Today’s post is part of a series to help us take what we learn on Sunday into the rest of the week. These posts summarize the main points from the week’s sermon and include questions for continued reflection and prayer. The posts in this series are written by members of our church’s Adult Christian Formation team.
This past Sunday our service theme was “God is Everlasting.” Ministry Associate Melissa Lowther preached on Ephesians 5:8-17 about how the gospel affects our schedules.
The gospel offers us a motive for productivity. Ephesians 5 shows how the motivation of a wise person is not selfish, but is to benefit others. The idea of “making the most” of time in these verses comes from a marketplace idea of buying something back. But there is real evil in the world that keeps us from doing this, distracting us from using our time well. We can turn this around by using our time for God’s purposes, joining God’s eternal plan. In the Bible, this is described as doing good works that God prepared for us. Our motive is that we are joining God’s bigger plan.
We find power for productivity by doing good in response to God’s work for us on the cross. Our productivity in doing good works is rooted in our acceptance by God in Christ. We don’t do good works to gain acceptance, but rather as a response to what God has already done.
Finally, we have to learn how to go about choosing what’s best. God calls each of us to do different good works, but how do we know which ones we should do? We have to learn Christ, by spending time with God and learning God’s will for us from Scripture. We should also learn ourselves, observing how we might fit into God’s plan. Whatever God’s exact plan for each of us is, we are all called to do some good works.
Questions for prayer and reflection:
- How would you answer if someone asked whether you’re busy?
- Think of a time when you had to figure out God’s will for how you would spend your time. How did you choose what to do?
- Is your motivation for doing good works based in trying to gain acceptance from others? Is it rooted in God’s acceptance of you in Christ? How might you know the difference?
- What is something God might be leading you to do? What is something that God might not be asking you to do anymore, as you learn Christ and learn yourself?