Filled

Ephesians 5:15-21 So be careful to live your life wisely, not foolishly. Take advantage of every opportunity because these are evil times. Because of this, don’t be ignorant, but understand the Lord’s will. Don’t get drunk on wine, which produces depravity. Instead, be filled with the Spirit in the following ways: speak to each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; sing and make music to the Lord in your hearts; always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; and submit to each other out of respect for Christ. 

Paul has been talking about how the Christian life should look. Part of me thinks that this life would be difficult; but then I realize it is Christ who equips us, fills us and gives us all we need. He is reminding the readers, and us, that life with Christ is not foolish, but it is very intentional in how we think and how we give thanks for what we have been given.

We have been given the invitation to be filled with the Holy Spirit. This is not talking about a one time filling; but rather a filling that continually takes place. We are all called to allow Christ to fill us on a daily basis. Christ has identified himself as the Living Water. This means whenever we get thirsty, we get to be filled again with the source of Life.

Life is difficult and we have many differing opinions on how we should live and what our convictions should be, but there is the Lord’s will for our lives that is so much more than we could ever imagine. This will for us help us to navigate these “evil times.” How does this happen? Paul outlines what this would look like for us.

He says to be filled with The Spirit and not filled with the spirits of alcohol. The Spirit gives life and direction; the spirits in alcohol reduce our inhibitions and can cause depravity. How can we know someone is filled with the Spirit? It is how we speak to each other and our attitude. Paul is reminding us we should have an attitude of gratitude and when we speak to each other, we should speak in a way that brings people to faith in Christ.

When we believe in and accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ we are different people and as such we will treat those around us differently so that we live a life that is worthy of our calling and is a life which brings people to faith.

#TheGospelChangesUs

Incredible Gift

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Ephesians 2:1-7 At one time you were like a dead person because of the things you did wrong and your offenses against God. You used to live like people of this world. You followed the rule of a destructive spiritual power. This is the spirit of disobedience to God’s will that is now at work in persons whose lives are characterized by disobedience. At one time you were like those persons. All of you used to do whatever felt good and whatever you thought you wanted so that you were children headed for punishment just like everyone else. However, God is rich in mercy. He brought us to life with Christ while we were dead as a result of those things that we did wrong. He did this because of the great love that he has for us. You are saved by God’s grace! And God raised us up and seated us in the heavens with Christ Jesus. God did this to show future generations the greatness of his grace by the goodness that God has shown us in Christ Jesus. 

So here Paul goes again, talking about how bad the person is who is in the world. This is something that deters people. Who wants to hear what a bad person they are, or who wants to hear they are dead spiritually? But this is something we all need to hear, be reminded of and speak about. We need to speak about this because it will be so easy to boast thinking that we are “self-made” and everything we have been able to do, we have done on our own.

I don’t know about you, but I have not ever seen a dead person do anything. Paul is reminding the people, and us, of the fallen state of creation. We can see this all the time, everyday. All we have to do is turn on the TV or listen to the radio for just a few minutes to hear about beheadings, burning people, genocide, wars, corruption, etc, etc, etc. This can be depressing if we just focus on this. Yes, we do live in a fallen world and our actions lead us to a life further away from God, which leads to misery in the soul. We become desensitized to the violence around us, we act like nothing is wrong, we are dead spiritually because we do not care nor love anymore.

Verse 4 begins with “However, God…” Other translations use the phrase, “But, God…” I love this phrase because it points to hope. We can land on these words and know something different is about to happen. Then the sentence goes on, “who is rich in mercy.” We often feel like we should not go to God because our “problems” are too big or too petty for God to listen to our forgive, but there is mercy for you and for me. Christ brings life into our soul and this means that we are alive again!

Because we are alive in Christ, we know and experience the incredible love God has for us; and we can pass on this love God has for us to those around us to help bring life and light into their lives. God gives us this gift of being alive so that future generations will know of his glory and his greatness and the incredible life He has in store for each person.

God giving us this gift is awesome. He places us with Christ. This gift is ready and available for you. How will you allow Christ to shine in your life so that others will know of his presence and love for them through you?

#TheGospelChangesUs