Be very careful, then, how you live --
not as unwise but as wise,
making the most of every opportunity,
because the days are evil.
Therefore do not be foolish,
but understand what the Lord’s will is.
~ Ephesians 5:15-7
Now, is this passage convicting or what?!
There is a common train of thought summed up in the phrase, "Eat, drink, and be merry." Yet, God responds to the man with this attitude with "You fool!" Apparently, this is not the wise way to live.
Why? Can't I just live lightly?
Well, I believe that when we die we are going to have to account to God for
every word spoken,
every dollar spent,
every minute of our time.
So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
~ Romans 14:12
Selfishly, I would like to think that my choices do not carry that much weight... but, what if they do? I would hate to die, stand before my LORD's throne, and have to account for it all. Since I do believe in personal accountability (see Heb. 4:13), I realize that my decisions, big and small, have eternal ramifications. While I give thanks for the present gifts before me, I must choose how I spend my now in light of eternity. Give thanks for the now, live for eternity. Make plans and act -- wisely, not foolishly or selfishly (gratifying your sinful flesh and desires. See Romans 13:14 and Galatians 5:13.)
Very important footnote: When we account to God for all of our moments and choices, it is not to determine our eternal dwelling place. Our acceptance or rejection of Jesus determines where we go, not our faults or weaknesses or failures or mistakes. Salvation is not a matter of what we do but who we know. Salvation, eternal life, heaven is all a gift of grace by faith in Jesus. This accounting is not a matter of earning our entrance into heaven. It is a matter of two other things (from what I gather). One, love. Love for God and love for others. God loves people and wants them to know/choose Him; people need Jesus, in every aspect and for true happiness and fulfillment. Two, treasure in heaven. I think we will be rewarded for the actions of our faith (see Rev. 11:18, 1 Cor. 4:5, Eph. 6:8, Gal. 6:9, Rom. 2:6, Matt. 19:21).