Good Morning, Siblings!
Today’s readings are Ephesians 4-6
Rabbit Trails and Turtle Tails (just seeing if you’re paying attention)
Hold your breath and get ready to jump because here we go!
Eph 4:1-7 I love that the Bible is so clear in our marching orders. It is never vague or hard to discern when it comes to how we as Believers are to live. Further, all of these marching orders are based on YHWH’s commandments, they simply reiterate and reinforce what He has already told us. We come to some of those marching orders in this passage. In order to be worthy of the calling placed on each of us, how will we behave?
With all humility
with gentleness towards others
with patience towards others.
with an eagerness to maintain peace and unity
To behave as one, knowing we are of one accord in many things and that each of us has benefited greatly from the grace of our Father, so we should be willing to extend that grace to others.
Now we go on to see in Ephesians 4:13-14 that these characteristics are present in the behavior of a mature believer, which we should all strive to be.
We also see the behavior we should be found free from in our lives, that of an immature believer:
until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Eph 4:14
To quote the Messiah, “Let him who has ears, hear.”
So what happens next? What is the result of leaving this immature behavior behind and striving for this fruitful behavior we are to exhibit? Ephesians 4:16 says that when each part is working properly, the body grows and builds itself up in love.
Ephesians 4:17-24 admonishes us in a very serious tone not to walk as the Gentiles do. In this context “Gentiles” denotes those who have not joined themselves to Messiah, people who are of the world and following the world’s customs, worshipping the world’s gods. This passage is a particularly hard one for me to read because it fits the description of how people outside of the world of believers would use to describe most Christians today.
Is this description deserved? In some cases, yes. But while those cases may be a minority the tragedy is that the minority have the loudest voices and the easiest access to an amplification of that voice. I won’t paste the entire verse here but I encourage you to spend some time lingering over this and allow yourself to feel compassion for those unbelievers who may feel this way about us so that we can be granted some small opening in which to love them and show them the true light of the Father.
Here is our goal for the day:
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. – Eph 4:29-32
I thank the Father for the opportunity to read His Word with you. I am overwhelmed by His love for us!
Ephesians 5:1 tells us to be imitators of YHWH. The Father, in His kindness, reminds me daily of how much Grace He has shown me in my life and continues to do so to this day. With all of the grace He has given us, it is such a small thing to show grace to others. Our cup is filled to overflowing and just a few drops in the lives of those around us can make a world of difference. Grace. To our friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, those we love, and those who get on our nerves – grace. I guarantee that each one of us here has tried the Father’s nerves and yet He has not ceased to love us. Let us imitate Him to our fellow man and by doing so shine His light into a dark world.
Ephesians 5:4 I think of this as my Holy Spirit muzzle. If it is foolish, crude, unkind, unholy, slanderous, or could cause others to think badly of someone, our mouths should not be saying it. Shut the mouth as the words are coming out if need be and when it opens again, make sure it is praising and thanking the Father, exhibiting only speech which brings honor to Him as is befitting a rightful servant of the Most High.
Ephesians 5:6-11 Let’s camp on this one a minute:
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.
Early on in the Word we are instructed to be on our guard because there are forces actively trying to deceive us. I don’t think we are capable of understanding just how hard these forces are working and to what extent they are capable of going to. We are told here to be careful that people not deceive us with empty words. What is an empty word? It is when someone claims one thing and does another. This is another clear case in which we must judge people by their fruit, not by what kind of tree they say they are. If someone says they’re an apple tree but their fruit is sour grapes, they clearly aren’t an apple tree.
So here is the kicker, In Eph 5:7 we are told not to become partners with them. What does this mean? We are not to be cohorts, we are not to aid them, we are not to support them. If we are supporting a person, business, cause, or ministry it is our responsibility to make sure that ministry is working in accordance with YHWH’s Word. Because if they are taking part in something that works against YHWH, if they are deceiving people or doing something illegal, and we have helped to make that deceit possible, we will have to face that. We have partnered with them.
We cannot support trees that bear bad fruit and thereby aid in their propagation. We even see a fruit reference throughout this verse reminding us that Messiah gave us this litmus test to use so that we may live discerning lives, rightly dividing holy from unholy and not compromising our witness by partnering with what is unholy.
Ephesians 5:15-16 Goodness, let’s read this solemn statement and let it cut deep.
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
Are we being careful how we walk? Are we making the most use of our time? This wisdom that we are to be walking in, what is the source of it? YHWH’s Word can answer all. We need to carefully walk according to His word. We need to use as much of our time as we can studying His Word. The wisdom that we require in order to navigate these evil days, that comes from His Word. The days are evil and we’d be better served turning off the tv and opening the book. Even with all that is going on in the world today, I am 100% convinced and convicted that if we never watched a minute of news or read a sentence of news reports, we could stay in the Word and know exactly what to do in any situation we found ourselves in.
The end of Ephesians 5 speaks of a Godly marriage and the man being head of the woman. Keep in mind this is in reference to a YHWH centered marriage as YHWH planned them to be. This is not license for abuse or an excuse for it although it is tragically used as such. In a marriage where both partners are seeking the Father wholeheartedly, there is a balance and peace in that union that most people outside of the Faith can only dream of.
Chapter 6 offers great perspective and gives us the famous Armor of God analogy. Pay special attention to who our wrestling is really with because we tend to live as if our greatest problems are of this world, with very little thought to eternity. We say we are setting our eye on the Father and then the adversary shows us something shiny and we abandon our witness for foolish controversies and golden calves. This is a time for spiritual maturity and we’ve got to learn the difference between what is gold and what is gold plated.
And with that, we have completed another book. Rak Chazak!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!