I have been continuing to read in Ephesians. Now I'm in chapter 5! I was actually in chapter 5 a couple of days ago, and when I sat down to write, I didn't know what to say. Verses 1-21 are intimidating. So today I thought I'd give it another shot, asking the Holy Spirit to give me wisdom and discernment. And I'm still kind of at a loss.. Here's what I got!
The first thing Paul says, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is, "Therefore, be imitators of God." Sounds easy enough, right! Ya know, the creator of the universe, the most perfect example of love and mercy and grace.. ?? So Paul continues on and says do this by walking in love just like the Messiah loved us and gave himself for us. Ok, so to imitate God, I must love! I think I can do that. But only with help from the Lord. I have a hard time loving people that are easy to love sometimes! So loving everyone just as Christ loves me is a task. So after we are commanded to love, Paul goes on to share some other things that make us imitators of God:
No sexual immorality, no coarse or foolish joking, don't participate in fruitless acts, walk as children of light (in goodness, righteousness, and truth), walk as wise people, make most of the time, don't be foolish but know the Lord's will, don't get drunk on wine, but be filled with the Holy Spirit, speak to one another in psalms and hymns, give thanks for everything, and submit to one another in the for fear of Christ.
Woah.. my first thoughts.. how in the world am I supposed to remember, let alone do or not do all that?! And then I think, well I can do anything with Christ's help. And I truly believe that I can. And I have to remember that I can't beat myself up over sin. I have to be truly repentant and always be thoughtful not to sin, but it is our nature, so I will be careful to give God the praise for his forgiveness!
I think my biggest hang up is this. Yesterday, Dan's preacher said that the Christian life is not a life of do's and don'ts. And I have also thought this, but here, Paul gives us a huge list of things to do and things not to do as a way to imitate God. So.. I guess I need to do some thinking here. How do you live the Christian life? In college, it often seems by not drinking or not cussing or not having sex. But I can be that person and still be no closer to Christ.
Ok, so I'm thinking that the greatest of all these commands is love. And the Bible says they will know we are Christians by our love! Mini break through! haha.
And I know that the Christian life should not be legalistic. So is the point there that all of the do's and don'ts can't save you, but if you are truly saved and are walking as children of the light, following that list will become the desire of your heart?
Today, I'm shouting out to all my friends for some help on this one. How does one truly live the Christian life? How does someone imitate God without being bound to a list of right and wrong? Or is that the only way? Hit me up with some help! Shoot me a message or a text or just leave a comment here or on my wall. Thank you in advance :)
I pray that each of you has a blessed Monday. Back to school and work after a much needed break for some, and just another day at the office for others. I love you all, and I thank God for you :)