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Making Minutes Count: Using Time Wisely to Pursue God's Will (Ephesians 5:15-21)

Ephesians 5:15–21 - 15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. 


What does today’s passage say?

In today's passage, Paul exhorts followers of Jesus to carefully walk in wisdom, making the most of their time by seeking to comprehend and pursue God's will for their lives (vv. 15-17). He further instructs believers to allow themselves to be continually filled with and guided by the Holy Spirit. This includes speaking to one another in ways that praise and worship God and having a heart of thankfulness to the Lord in the name of Christ Jesus (vv. 18-20). Out of deep awe-filled respect for Christ, Christians should yield humbly to the needs of fellow believers (v. 21).


How can I apply Ephesians 5:15-21 to my life?

Followers of Jesus are called to walk in wisdom, pursuing an understanding of God's will, while making the most of time in these evil days. With discernment, believers must prioritize activities of eternal value rather than wasting precious hours on meaningless pursuits. As we set aside fruitless behaviors and instead engage in kingdom work like sharing the Gospel, meeting needs, making disciples, and worshiping God, we find meaning and purpose. Additionally, the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives within every yielded believer, ready to produce supernatural qualities of righteousness. However, we must continually submit every area of life to the Spirit's control rather than quenching His work through disobedience. Out of reverence for Jesus, Christians are to mutually submit in humility, honoring one another, and forgiving promptly. True worship overflows into gracious service within the Body of Christ. Here are some basic principles from this passage that we should apply to our lives:

1.     Walk Wisely, Making the Most of Your Time Pursuing God’s Will (vv. 15-17): Being wise and making the most of our time is crucial because the days are evil. We must prioritize understanding and obeying God's good, acceptable, and perfect will rather than foolishness. Seeking discernment through Scripture will give guidance on using time wisely instead of wasting it on worthless pursuits. Make time count by engaging in kingdom work: sharing the Gospel, discipleship, acts of service, meeting needs, and worship. Set aside fruitless behaviors and use newly freed up time to draw close to Jesus. Limit mindless scrolling and distraction, not letting the culture dictate your priorities. Instead, be strategic about where your schedule, finances, and talents go. Understanding salvation's urgency, walk carefully, counting each minute as precious opportunity to serve heaven’s King. Be ready should Christ return today (Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 4:5).

Food for Thought: What specific activity do you need to reduce this week in order to make time pursuing God's will? What fruitful pursuit might that new margin allow?

2.     Be Filled with the Spirit While Praising God and Giving Thanks in All Circumstances (vv. 18-20): Being filled with the Spirit is an ongoing process requiring a) intentional submission to His leadership through Scripture, prayer, community, and listening for that still, small voice and b) confession, surrender, and repentance from all sin. Rather than dependence on own wisdom, believers must rely on the Spirit to transform thinking and empower righteous living. The same power that raised Jesus flows through yielded vessels to produce extraordinary fruit like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and self-control. However, quenching the Spirit by clinging to control, holding on to unconfessed sin, or willful disobedience grieves Him and hinders His work in our lives. As we lift grateful praise and give thanks in all situations, the Spirit fills us. Gratitude focuses on God's presence and sufficiency rather than circumstances. By offering sacrifices of praise as Jesus did during suffering, believers display the Spirit's supernatural work when human strength would falter (John 14:26; Galatians 5:16-26; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19).

Food for Thought: What specific area of your life do you need to surrender more fully to the Spirit's control? What shifts might result from His influence there?

3.     Submit to One Another Out of Reverence for Christ (v. 21): True worship overflows into mutual submission between believers. Rather than demanding your own way, put others first in humility and service. Value each person's unique gifts and honor their differing roles. Reflect Christ's sacrificial love that puts others' needs above selfish gain. Nobly encourage those weaker and learn from those more mature, seeing each as essential. Forgo petty disputes and forgive promptly. Submit collectively to godly leadership, which itself bows willingly to the Chief Shepherd. Clothe yourselves in compassion, kindness, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness as you lovingly serve rather than being served. Lay down pride, considering others' interests before your own because of what Jesus did for you. Worship together wholly, letting reverence for Christ bind you in grace-empowered unity (Philippians 2:1-11; 1 Peter 5:5-7; Galatians 5:13-14).

Food for Thought: What specific act of humble service can you offer another believer this week? What area of your life do you need to surrender control of to Christ?

Walking wisely means intentionally pursuing an understanding of God's will through Scripture, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and biblical community. It requires evaluating how to best invest limited time on earth. The highest aim must be bringing glory to Christ through declaring the Gospel, meeting needs, making disciples, and worship. Being filled with the Spirit is only possible through continual confession, repentance, surrender, and reliance on Him to produce His fruit in every circumstance. Out of reverence for Jesus, relationships within the church must be marked by mutual submission, humility, patience, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, and service. Living according to these principles allows believers to walk in a manner worthy of our calling in Christ.



Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray that You would give me discernment to understand Your good and pleasing will for my life. Show me any worthless pursuits occupying my time which I need to eliminate. Help me to walk carefully, filled with Your Spirit, producing supernatural qualities of righteousness. Give me humility to mutually submit to other believers, valuing their gifts, perspectives, and roles within the Body of Christ. Empower me to put others first in gracious service, patience, and forgiveness. Use me to share the gospel, make disciples and meet needs. Focus my mind on Your sufficiency so that regardless of circumstances, I offer continual praise and thanks.

I pray these things in the most precious name of Jesus, Amen.


Ephesians 5:17 – ”So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”



With His Blessings,

Pastor Corby

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