What defines me is not what I do, or is it the results of my decisions, and it is definitely not what others say I am. The only thing that defines me is Jesus and that goes for all of us. At the basic level of our identity, we are either His or we are not. I am a Son of the most High God and He’s still working on me conforming me to the image of His Son. If you’re a believer, remember who you are and whose you are. If you don’t know Christ, you can be made new today by simply turning to Him and surrendering your life to Him today!
Read Ephesians 1:1-14 “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”
“But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” 1 Peter 4:7
Are we prepared and thinking that today may be the last day? Whether God takes us home or whether Jesus returns for all the church, are we prepared. We are to be looking for His return. Wear also to be longing for His return. Are we sharing Christ with others? Are we living intentionally for Him?
Are you praying for Jesus to return? If you love Him, you ought to be longing for His return. I have Him in my heart, but I long to lay my eyes upon Him and walk with Him and talk with Him. “Even so, come Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).
How do we live and walk the love of Ephesians 5:1-2? I have a new favorite book that I’ve been reading entitled “Grace Filled Marriage” by Tim Kellem. And in his book, he points out most people love by the lens they see life with. So the question then becomes what lens at a given time am I seeing others through? Am I living Love?
Me Lens – It’s described as a lens that reflects everything the person sees back on them. Imagine an interrogation room how one side is mirrored and the other can see everything through. The Me Lens is like the mirrored side of life on seeing life and others by how it affects them. This lens often leads to us being self-absorbed and self-protecting.
Love If Lens – I will love you if you do this this and this. I will love you as long as the conditions are right. Getting out of the car and your sunglasses fog up after riding around in the A/C, you cannot see because the conditions are not right. However, when everything normalizes, the lens can be seen out of. Often times this is a result of us creating a list of why we love others, but the problem arises when they stop meeting those expectations, will we still love them? We are quick to criticize with these lens because our expectations are not being met. This lens often leads to us being self-serving and self-protecting.
Pious lens – Pious is defined as being devoutly religious, making a hypocritical display of virtue, churchy, or holier-than-though. I have learned of the 3 this one is the most sinister because most can be convinced of their self-absorption, self-serving or self-protecting. However, it’s much harder to get people to acknowledge their own self-righteousness. These are sometimes church members don’t live as believers but like Pharisees. Jesus had specific names for people like these: Jesus called them snakes (Mat. 23:33), whitewashed tombs (23:27) and kissing cousins of the devil himself (John 8:44).
However, the unnatural lens is the lens Ephesians 5:1-2 call us to. The Grace lens – The Grace lens allows us to love unconditionally. And we cannot do this naturally. IT’s only by Christ. It’s unconditional therefore it chooses to love and it’s action because is willing to love others even when they are unlovable. Grace lens sees people how Christ sees people. Are You Walking In Love? Love defined by God is a choice, Love defined by Christ is action. The Holy Spirit enables, and empowers you to live it!
I would encourage you to go and read 1 Corinthians 13 and see how God truly defines love. I think Love is one of the most important things we can live, show and give to others. And scripture backs this thought up, John 13:35 states, Love is how the world should recognize us. I love the verses of Ephesians 5:1-2 and describing and encouraging us to be imitators of God and Christ love but have you ever really looked at the Greek words.
Love Like God (vs. 1-2a) When you think and dwell on this it’s really powerful and humbling to me. Paul’s reminding us and taking us back once again to our identity. Often times, we hear people say like father like son and that is certainly true of me. I am a lot like my earthly father. Here Paul is reminding us we are God’s children and as His children, we should seek to imitate Him in love. How does God love us? The Greek word mean “love given freely without conditions.” He has chosen to love us. Romans 5:8 “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” We didn’t earn it, don’t deserve it and there is no way to justify it. The world only loves those that love them but God’s love is unconditional. In other words, they love those who earn it, or deserve it. That’s not the love of God, He chooses to love us.
Love Like Christ (vs. 2b) Christ loved us so much that He willingly endured the cross. He sacrificed Himself for us. How we live our lives should be characterized by our oneness with Christ. So, Paul explained that we are to live a life filled with love for others. Our love for others should be of the same kind that Christ showed to us. Paul uses a different Greek word here meaning to love or the act of love – meaning love is action. Christ love is a love that goes beyond affection to self-sacrificing service. Christ loved us so much that he gave himself as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Christ gave himself in death as a sacrifice on our behalf. The Love we are called to is both a choice and action. Choose and Live Love today!
Read Ephesians 4:17-24. Often times the distractions of the world and life in general can have a devastating effect on our lives if we allow them. However, if you are a Believer today reading this, you don’t have to remain there. Your old self (that you are to put off) is your old programming not who you really are. You have been made new and your to walk in this newness of life in which Jesus has already done within you. You are new! As you learn Christ (grow in Him), you’ll find yourself changing your mind about everything and especially how you view the world around you. You will be “transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may know what is the good, and perfect, and acceptable will of God” (see Rom_12:2).
I have been praying a lot and seeking to be completely set-out to live for God. And while I get caught up with the distractions of life like everybody else, my desire is to be completely surrendered to Jesus in every aspect of my life. I hope and pray that’s your desire as well. In examining my life, I desire to live everyday intentionally. And if that’s your prayer maybe this acronym for daily living will be beneficial to you. I am not attempting to be super-spiritual or religious, just want to be intentional with my relationship with Christ.
M – Meaningful Monday
T – Turn-back Tuesday
W – Worship Wednesday
T – Thanksgiving Thursday
F- Forgiveness Friday
S – Sanctification Saturday
S – Surrender Sunday