work, or school that filled up all your time, this might be a good opportunity for you to refocus your energy towards learning more about Jesus and the Bible.
- “Make the most of every opportunity in these evil [can also mean “oppressed by toils, toilsome, painful, grievous”] days”: we see this theme of not letting time or opportunities go to waste all throughout the Bible (Ps. 90:12; Matt. 6:34; Col. 4:5; Jas. 4:14). Here are some practical suggestions on how we can do this:
- Reach out to a friend you haven’t had time to talk to lately. The Holy Spirit could lead you to witness in that moment if they are not a believer or to be a light and hope to them in what they are going through (Matt. 5:14-16).
- Seek knowledge. Whether that’s delving deeper in the concept of God’s grace, exploring a topic or part of the Bible you’re not familiar with, or talking with people who have different views and opinions than you, Scripture reminds us how good it is to “seek knowledge and understanding” with love for God and people at its centre (Prov.18:15; 1 Cor. 13:2). You never know what God could reveal to you that will help you grow in your relationship with Him, or how you could encourage each other this summer with what you learned.
- “Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.”: the first step to anything is prayer. This verse is encouraging us to not be quick to do what we think we need to do, but to understand what the Lord wants us to do. We can understand what He wants us to do through our relationship with Him and through prayer, the guidance of His Holy Spirit, and reading His Word.
Ask yourself: What does the Lord want me to do during quarantine? How can I make the most of today?
Pray & write down what God is telling you to be, do, or act on (Jeremiah 36:2 and James 1:22 are good references for this!).