Love, Just as Christ Loved Us

Ephesians 5
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

Imitate God. He died for us.

We must learn to walk in love. We will get many opportunities to walk out his challenge. People will constantly test you.

The end of chapter 4 said FORGIVE and LOVE. Chapter 5 starts the same way: Love, just as Christ has loved us.

I thank God for all the people He has put in my life that make this a much easier process. My beautiful fun kids, and my awesome wife. You guys are so loving and forgiving. I too can learn to do the same.

A mature Christian

Ephesians 4
31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

So chapter four ends the way it starts, with a call to unity.

From my commentary:
The new man seeks to show the same kindness, tender heartedness and forgiveness to others that God shows him. If we treat others as God treats us, we fulfill every thing Paul told us to do in this chapter.

Paul just painted a picture in chapter 4 of a mature Christian.

Put all these into practice.

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit

Ephesians 4
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

I think I now see the Spirit of God grieving, when you are sitting down to read a novel and there is your Bible unread… You have no time for prayer, but the Spirit sees you very active about worldly things, and having many hours to spare for relaxation and amusement. And then he is grieved because he sees that you love worldly things better than you love him.” (Spurgeon)

There are VERY few people who are not guilty of this. We spend so much time “relaxing” and very little time praying and reading the Word of God. There are times I want to think I am amazing because I spend 10-15 minutes in the morning doing a devotional, but this is sad and kinda pathetic. The Lord deserves our time, our effort, and our hearts.

Let us not grieve the Spirit. Let us have communion with Him, then we will see His goodness unfold before our eyes.

Another thought:
The Holy Spirit’s grief is not of a petty, oversensitive nature. “He is grieved with us mainly for our own sakes, for he knows what misery sin will cost us; he reads our sorrows in our sins… He grieves over us because he sees how much chastisement we incur, and how much communion we lose.” (Spurgeon)

Edify

Ephesians 4
29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 

From my commentary:
The new man knows how to watch his tongue, speaking only what is good for necessary edification, desiring to impart grace to all who hear him.

I feel a lot of the commentaries think these words from Paul, are great idea’s for living a Godly life, instead of knowing these will directly impact your life in ways hard to explain.

Be angry but DON’T sin. Have money to give! Only speak edifying things.

I am even learning that we speak down on ourselves, which is NOT edifying.

The real reason we work

Ephesians 4:28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.

From my commentary:
Paul’s idea is that we should work so that we can give. The purpose for getting becomes giving.

If you are not giving to those around you, you need to start. It is time to not live paycheck to paycheck, but have enough to give.

Don’t Let the Sun Go Down

Ephesians 4
26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give [g]place to the devil.

Reconcile one to another, and be at peace.

There is a time and place for a proper anger. However, it HAS to give way to peace and reconciliation. You cannot just hold the anger.

When you go to bed angry, it gives the devil a little place in your heart where he can go to work. Give him NO place.

I also like how it doesn’t say “never be angry.” Even the Lord get’s angry.

From my commentary:
The devil’s work is to accuse and divide the family of God, and to sow discord among them. When we harbor anger in our heart, we do the devil’s work for him.

Truth

Now that our minds are renewed Paul gives us the next steps so that we do not grieve the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 4
25 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. 

This is something I do my best to live up to. Lying is an act of pure evil. When you lie, you hinder ANY faith speak that may come from your mouth.

Instead, repent from the lies you have told in the past, and communicate truths moving forward.

and renew a right spirit within me…

Ephesians 4
20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

The Ephesians learned Christ, not only learning about Jesus, but also learning Him. This means a living, abiding knowledge of Jesus will keep us from the kind of sinful conduct Paul speaks of. Just knowing about Jesus isn’t enough to keep us pure.

It takes more than reading a few scriptures here and there. With have to study and FOLLOW Christ. We then have to imitate Him. Love what He loves. Hate what He hates. That is the BEGINNING of following the Lord and creating a true relationship.

Don’t WALK THIS WAY

Ephesians 4
17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as [f]the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 

From my commentary:
No longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk: The Gentile walk is characterized by the futility of their mind. In the end, their thinking is futile because their understanding is darkened – because they are alienated from the life of God.

We have hope. We have tools that others do not have. We have an opportunity at wisdom and understanding far above our age and this world. We just need to pray, believe and receive.

I think another key phrase is “in the futility of their mind.” When we try to figure things out, we will almost always fail, unless we walk with God.

Fight the Good Fight

Save me
Heaven save me
I feel betrayed by the work of my hands

My life is a constant war
My life is a constant fight

These lyrics are from a song I listen to. I feel it describes life pretty well. There is always a fight. Most of the time it is spiritual and I’m the biggest foe.

1 Timothy
12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 

Notice it says lay hold on eternal life, to which you were ALSO called. So what is your first calling?
We need to grab hold of the promises He has for us, but always know that faith IS a fight.