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SUNDAY SERMON
By Apostle I. N. George, Ph.D

WALK CIRCUMSPECTLY, NOT AS FOOLS, BUT AS WISE, BECAUSE THE DAYS ARE EVIL – Text: Eph 5:15

I am delighted to bring you sincere and Apostolic greetings once again from the throne of grace in the name of Jesus Christ.
As we optimistically and prayerfully move towards the end of the corona virus pandemic in the world, with all the known precautionary and preventive measures as recommended by World Health Organization (WHO), I am inspired to admonish you to be very careful how you walk or live, not as unwise but as wise, because the days are evil. By saying “the days are evil” Apostle Paul was communicating his sense of urgency because of evil’s pervasiveness.

We need the same sense of urgency because our days are also difficult and evil amid the novel corona virus with its concomitant effects, such as mass killing of people, business as well as total locked down of the world.
CONSEQUENCES OF WILLFUL DISOBEDIENCE
King Solomon in Proverbs 19:3 says, “the foolishness of man perverteth his ways: and his heart fretteth against the Lord”. This means that we run into difficulties because of our own folly and then blame God for our problems. Admittedly, King David says, “My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness” (Psalms 38:5).

This willful disobedience is what made Samson, the mighty warrior became a slave and rather than kill him, the Philistines preferred to humiliate him by gouging out his eyes and making him grind grain in Gaza (Judges 16:21).
Brothers and sisters, we may think Samson was foolish but how many times do we allow ourselves to be deceived by flattery and give in to temptation and wrong beliefs? Be very careful how you live, not as unwise, but as wise, because the days are evil. Avoid falling prey to deceit by asking God to help you distinguish between deception and truth.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A WISE AND A FOOLISH PERSON

Five differences between wise and foolish people according to Seeken are:

1. The wise think and speak while the ignorant speak and think

2. Wise people are humble enough to know that they are not better than anybody and wise enough to know that they are different from others and wise people never allow their knowledge success to get into their head but foolish people or ignorant people think they know everything. Ignorant people always mistake their arrogance with confidence.

3. A wise person makes a decision for himself whereas ignorant people follow others and allow others to make a decision for them.

4. A wise person learns from different sources and a foolish person learns from the same source. This is exactly what Apostle Paul says, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1Thess. 5:21)

5. A wise person takes calculated risk (Jesus – Heb.12:2) and a foolish person takes risk for fun (Judas – Matt 26:15). A calculated risk is based on knowledge while risk for fun is based on luck.

Jesus took a calculated risk as properly explained in Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, WHO FOR THE JOY THAT WAS SET BEFORE HIM ENDURED THE CROSS, DESPISING THE SHAME, AND IS SET DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE THRONE OF GOD”

THREE WAYS WE CAN WALK CIRCUMSPECTLY OR CAREFULLY AMID COVID-19

To walk circumspectly or carefully is to live in the light of our position as God’s children. To walk as fools means to descend from this high plane to the conduct of worldly men. Therefore, the walk of wisdom calls us to:

1. Redeem the time or buy up the opportunity: This means living lives noted for holiness, deeds of mercy, and words of help. What lends special urgency to this matter is the evil character of the days in which we live. They remind us that God will not always strive with man, the day of grace will soon close, the opportunities for worship, witness, and service on earth will soon be forever ended.

2. Understand what the will of the Lord is: This is crucial because of the abounding evil and the shortness of the time. We might be tempted to spend our days in frantic and feverish activity of our own choice. But this would amount to wasted energy. The path of wisdom is to discern God’s will for our individual lives, then to obey it to the last.

3. Be filled with the Spirit: To be filled with the spirit in this message means to live in Christ and be controlled by Him. Therefore, to achieve this, we must:
– Confess and put away all known sins in our lives (1 John 1:5-9)
– Let the word of Christ dwell in us richly (Col. 3:16)
– Yield ourselves completely to His control (Rom. 12:1-2)
– We must be emptied of self (Gal. 2:20)

FOUR RESULTS OF BEING FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT ARE:

1. Spirit-filled Christians speak to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs

2. The Spirit-filled life is a fountain bubbling over with joy (Acts 13:52)

3. The spirit-filled life is always giving thanks for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

4. The spirit-filled life will always submit to one another in the fear of God. This does not mean becoming a door mat but to subordinate our right to others as Christ subjected his will to the Father’s.

These then are four results of the spirit’s filling – speaking; singing; thanking; and submitting. But there are at least four others:

1. Boldness in rebuking sin (Acts 13:9-12) and in testifying for the Lord (Acts 4:8-12,31; 13:52 – 14:3)
2. Power for service (Acts 1:8, 6:3,8; 11:24)
3. Generosity, not selfishness (Acts 4:31-32)
4. Exaltation of Christ (Acts 9:17,20) and of God (Act 2:4,11; 10:44,46).

We should earnestly desire to be filled with the spirit, but only for the glory of God, not for our own glory.

It is only when we are filled with the Spirit of God that we would be properly guided to walk as wise people, not as fools, especially in this challenging period in the world where the contagious disease is presently holding sway.
May the good Lord help us to achieve this in Jesus’ precious name – Amen.

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