Beyond the Gospels: Ephesians

Today’s Scripture: Ephesians 5:1-7
[Open up your Bible or open up the link above to read the Word.]

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children
and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us
and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering
and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 5:1-2 NIV

Today’s words cause me to wonder how many of us are actually walking the way of love…

God calls us to walk as Jesus. Totally sold out. Totally obedient. Totally in line with His Word. To the point of being a fragrant offering and sacrifice. Incense was burned. Lambs were slain. Both consumed on behalf of God’s glory.

Paul lists what the way of love looks like:
no sexual immorality (not even a hint)
no impurity (of any kind)
no greed
no obscenity
no foolish talk
no coarse joking

The only action, besides giving yourself up as an offering to God, is thanksgiving.

Where are you when it comes to this list regarding the way of love?

I’m pretty sure everyone of us fail on one or more points regularly. If you don’t see yourself in the list of “no”s maybe it’s time for an honest look at your heart. Maybe… it’s time to mourn…

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Matthew 5:4 ESV
Kyle Idleman, in his book The End of Me, examines the need  to recognize and mourn our sins.

But how often do I laugh at the very things that should cause me to mourn? … So is anyone out there mourning? Where is the man who weeps over his selfishness and pride? The woman who weeps over her gossip and her vanity? The husband who weeps over his passivity and the years, long gone, when he could have led his family? Where is the wife who weeps over her unsubmissive and critical spirit? Where is the student who weeps over his cheating, his lust, his ingrained cynicism? Where is the Christian who reads the news and sees the sin in our culture and feels the bruising in his inner spirit? There is joy and peace that come only when we finally let ourselves see the sin and let our eyes shed tears for it. Because in the midst of all those tears, all that grief, is where God’s blessing can be found. I realize it sounds a little crazy, but more and more I actually feel something like gratitude that I’m able to mourn my sin before God. There’s pain in confession, and then, on the other side, there’s a feeling like cool water washing over me on a blazing hot day.

—Kyle Idleman, The End of Me

I know from experience, he’s right. Just this past week I made a confession to a dear friend in the faith regarding sin in my heart. I experienced the grief… the pain… but what came “on the other side” was relief… freedom… peace…
God of grace, Lord of peace, bring me to the place of godly sorrow over sin in my life. Bless me with the boldness to confess to You and whoever else You call me to. I want to walk the way of love. The way of Jesus. For Your glory.

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