Ephesians 5:6-21 - Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, "Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
These verses form part of the apostle Paul's comment on living a godly life as a follower of Jesus. In Ephesians 4-6, he exhorts his readers to consider their actions wisely as they faithfully devote themselves to the One who "gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God" (Ephesians 5:2b).
Paul was no stranger to the conflict between good and evil that makes the Christian walk the day-to-day challenge that it is. It's no different for us today, is it? Our harried lives overflow with things that divert our attention from God—things that keep us distant from Him and neglecting those things we should be focused on.
Paul knew this conflict all too well. "For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do is what I keep on doing" (Romans 7:19). This is our struggle, too. We want to please God; we want to live impassioned lives for Jesus, but something hinders us—our flesh, the world, Satan himself. "Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God our Father through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:24-25a).
Indeed, thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! He is our Deliverer. God's own Son took on our flesh, fought the fight we could not win—and gives us His victory as our own! May we now take these newborn lives we have been given and live for Him, walking daily as children of the light.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, may our lives shine for You each and every day. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Paul Schreiber.
1. How do you try to "discern what is pleasing to the Lord"?
2. What might it have meant (per your speculation) for Paul to want to do good but, in the end, do wrong, anyway?
3. Do you have any favorite traditional or contemporary spiritual songs that inspire and refresh you?
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