As we finish up Ephesians, we see Paul’s heart. In Ephesians 6:18-24, Paul makes his statements even more personal. He is praying for them and he wants to make sure his readers know the extent of his love and compassion for them. He shares his needs and he shares how he is responding to their needs. He prays that they will experience peace and love. When we are with others, are we real with them? Do we share our hopes and desires for them along with the struggles and difficulies that we are facing? Paul knew the importance of being genuine. What are we praying for others today?
Are we prepared for evil days? Are we ready when we get attacked? As we look at Ephesians chapter 6, when we start in verse 10 and go through verse 17, we see the description of the armor of God. Paul understands that there will be attack as we walk through this Christian Life. Paul also wants us to understand where that attack comes from and how to defend ourselves. We must be ready. We cannot wait to prepare for an attack, but we must anticipate the attack that will come from Evil around us. Our enemy is not of flesh and blood but is the Devil himself seeking to keep us from becoming more like Jesus Christ. Are we prepared? Do we put on the full armor of God every moment of every day and seek to stand firm in God?
Now that Paul has established the importance of the marriage relationship in yesterday’s verses, he move on to other relationships. Ephesians 6:1-9 gives information on how to have Godly relationships in several other areas. The bottom line boils down to treating people the way God would treat them. Do we respect others and honor them for the position they have in our lives? God commands nothing less.
Family is an important topic in the Bible. What a family should look like and how a family should act and behave with one another is spoken of multiple times throughout scripture. Here in Ephesians chapter 5 verses 22 through the end of the chapter, we see yet another description of how husbands and wives are to interact with one another. Wives are to respect their husbands. They are to give them the place of leadership within the family. However, that leadership is to be a servant leader. Husbands are to love their wives. That is the essence of servant leadership. One cannot truly lead another, without having a level of care and compassion for that person.
In the instance of family, the husband should care so deeply about his wife that it’s as if he was leading himself. Because of that level of care and compassion, wives can have great respect for their husbands and for the leadership position that they are to hold in the family. When we look at our families today and when we look at society today, we could all stand to have more servant leadership. When we look at our own family, how does it compare to the scriptural mandate given here? How do we need to change to take on the attitude of Christ and to demonstrate that attitude through the families that we are in?
While reading Ephesians 5:17-21, one phrase in verse 19 really stuck out to me. Do I “make melody with my heart to the Lord?” We can sing beautiful songs and we can say wonderful things about Christ, but what is the song of our heart? Do we long for Him and desire Him above everything? Does our heart make a beautiful melody to the Lord? As we go through today, let’s focus our hearts on praising Jesus Christ. If our hearts are praising Him, then our mouths and our lives will praise Him as well.
Paul continues discussing the light and the dark. In Ephesians 5:11-16 we see additional differences between living a life in the light and living a life in the dark. Many times people trying to hide what they do. They’re either ashamed of what they’ve done, or they know that what they’re doing is wrong and they don’t want anyone to know about it. They do their actions in the dark. Paul warns that eventually, the light of Jesus Christ will see everything that we do. Are we living our life wisely? Are we living our life in a way that we would embrace the light or are we fearful of the light exposing what it is that we do? As we go through today, examine our thoughts and motivations and actions based upon the light of Jesus Christ so that we have no surprises later on.
Are we of the light? In Ephesians 5:6-10, Paul encourages us to not be deceived but to walk as children of the light. He then defines the light as being the things of goodness and righteousness. The light is Jesus Christ. As we walk with the characteristics of Jesus Christ, we will see all that he has for us and others will see him through us. We will also not be deceived. So many things in this world seek to turn us to their own for their own purposes. They try to deceive us to gain our allegiance, power, influence, attention, and so many other things. We must never be deceived. As we continue to focus on Jesus Christ and to walk in the light that he has given us, we will find ourselves more than able to determine what is truth and what is a lie. What are we focusing on today? Are we committing ourselves to walk in the light?
What comes out of our mouth is a reflection of what is in our heart. In Ephesians chapter 5 verses 3 through 5, Paul explains this in detail. He talks through the fact that silliness, coarse jesting, filthiness, and immorality are never things that characterize the speech or conduct of someone who claims Jesus Christ is Lord. Everything we say and do, if we truly have Jesus at the center of our life, should be reflection of the characteristics of Jesus Christ.
How would our words define us? Would we be embarrassed or offended for our preacher, our mother, or anyone else to overhear what we say on a regular basis? Regardless of where we are or who we are with, Jesus always hears what we say. Are we living today speaking and acting in such a way that brings glory to God? If not, we need to question where our focus and commitment truly lies.
Are we an imitator of God? In Ephesians 5:1-2 we are given a command and also the means by which to fulfill that command. First, Paul tells us that we are to be imitators of God. We are his beloved children and just as our small children try to imitate what we do, we are to imitate what God does. How do we do this? That is answered in verse 2. We are to walk in love.
The love that is mentioned here is a sacrificial love. We see that Christ has sacrificed himself for us because of his love of the father, and because of our love for God we are also to sacrifice for others. Do we love other people? Do we demonstrate that love to them through our actions that show the love of Christ? We cannot become more like God unless we love as God loves. Does our life imitate God today?
Ephesians 4:17-32 has so much contained within it. We see in these verses our choice. Each and every moment of the day we have a choice. We decide whether we are going to choose to think and do the wrongs that are accepted by the world. Or, we are going to choose to do what is pleasing to God. Make no mistake, this choice sounds much easier to make now than in actuality when we are presented with it in the moment.
No matter what we have been through and what is presented to us, we are responsible for putting on the new mind we have received in Christ and choosing based on what God would have for us. What choices do you need to make today that will demonstrate that you are using your new mind that is in Christ Jesus?