Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 8-9-21

Ephesians 5:1-5
5 So imitate God. Follow Him like adored children, 2 and live in love as the Anointed One loved you—so much that He gave Himself as a fragrant sacrifice, pleasing God.

3 Listen, don’t let any kind of immorality be breathed among you. Any demoralizing behaviors (perverse sexual acts, uncleanliness, greediness, and the like) are inappropriate topics of conversation for those set apart as God’s people. 4 Don’t swear or spurt nonsense. Don’t make harsh jokes or clown around. Make proper use of your words, and offer them thankfully in praise. 5 This is what we know for certain: no one who engages in loose sex, impure actions, and greed—which is just a form of idolatry—has any inheritance in the kingdom of God and His Anointed.

Believers and followers of Jesus are called to imitate Christ with how we love and live. Our passage today teaches about choosing the practical actions that please God. We like the spiritual inner life with God: enjoying him, admiring him, praying to him, and praising him for his mercy and goodness. Yet, even though these things express a righteous priority, we are actually only expressing the inner life of our worship. In his letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul clarifies what it means to worship God through outward practice: “I urge you to offer your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice to God, a sacred offering that brings Him pleasure; this is your reasonable, essential worship” (Rom12:10).

Jesus is much more than a role model in how to inwardly love and worship God; he is the Word of God for our daily salvation from sin. We are not saved because of how Christ lived his life. However, once we are saved we should follow his outward example of seeking to please the Father with our whole being. If the Kingdom of God is alive within us, we must sacrifice those things that are not aligned with God’s Word and plan for us as citizens of heaven still living on earth.

Prayer: Lord, help me to live my worship inwardly, as well as outwardly. May you be pleased with how I practice my faith each day. It is my desire to follow you as an adoring daughter. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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