(Part 7)


October 24, 2016

Today’s readings:

Ephesians 4:32-5:8

Psalm 1:1-6

Luke 13:10-17

We are called to holiness. To be holy is to be set apart. To be set apart is to walk the way of the Lord and not of the world, even though we live in the world. That is difficult. We must consciously strive for holiness. This consists in practical day-to-day actions.

First, “be imitators of God, as beloved children” (Eph 5:1). God has brought us from darkness to light, from death to life. “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light” (Eph 5:8). To be holy is to be like Christ.

Second, live the word of God. Read, meditate on and study the Bible. Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ. “Rather, the law of the Lord is his joy; and on his law he meditates day and night.” (Ps 1:2).

Third, “live in love” (Eph 5:2a). Love is the hallmark of a Christian. Love is of God. Love is giving of ourselves, to God and to our fellow men. It is self-sacrificial. It is just “as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.” (Eph 5:2b).

Fourth, avoid any kind of evil, such as “immorality or any impurity or greed” (Eph 5:3a). These “must not even be mentioned among you” (Eph 5:3b). These have nothing to do with the Christian life. Avoiding these, in action or speech, “is fitting among holy ones” (Eph 5:3c). In speaking to one another, there should be “no obscenity or silly or suggestive talk, which is out of place” (Eph 5:4a).

Fifth, we must be thankful always, for whatever our good Lord allows to come our way. When we speak to each other, it must be about how good our God is. It is all about “thanksgiving.” (Eph 5:4b).

Sixth, in our relations with brethren, “be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another” (Eph 4:32a). At times it will be difficult to forgive. For those times, look to how “God has forgiven you in Christ.” (Eph 4:32b). We look not to the offender, but to the One we have offended.

Seventh, be careful who you associate with, as they will certainly influence your life. “So do not be associated with” those who “deceive you with empty arguments” (Eph 5:7,6a). Stick to what God has to say. Stick to what trusted leaders have to teach. Otherwise, if you listen to such others, you may end up disobeying what God says or what anointed leaders say, and “because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient.” (Eph 5:6b). Further, do “not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the company with scoffers.” (Ps 1:1).

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