How did you do on last week’s memorization? Honestly, I had a hard time staying focused, and will have to continue to work on last week’s as I tack on the next five verses. I find it is helpful to remember to study the passage if it’s on sticky notes, or 3×5 cards, or a tablet sitting next to me at my desk…none of which I have done. But, I feel I need to continue on, so on it goes to this week’s list, with God’s help, I’ll do better and have the first ten verses down, by the end of the week.
Okay…so to recap: vs. 1-5 instructed us to be copy-cats, to live/walk in love as Christ did, and to rid ourselves of certain attitudes and behaviors, as is proper for us to live as saints. The passage ended with a warning about the ability to enter into the Kingdom of God…all those attitudes and behaviors that we are told to put off…there’s a reason for that…those things cannot enter into the Kingdom.
And, the passage continues:
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes on those who are disobedient.
7 Therefore do not be associated with them.
8 For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light—
9 for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true.
10 Try to find out what
is pleasing to the Lord.
We live in an age of deception. “Empty words” abound…even from some pulpits along with bold claims to be speaking for Christ. We are warned not to even associate with this deception. How do we keep ourselves from being deceived and incurring God’s wrath? I think the “secret” is in the verses that precede this one. Imitating Christ…walking and living like He did. And the only way that we can know and imitate His walk is to learn of Him, and keep in stride with His gait. Reading about and meditating on His life, adopting His passion as our own, and obeying what we know He told us to do.
No longer do we live in darkness, as we once did…because He is our light, and we are living in Him. He illumines our path, and has demonstrated what a walk in the light looks like. So, now…we live as children of light. We’ve put aside all that dark crud from verses 3-5, and have stepped into the light. (Again, I’m reminded of the passage from Colossians that we worked on last month…we’ve taken off the old clothes, and put on the new clothes…and now, we are stepping out of the darkness into His light. Have I mentioned I love word pictures?)
The fruit of that light (our new behaviors, attitudes, thoughts, words, and deeds) is found in all that is good and right and true. Here’s our “WHATEVER” verse peeking at us from Paul’s letter to the Philippians (Philippians 4:8). I’m struck with a new realization of the truth that we become what we think. It all starts in our mind. No wonder we are told to love the Lord not just with our heart and soul, but also with our mind (Matthew 22:37). We ought to be about the business of taking all of these thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) and bringing them into obedience to Christ. The result of loving God with our heart, soul, and mind will be good fruit. We will learn to think, talk, and walk like Jesus, as we practice imitating Him like we were instructed to do in verse one, and will be on the right path for the instruction to us in verse 10…to figure out what pleases the Lord.
What about you? I’d love to hear the truths that God whispered in your ears in this passage.