Monday, March 6, 2023

           In Ephesians, Paul gives some extremely valuable lessons on how to live as a follower of Christ.  He wrote about matters like marriage, parenting, the full armor of God and holiness.  This six-chapter letter is a simple book to read with great practical applications for how to live as a believer today.  In Ephesians 5:8-10, Paul wrote, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.”  The first truth that stands out is the personal change to and in individuals who come to faith in Christ.  We once inhabited darkness but now we live in light.  The darkness about which Paul wrote was sin.  We once lived in sin or relished sin.  But now, we are to live in the light of Christ and to relish righteousness and obedience.  We no longer want to turn from the Lord.  Rather, we now turn toward Him.  When we were in darkness, we were trapped and without any sort of hope.  But the moment we came to Christ, everything changed.
            Second, we are to live in light.  To live in light means there is no shame in how we live.  We are the same person when we are alone as we are when we are in the company of other people.  We would not be ashamed if someone observed how we lived when we are alone.  We would take no shame in how we live publicly before others.  Our behavior is righteous, good and upright.  There is neither blame nor guile in how we live.  We take Paul’s words to heart that we find in Ephesians 5:15, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise.”  Those who are wise choose to live in the light. 
            Third, we are consistently seeking the Lord and His will for us.  We are praying, reading the Bible and living by faith in God.  We want to find out what pleases the Lord and we want to be quick to do such things.  We are reminded of the deer in Psalm 42, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God” (Psalm 42:1).  We are panting for the Lord and eager to live in ways that please and honor Him.  If you sought your best friend with the same eagerness or energy or time that you devote to the Lord, would you still have that friend?  If you were as diligent on the job as you are in your relationship with the Lord, would you still have that job?  Knowing the Lord and walking with Him are the most important matters before us in life. 
            Near the end of Ephesians 5, Paul gave us a reminder about living thankfully.  He wrote, “always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).  A Christian should be forever grateful and thankful.  God has blessed us in ways far beyond anything we could count or calculate.  If we started to count our blessings, we would likely stop counting before we actually reached the end of our blessings.  Grateful living is contagious.  We draw and influence others who want to know the source of our gratitude and perhaps have a chance to speak about the Lord to them.  Grateful people usually leave a lasting and enduring impression upon us.  Always be prepared to give a reason for the hope and joy that are within you. 
            Paul ended Ephesians by asking his friends in Ephesus to pray that he would declare the gospel as fearlessly as he should.  May that be a prayer we offer as well—that we would share and present the gospel fearlessly and boldly.  May God bless and encourage you as you seek to live in the light of Christ. May your life be an enduring influence for Christ and His glorious gospel.  Have a great Monday!  Remember you can stay involved in our look at Revelation on Sunday mornings and share our worship with others at    

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