January 8, 2019
Ephesians 4:25-32 The Message
Scripture teaches we are all connected in Christ. As each person connects to Christ, we increase in community, influence, and power. Believers are connected in one Lord, one faith, one baptism (Eph. 4:5). However, sometimes I get the idea by our words and actions in how we treat one another that we really don’t understand that truth. We need greater revelation by the Spirit.
Christianity is about living the examined life. So let’s honestly examine our hearts, today. If within every believer you met, you could see the presence of Jesus dwelling within him or her looking back at you, how would you speak or act to that person carrying Jesus? If we actually believed Jesus lives and moves and has his being through believers, we would use every once of self-control we could muster in the Spirit to guard our words and actions. We would be quick to forgive, because each time we looked at another believer, we would be reminded by Jesus looking back at us of our own need for forgivess.
Because we are connected, to hurt another believer brings hurt to self and to the Lord. These actions grieve the Holy Spirit who brings spiritual life. For this and other reasons, Jesus gave the greatest commandments, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31). We must grow in our understanding of this very message, so we stop hindering the work of the Kingdom and begin building it upon Truth for his Second Coming.
25 What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.
26-27 Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.
28 Did you use to make ends meet by stealing? Well, no more! Get an honest job so that you can help others who can’t work.
29 Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.
30 Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.
31-32 Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the reminder of how I am to treat my brothers and sisters in Christ. As I grow in how I treat my spiritual family, I will grow to treat others outside my family with the same respect and value and thus, encourage them to welcome you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.