I fear as believers we sometimes assume we are walking in wisdom when we are not. The apostle Paul reminded the Christians in Ephesus to walk as wise and to use time with that same wisdom. Clearly, we all need to hear it.
The best source of wisdom is God’s Word. We need to continue to read and study the Bible to make sure we are “making the best use of the time”. Please, friends, don’t assume you are walking in wisdom. Make sure by reading and studying the Bible, spending time in prayer and with believers who will encourage your spiritual growth.
Dear Heavenly Father, please guide me towards wisdom. Please help me to put the continued effort towards becoming like Your Son. Please direct my path to believers who can help me and whom I can help. I want more of You.
Ephesians 5 continues with more detail about how to become more like Jesus Christ. For several verses we read what not to do. Then at the end of verse 8 we see a shift. Instead of talking about how dark life is without Christlikeness, the Bible tells us to “Walk as children of light.” We also read where the light is found – “in all that is good and right and true, and to try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.” The only way we can know that is to go to the source of truth – the Bible.
Light, truth and discernment all go together. We can’t have any of those without the others. I find this a worthwhile pursuit.
Dear Heavenly Father, please help us to seek the truth and to be light to others. Give us the discernment that is pleasing to You. Thank You for providing truth through Your Word.
Ephesians tells us to “be imitators of God”. I don’t know any other way to imitate God than to study Who He is through His Word (the Bible). The sentence continues in verse 2 which tells us to “walk in love”. The word love in verse two is the same as the word beloved in verse one. Beloved children should be giving the same love we have received.
I think we get confused about what love really is. Jesus’ love caused Him to sit with “publicans and sinners”. His love also fiercely rebuked the Pharisees. God’s love must be truthful. The full extent of God’s love doesn’t fit in a full set of encyclopedias, let alone a short blog post. I recommend continued study of the Bible to learn more about God’s love.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love and the examples we have in Your Word. Please help us to imitate You. Give us the desire to present ourselves as :a fragrant offering and sacrifice”.
As I continue to look at the idea of personal identity, I have to look at Ephesians 4:22-24. As I have mentioned before, I think we have the tendency to cling to a me-centered identity. The Bible tells us to put off the old self which has deceitful desires. I think we can struggle being honest about what we want in life. Too many times we allow selfishness to rule our thinking.
Verse 23 tells us to be renewed and then verse 24 talks about putting on the new self which is God-like righteousness. That is a pretty tall order. However, God gives us what we need throughout Scripture to work towards this goal.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for giving Your Word to guide us through life. Please help us to put off the old deceitful self and put on the new according to Your righteousness and holiness.
I pray this in Jesus’ name.
God is so good.
22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24 (ESV)
Ephesians 3:20 can give us goosebumps as we think of all the happy things God can do. However, as I look at the context – one of spiritual growth and maturity – my mind goes down a different path. I believe the Christian life can bring much joy, but there is sorrow as well. The difficult things often bring about the most spiritual growth. So, what is the exceeding abundance? I believe 2 Corinthians 9:8 gives us the answer. “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” God’s grace brings the abundance that He wants. Abundance for every good work.
I fear we come to verses like Ephesians 3:20 with selfish thoughts. Selfishness is often a part of our identity. We need to give our own desires to God and He will give us His grace for abundant good works.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the abundance You provide. Please help me to see the ways You want to change my identity from self-centeredness to grace filled good works. Please strengthen me for the tasks ahead. I give You praise for all You do.
I have wanted to start a mid-week Bible verse post. Here is the first one.
I appreciate the Psalms. They often combine the lament or complaint about hard situations with praise to God for His goodness. I am burdened to be truthful about the difficulties of life, but not fall into ugly complaining. The example of the Psalms is a good pattern to follow.