Here we are already in chapter 5! We’re going to dig into some daily applications for living this week and next. Get ready! I know I need to pray over all of this before I jump in.
Okay... now let’s read Ephesians 5:1-5. It seems like Paul didn’t even take a breath between chapters! You may want to read back through the last few verses of chapter 4 to connect it all.
1. Verse 1. Be an imitator of God, as a dearly loved child. Drop the mic right?!
Identify a behavior that your own children have picked up from you. How did they acquire this characteristic? Why does a child usually imitate those he or she is around?
2. Apply this to your relationship with your Heavenly Father. How do you become more like Him? Why would you want to?
3. What does Christ-like behavior look like (hint: read verse 2!). How does this affect God?
4. List the behaviors that are unacceptable for Christ followers. This is tough! This behavior includes our actions, words AND thoughts. Ouch!!!
How do we combat these in our lives?
Personally, when I recognize an area that I fall short, I HAVE to confess it and ask for help from the Lord! And He is faithful to provide it! He gives us His Word, His Holy Spirit, other believers to encourage us, Godly counsel,... We are not on our own, but we are called to obedience once the sin has been revealed.
Many years ago, my husband and I recognized how much we picked on each other. Jokingly yes, but sometimes it became personal in the heart. We totally realized this was what “crude joking” looked like in our lives. It took some time and lots of work, but with the help of the Lord, we kicked the habit. Our marriage became safe, encouraging and so much more positive. And that’s what the Lord designed for us to experience!
Now the Lord has chosen a NEW area in which to shape me! We’re never done growing, are we?!?
5. To wrap up, draw into verse 5. Does this mean we’re not going to heaven if we do any of these things?
If you’re unsure, consider the word “inheritance”. This is different than salvation. Maybe that will help! Remember you can always add a comment or question if you want to share anything!
In a world that thrives on these exact qualities, we’re called to stand out as different. Those of the world WILL experience suffering for a life lived this way - both now on earth and for all of eternity. We are called to be different and display Christ’s love because we’re God’s dearly loved children and chosen messengers to the world! We are to reflect His light and offer His hope to those suffering in darkness now, so that they will not suffer forever.
Oh Lord, may we give ourselves fully to you and be used fully by you!