Beyond the Gospels: Ephesians

Read today’s verses: Ephesians 5:8-21
[Open up the Word, either in your hand with a Bible or online by clicking the reference.]

“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
Ephesians 5:14 ESV
Sleepers generally sleep in the dark, unresponsive, oblivious to what is going on around them. They may be having a wonderful dream from which they don’t want to wake or they may be trapped in a night terror from which they can’t free themselves.
Sleepers in Scripture are those out of touch with the reality of the One True Living God. They live life on their own terms led by their own desires rather than the ways of the Lord. This is living in the dark.
Believers are called to live as children of light bearing the fruit of goodness, righteousness, and truth. We are to have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
Those who have been asleep usually don’t like it when a light suddenly comes on and wakes them up. Or in this case, exposes their sin and unbelief. It can be a dangerous thing to wake up a sleeper.
But we, as Believers, are called to expose dark deeds. Not talk about them in secret with one another, this would be gossip, but to expose them to the sleeper himself. Make their darkness visible to them.
This concept of exposing yet not talking about sin may sound like a contradiction, but let’s think about it a moment. Even reflect on your own life, for we all, once upon a time, lived in darkness. When a person finally realizes they have been living a lie and sees their path of sin leaving behind a wake of destruction, then Christ has an opportunity to shine in their hearts. Repentance and forgiveness and grace illuminate their lives.
Your past may include addiction, sexual immorality, abuse, abortion, deception, stealing or any other number of sins, but when the Holy Spirit wakes you up, and Christ shines on your past, it becomes a testimony that shines for His glory. 
Children of Light find all the joy and excitement they need in the Holy Spirit. He fills our hearts with songs of thanks to the Father for EVERYTHING in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ! For He makes all things new, even a dark past.
What’s in your past, your sleeper days, that He wants to shine for His glory?
Consider thinking through and writing out your testimony of what He’s done in your life. Then ask Him for opportunities to share your story with those who are still sleeping…
I praise You for rousing me from the sleep of death, do not let me drift off again. Help me to wake others with my testimony in Jesus’s name.

Lord, wake up Your church that we might shine Your grace on others.

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