DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-07-21
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
BIBLE REFERENCE: Ephesians 5:8-11
TRANSLATION: New Century Version (NCV)
BIBLE TEXT: 8 In the past you were full of darkness, but now you are full of light in the Lord. So live like children who belong to the light. 9 Light brings every kind of goodness, right living, and truth. 10 Try to learn what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the things done in darkness, which are not worth anything. But show that they are wrong.
OBSERVATION: Paul made it clear that Christians are children of the Most High God. We are loved by God and in respect of that love, we should live in a way that pleases God. In the preceding verses, Paul named some sins that his audience of that day were guilty of participating in and, unfortunately, I believe that we are living in a time when those same sins, and even worse, are occurring right in our neighborhoods. However, Paul was really speaking to the Ephesian church. Do you suppose our church-goers are guilty of similar sins even today? Perhaps this is worth meditating on today. Stick with me on this, friend.
APPLICATION: It seems like Paul may have had a very challenging audience to deal with in the Ephesian church, don’t you think? As you ponder that question, please stop and ponder to what degree you suppose that might be happening to pastors today. No, not at the church down the road that you have heard so much about, but right at your own church. Oh, you know everyone attending your church, so surely no such behavior is expected from your members? Dear, dear friends, having served in church leadership for much of my life, it is very unfortunate that I could tell you that not every one who enters our church doors on Sunday mornings with a big smile on their faces are as innocent as you might assume, just because they came to church. So I believe that Paul’s sermon on this subject would have been just as fitting in any of our churches, as it was to the Ephesians. Think about it, divorce rates are probably higher in the church than they are outside of the church. Many church goers wind up in prison, just like those from the outside. There are just as many vehicles that speed by us on the highway with Christian based bumper stickers as those with nasty, rude or cruel ones. However, I believe that God wanted this lesson taught through Paul to be internalized, at the time it was given by Paul, and on this very day that God has allowed me to share with you on this subject. You see, then and now, God is still against sin, and I believe that it still makes Him sick when He sees how tolerable the church has become with the sin that occurs around our churches and within. Let me encourage you to sit and chat with a Christian over 70 years of age. Ask them what is so widely acceptable now, that was totally rejected, or frowned upon, by the first church they attended. You may want to be sure you are seated and ready for the shocking response. We tend to look at the old church as having some very primitive ways that really could not survive in today’s environment. Why?? Paul taught us that individually we once brushed aside those sins committed in the dark, because we saw the light of God as it shone through the pages of His Word. And guess what, not one word has changed in the Bible. Even when current versions/translations try to make it easier for Christians today to understand the meaning behind what God had to say, the intent and meaning is still very prevalent and applicable. Therefore Paul taught that we are to shun the darkness and the sin committed therein. Instead, since we are children of the Light (the Light of the World – Jesus), then we must live like Jesus did and as He taught us to. In living like we should, it will become much more evident when sinners in our midst live in darkness. Unless the world sees a difference, then they will not see the necessity for change in their lives and in their behavior. I believe that our challenge from the Word today is that we should live so much like our Master, that the world will be drawn to Him, because they will know that only Jesus could change a dirty old sinner into a life reflecting the qualities detailed in verse 9 – every kind of goodness, right living, and truth. Praise God, I’m a child of the King! Please read through my Footnote and especially the Scripture referenced in the hyperlink, and ensure that you are a ‘child of the Light’ my friend!
PRAYER: Thank You Father for the gift of eternal life through Your Son, Jesus – the Light of the world! You knew from the start that we would struggle to live holy and righteous lives here in this old sinful world, so You sent Jesus to us as our Savior. Thank You from the bottom of our hearts. Please touch the lives of those living in the darkness of this world, may they see Jesus today, and may they reach for greater heights to know Him. Oh that Your children, who are called by Your name, will humble themselves, pray, seek Your face and Your forgiveness, then perhaps You will seek the will of the Father to forgive us our sins, heal our land and draw all men unto Yourself. We need this precious Lord. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!