Jump Start # 3257
Ephesians 5:6 “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.”
Our verse today reminds us of the importance of taking ownership of our faith. The “let no one,” falls upon each of us. Just believing someone because he has charism, a cute smile, an energetic spirit and makes you laugh, is all it takes for some to wander off into the weeds of error. The words of this passage is “empty words.” Empty not filled. Empty, lacking hope. Empty, meaning vain, useless, without promise and without God. The words sound good, but they are not. Like that hollow chocolate bunny at Easter time, there is nothing on the insides. No substance. No Biblical backing. No foundations. Just empty words. Untrue promises. False hope.
And, through this the apostle tells them to “let no one deceive you.” It’s up to each person, not the church, not others, to keep you where you ought to be. Don’t be deceived. Don’t be fooled.
Now, just how is this accomplished?
First, one must establish boundaries. Boundaries are necessary to keep out things that do not belong in my life. In our world, we have property lines, fences, and even “No Trespassing” signs that are posted. There are boundaries in golf, baseball, basketball and football. In bounds and out of bounds makes all the difference. Establishing boundaries means that I will not let people walk through my mind or my heart that do not belong there. Two neighbors living side by side may have totally different kinds of yards. One yard looks like a golf course. Beautiful. Weed free. The other is a mess. Trash is in the yard. Weeds everywhere. Patches of grass and a lot of bare spots. The neighbor with the nice yard can’t make the other guy work in his yard. He may not want to. He may be lazy. Yard work may not be his thing. But what the nice yard guy can do is to keep his neighbors yard from coming into his yard. He does that by picking up the trash in his own yard. He does that by digging out weeds in his own yard. What he has done was to establish a boundary. There are influences, people and other things that will take me away from the Lord. Sometimes, those very things are family. And, we allow family to walk all through our hearts, saying anything they want and they leave us wrecked, ruined and hurting. Establish boundaries. I cannot change you if you do not want to be changed. But I can keep you from influencing me. Boundaries may mean putting some distance between me and someone else. It may mean saying, “no,” to some people. What you are doing is not allowing someone to deceive you or hurt you emotionally, mentally or spiritually. Boundaries.
Second, it is paramount to know the truth. If one doesn’t know God’s word, then empty words may sound good. If one doesn’t recognize what is wrong, then he is very likely to embrace wrong and be content with wrong. Satan is a master of making wrong look right. I have got to stop letting the church, the preacher, or others simply tell me what to do. I must know myself. I must walk by faith. The choices I make must be wrapped around my faith and not because someone told me what to do. Recognize empty words. Don’t be deceived.
Empty words vanish away when put beside truth. A little digging. A little homework. A little consideration and one quickly learns what is truth and what is empty. Don’t fall for the empty.
Third, these things matter. This is how the verse ends. Empty words come from empty heads. Empty words are the product of someone not following God. Sons of Disobedience is how the apostle expressed it. And, God doesn’t give this a pass. He doesn’t look the other way. We are responsible for what we do and for what we say. There are consequences to what we say. Freedom of speech does not give us a pass with God when it comes to the things we say. The wrath of God comes. Consequences from Heaven follows empty words. It matters what we listen to. It matters what we say.
With a solid faith and an open Bible in our hands, empty words will just flitter on by. They won’t land. They won’t harm us. It’s when we are wavering in faith, uncertain and unsure, our Bibles closed and our attention upon others and not the Lord, that empty words find a spot in our hearts.
Later, this same church, Ephesus, would not endure evil men and put to test those who claimed to be apostles but were not. Doctrines of the Nicolaitans would not find a resting spot in the Ephesian church. Let no one deceive you…
Great reminders in a cloudy world of today.