"Because the Days are Evil"
by Carol Sutton
The Power of Simplicity
by Bill Hall
“Because The Days Are Evil”
In addressing saints, the apostle Paul said: “Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:14-17). Nearly 2000 years ago, the apostle Paul mentioned “this present evil world” in Galatians 1:4. In II Timothy 3:1, he warned that “in the last days, perilous times shall come.” In the following verse, he tells why such would be the case.
In our first text, we learn what we should do in view of the fact that “the days are evil.” Let us now consider some of those things.
- “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead.” If we are asleep spiritually, inactive, sluggish or lukewarm, we should awake and arise from the dead because “the days are evil!” According to Titus 2:14, we should be “zealous of good works.” Also read I Corinthians 15:34; Revelation 3:1-6, 14-22.
- “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time,” because “the days are evil.” To walk circumspectly is to walk carefully. The result of walking carefully will be accurately.
To “walk circumspectly” is to walk with wisdom. To walk otherwise is foolish.
If we walk carefully, we will not walk in darkness, but in the light. We will not walk in the works of the flesh, but we will produce the fruit of the Spirit in our lives (Galatians 5:19-23). If we walk carefully, we will not be deceived by false teachers, riches, or evil associations (Matthew 7:15-20; 3:13-20; I Corinthians 15:33, etc.).
Each of us has the responsibility to “redeem the time” because “the days are evil.” Some of the translations say, “making the most of the time” (RSV), or “making the most of your time” (NASV), or “make good use of every opportunity you have” (TEV). Obviously, the thought is that we should not waste time, but use it properly.
We should always keep in mind that our time here on earth is limited. Time continues daily, hourly, minute by minute and second by second. Once it is gone, it is gone forever. We cannot stop time nor recall it once it is gone. Whether we are “redeeming” (making proper use of it) or squandering it, we cannot bring it back or reuse it or try to do better with it. Remember, we have certain responsibilities “because the days are evil.”
- Carrol R. Sutton
Via The Instructor, Vol. 19, No. 11, November 2002
The Power of Simplicity
Jesus Christ had a deep appreciation for simple things. His teaching was profound, but always simple. He reached the hearts of His hearers, not with high-sounding philosophical jargon, but with illustrations and "to the point" teaching. He could see in a farmer sowing his seed, or a lily showing forth its beauty, or a shepherd leaving his flock to seek one lost sheep, or a loving father welcoming a wayward son, a lesson that could teach spiritual truth.
His apostles were chosen from the humble class. He could appreciate people, not for what they possessed, but for what they were; and, in some cases, not for what they were, but for what they could become. He recognized true quality, and true quality is often found in the simple and humble.
The worship He ordained was simple in nature. "Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul spoke to them..." (Acts 20:7). Even the poorest could worship, for all that was required of a material nature was a little bread and fruit of the vine. Those of little talent could worship, for God was listening in view of the heart rather than the beauty of the voice.
He authorized a simple organization for His church, with each congregation appointing its own bishops and deacons (Philippians 1:1). There were no denominational associations, conferences, or synods. There were no inter-church organizations or societies. Yet, through the simple organization given the church by the Lord, the world of the first century was thoroughly evangelized and the needy among them provided for. The Lord knew that success in His work would not be brought about through complexity of organization, but through dedication, faith, and commitment on the part of His followers. We make a terrible mistake when we try to substitute the former for the latter.
Why this simplicity? "That no flesh should glory in His presence" (1 Corinthians 1:29). The complex systems which men devise tend to bring glory to themselves rather than to God.
To return to the simplicity which our Lord ordained might not be impressive to the worldly-minded, but, then, Jesus Himself is not very impressive to the worldly-minded. Besides, our purpose is not to impress the worldly-minded, but to please God and bow in submission to His will. Let us do away with our super projects and complex systems. Let us learn to appreciate simple teaching and simple ways. Above all, let us learn to appreciate Bible teaching and Bible ways.
Someone has said: "How foolish we are to think that God will be impressed with our voices when we sing; after all, He hears the angels sing! How foolish to think He will be impressed with our cathedrals, remember, He made the Grand Canyon!" What He is seeking for is a heart that is pure, loving, and obedient to His will. And that's simple.
- Bill Hall
Via Walking in the Light, Vol. 5, No. 20, May 15, 2011