Before there were computers, email, and IPhones, people communicated through a regular phone (sometimes called a landline now) and writing letters. Back in Bible times, the only way to communicate with someone far away was by writing a letter. This is what the Apostle Paul did. Paul was a missionary, and as he traveled around, he started many churches. The only way he had to stay in touch with them when he left was to send them letters. In fact, thirteen books of the New Testament are letters written by Paul to churches or people that he met on his journeys. That is almost half of the New Testament! Paul wanted to make sure that they were doing the things that God wanted them to do and were still following the teachings of Jesus.
In Ephesians 5:15-20, Paul wrote to the church in the city of Ephesus, telling them, “Act like people with good sense and not like fools, These are evil times, so make every minute count. Don’t be stupid. Instead, find out what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t destroy yourself by getting drunk, but let the Spirit fill your life. When you meet together, sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs as you praise the Lord with all your heart. Always use the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to thank God the Father for everything.”
Wow, that was great advice then and still great advice. These days there are lots of things that can tempt us to do wrong, but we must always do what Jesus did when He was alive. He was kind and healed the people He met. He praised His Father by doing what His Father wanted Him to do. He lived to give us salvation.
Let’s try to take Paul’s advice by being careful about how we live and being wise in what we do. Make the most of every opportunity, praise God, and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Don’t get drunk or do drugs. Sing and praise the Lord and always, always give thanks to God.
Let’s say a prayer that we may do just those things. Dear Jesus, please help us to be more like You. Keep us safe and help us do what You would have us to do. Thank You for Paul’s good advice that You gave him to tell us. In Your name we pray, Amen.
Ann Moody is pastor of Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church and the Middleport First Presbyterian Church.