6Let no one deceive you with empty words; because of this the wrath of God comes on the sons of disobedience. 7Do not be participants with them, 8for you were formerly darkness, but are presently light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9(for the fruit of light is in all that is good and right and true), 10discerning what is acceptable to the Lord. 11And do not take part in useless works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12For it is shameful to speak of what is done in secret. 13But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible. 14For anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Rise, O Sleeper, and rise from the dead! And Christ will shine on you!” 15Therefore look with care how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of time, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand the will of the Lord. 18And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making music in your hearts to the Lord, 20giving thanks always to God—indeed, our Father—in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul continues his explication of the example of how Christians in Ephesus should live. He reminds them that they are to walk as children of light. They are not to take part in endeavors of darkness; after all, they’ve been illumined with the light of Christ. The process of “walking as children of light” should be their primary concern. This means looking with care at how they “walk.” Specifically, in Paul’s view, they are to be wise (15). They are to manage time appropriately (16), because it is a limited resource. If that time is short, why waste time being drunk with wine—when they can instead be filled with the Spirit (18)? Time isn’t to be wasted, but instead is better spent building one another up—here, Paul is returning again to the theme of love that should govern the Ephesian Christians. They should invest time in being worshipful and edifying….singing, encouraging, helping one another. And they should be engaged in a state of constant thanksgiving, because God is our Father and has rescued us in Christ Jesus His Son.
Have you ever stopped to think of the ramifications of your Christian confession? If the confession you made is true, is that truth manifest in your calendar? Take a quick stock of that calendar; how much time is spent in leisure? How much time is spent in evangelism? How much time is spent in volunteering to build up others in the local church? How much time is spent giving thanks and worshiping the One Who rescued you and is still rescuing you? The famous “do not be drunk with wine” passage here isn’t so much about alcoholic consumption as it is time-wasting; consider the context of the phrase. He’s just told the Ephesians that they are to make the most of the time they’re given. To what extent are you doing that? We shouldn’t consider ourselves more spiritual than others if we don’t imbibe…particularly if we’re wasting time in our lives in other ways. It is an act of spiritual devotion to be organized and disciplined in time management. It is an act of spiritual devotion to plan for the edification of others.
Are you walking as a child of light this day? A child of light values time, manages it appropriately, and plans for the edification of others around him. That’s a great challenge for you and me today.