Focal Passage: Ephesians 5:15-21
In our culture today, staying connected is pretty easy. We can instantly check our emails, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with just one touch on our phone. We can FaceTime or Skype with family and friends around the world. So if it’s that simple, then why does it seem like work to remain connected in the church?
Take a moment and gauge your level of connectivity in serving the body of Christ. Are you serving regularly? Are you serving at all? Very often, our connections on social media are one-sided. We are broadcasting our thoughts to the world or our photographs with the most flattering angle of who? You guessed it: ourselves. When we feel like “disconnecting,” we just close the app or turn off our computer.
Service in the body of Christ is not something that we can choose to be “disconnected” from. Scripture calls us to serve one another.
In Ephesians 5, Paul calls us to serve each other with wisdom. He counsels the believers to live wisely, not foolishly, and to make the most of every opportunity. In other words, redeem the time for the days are evil. How much time are you spending – unwisely – in superficial, surface-level (possibly me-centered) connections on social media? How can you better make use of your time by sacrificially serving others?
In light of this week’s theme of service, Paul also instructs the church in Ephesus to “be filled with the Holy Spirit” (v. 18). When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are emptied of ourselves.
Paul uses a conditional statement in Philippians 2:1-4 to describe this: “… If [you have] any fellowship with the Spirit … then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves ….” We are to humbly serve in submission to the Spirit.
Lastly, Paul makes the point that our union with the Spirit should affect how we live as believers. Read the remaining verses and jot down the ways Paul describes how we should live as children of light.