Weather has been hot the past week. God gave us a respite with some rain, and my 13 year old daughter Ella took this photo of HIS glorious handiwork when the storm was winding down.
What a beautiful reminder of God’s promises.
The following is my journal of Ephesians 5:1-14. I primarily used the NASB (New American Standard), but pulled a little understanding from referencing the NIV and Amplified Version. You can read along at Blueletterbible.org. PT=Personal Thought
vs. 1–This verse states the truth about me: I am God’s Beloved Child. I am commanded to imitate God: Be like my Father.
vs.2–Jesus set the ultimate example for me by giving Himself for me and the whole Church. This was walking in love, and an example of grace. PT: I can gather from this verse that when I give of myself for another (grace) it is received by God as a sweet smelling sacrifice.
vs.3–Don’t participate in:
- greed (and greed leads to the first two)
Because we are saints vs.4– there should be no:
- no filthiness
- no silly talk
- no course jesting
Instead we are to GIVE THANKS!!
vs.5–“No immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ.”
My study Bible says of this verse that anyone habitually following an immoral pattern of life isn’t saved.
PT: There should be righteous fruit–evidence of gradual, but consistent change. We all sin.
PT: It’s interesting that Paul says anyone who is covetous is an idolater. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 talks about these no-no’s again. Idolatry is loving something above God. So what is going through my head is the thought that maybe desiring more than what God gives us is putting greater desire on ‘other things’ than the will of God. There’s a lot of gray space, but this gives more urgency to being content.
vs.6 thru 10– We need discernment to understand what is pleasing to God: what is good and right and true. This is so that we won’t be deceived by anyone who teaches anything contrary to God’s word and will.
vs.11–This is so that we also can expose lies/dark/unfruitful deeds rather than participating in them. PT: Living right before God is a contrast that exposes wrong.
vs.12– Quote: “For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret.”
My study bible points out it can be easy to do things in secret when no one is watching that we’d be embarrased to do in public. It’s a good check to ask myself: Would I want others to know I think this, watch this, read this, use this language, etc… even more, God always sees… do I remember that? Nothing is secret.
Also, the historical commentary talks about how this was Greco-Roman society where many pagan cults were the precedent. Those who became Christ-followers would have been learning what pleases God and would have stopped participating in immoral conversations and common religious rites. They would have stood out.
America is not the “One Nation Under God” that it used to be. When I was growing up even if someone was not a Christian they usually had heard popular Bible stories. I have found that’s not always the case anymore. Immorality is everywhere. Do I stand out as being different? Am I light in my circle of influence?
vs.13–“But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.” First half of that was clear to me… Anything exposed to the light (God’s precepts) becomes visable. Second half of the verse started out unclear to me, but I like the Amplified version which says it is light that makes everything visable. Sort of two ways of saying the same thing.
vs. 14–“For this reason it says,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you.”
You are a good Father. You set a perfect example for me of a life of grace so that I can understand what it looks like to walk in love. Thank you that I am your Beloved Child.
Thank you for your good WORD which explains what is pleasing to you, and your Holy Spirit who guides me in truth, so I can identify what is good and right and true. There are so many doctrines around me which are contrary to your will. Lord, please grant me discernment and wisdom to be able to sift out the bad and hang onto the truth so that I won’t be deceived. Help me teach my children and be an example that helps and encourages others in Your truth. Grant that I may stand out as belonging to you, exposing what is a lie, of the dark and unfruitful (vs 11).
Please bring your will about in my life. And may your receive all praise and glory.
In Jesus name, Amen.
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