January 11 I Wednesday
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” —1 John 3:1
In Paul’s writing, he always reminds us of our position in Christ. Such as in his letter to the Ephesians, he pleads, “Follow God’s example, 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” (Ephesians 5:1-2). Paul reminds us of our position in Christ and then he calls us to obedience, explaining what our life should be like because of that connection. Paul never fails to bring us to the relational truth: we are in Christ; God is our Father and we are His dearly loved children. From this relationship, our lives should reflect His righteousness.
Paul confronts things that happen in people’s lives. When we stray away from obedience, he gives a list of behaviours that are not acceptable to people who identify themselves with Christ. Paul writes, “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. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving” (Ephesians 5:3-4). Maybe some of us are struggling with a sin in our life right now. We may have experienced freedom from a particular sin but find it starting to slowly creep its way back in us.
Paul says, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light…and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible and everything that is illuminated becomes a light” (Ephesians 5:8-13).
Is there anything that we need to expose in our life? Obedience flows out of our loving relationship with the Father. Paul tells us, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is” (Ephesians 5:15-17). As dearly beloved children of God, we are to be mindful of how we live in this world. Disobedience only brings about sorrow, because we are grieving the Holy Spirit in us. May we confess and surrender any fruitless deeds in us to Jesus at the cross and take up a newness of life.
Prayer: O Heavenly Father, I lay bare my fruitless deeds that I have hidden in the dark. Help me live as a dearly beloved child in Your light. Thank You, Father.