Monday, August 31, 2015

Ephesians 5:3
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.

Paul begins this passage by telling the Ephesian Christians (and all of us as well) that we should live a life that is beyond reproach.  He says that there shouldn’t be a hint of sin in our lives.  The sins that Paul lists are representative of the large array of human behavior that falls into the category of sin.  Paul is not trying to lift up some sin over other sin.  He is giving examples of sin but he is basically saying that we should stay away from all sin.

Paul tells us that willful sin (choosing sin even when we know that it is wrong) is not behavior appropriate for God’s people.

Consider these questions:

How do you avoid temptation and the possibility of falling into sin in your life?

Why should you work to not even have a hint of sin in your life?

August 30 - September 5

A Life Beyond Reproach

Ephesians 5:3-7

Living a life that is above accusation and is pleasing to God should be our desire but it is not easy.  This week we will spend our devotional time focusing on one of the passages of Ephesians that focuses on our behavior, how we live.

As you prepare to embark on this personal journey of self-reflection I invite you to consider the following questions:

Do you think much about the choices you make concerning your personal behavior?

Is what you do more a reaction to what happens around you and what you want rather than a decision process driven by God’s Spirit in your life?

How can your daily choices for behavior be more influenced by what God wants in your life?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Ephesians 5:1-2
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

As we imitate God we will be allowing the Word of God to impart truth and direct us in our decision making.  That is what God intends for us to do and when we make the right choices and live by God’s truth then we will be pleasing God.
Think of a decision you are in the process of making.  Are you allowing the Word of God to inform and direct your decision making process?  How can you make God a larger part of your decision making process?

Friday, August 28, 2015

Ephesians 4:30-32
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forging each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.


In these verses the Apostle Paul gives us instructions to stay away from any kind of malice and he urges us to live with the virtues of compassion, forgiveness and kindness.
In the midst of all these ethical admonitions Paul tells us not to grieve the Holy Spirit.  What does it mean to grieve the Holy Spirit?  When we ignore the Word of God in our lives we are grieving the Holy Spirit.  When we ignore God’s truth and follow our own form of wisdom we are grieving the Holy Spirit.  Paul included this statement in the midst of these commands to make the right choices because he knew that we will make the right choices to the extent that we are willing to listen to the Word of God through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Have you ever grieved the Holy Spirit by ignoring the Word of truth in favor of your own form of truth?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Ephesians 4:28
He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.


Paul instructs us to use our words not in a negative way but in a positive way that builds others up.

Think of a time when someone else’s words have hurt and wounded you.  Why would the word instruct us to make decisions not to use our speech in a negative way?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.


In this verse we are commanded not to steal.  We are not to take from others what doesn’t belong to us.  Additionally, Paul says that we should take our energies and direct them toward something that is positive.  Instead of stealing we should work, be productive and then we will have something to be able to share with other people instead of relying on others to take care of us.

How does the Word, the Bible, encourage us to be productive in our lives?

Why do you think the Word of God wants us to work and be productive to help others instead of stealing?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ephesians 4:26-27
“In your anger do not sin”:  Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.

The Apostle Paul is telling us that we shouldn’t allow anger to rule our decisions and our actions.  Paul says that if we allow this to happen then we will be giving the devil a foothold in our lives.
As we turn to the Word of God it will help us to see alternatives for our lives other than resorting to uncontrolled anger.  If we turn to the Word of God then the Spirit of God will have the upper hand in our lives rather than the devil.
Spend some time considering the ramifications of allowing unbridled anger and therefore the devil control over your life?
Conversely, spend some time considering what your life will be like if the Spirit of God through the Word of God is the dominant force in your life.