Pray: Humbly ask God for wisdom. Ask Him to teach you as you read the following section of the Bible.
Read: Ephesians 5:6-14
Children are pretty good at making bad decisions.
These bad decisions are often understandable because children are young, inexperienced, and often just don’t know any better. The other day, I knelt down by my friend’s 2-year-old and said, ”Hey buddy!” to which he didn’t respond, at all. His dad encouraged him, “Hey son, why don’t you go ahead and say hello?” to which he turned his head away from everyone in the group and shook his head while he mumbled, “I don’t want to say hello; I don’t want to be nice.” Of course everyone laughed! It was funny and completely forgivable – he’s a child and actually doesn’t know any better.
But, imagine if he was an adult shaking his head and saying he doesn’t want to be nice to me. I’d be a little freaked out and would probably run in the opposite direction in fear for my life. In any manner, it would be hurtful and awkward. Its not right to learn what is good, righteous, and true, just to ignore it even though you know better.
This is what Paul is warning the Ephesians about in this passage. He tells them to remember their identity as children of light. If they remember their identity, they will not get distracted into following the ways of darkness.
He tells us that there will be deceivers who will try to distract us from being obedient to God. If you partner with them, being deceived, you become like “darkness.” This is not you! This is not your identity! You are children of light, so walk, act, say things, and do things like you actually are children of light.
God reminds us what the light is. Our foundation, and source of all light that shines into the darkness exposing sin and illuminating righteousness, is Jesus Christ. Jesus, as the source of all light and righteousness, makes us able to be raised from death as he rose from the dead. Paul revisits the theme of “Death-to-Life” from chapter 2 with this other image of “Darkness-to-Light” here in chapter 5. Paul combines those themes as he says in verse 14, “rise from the dead and the Messiah will shine on you.”
Life and light are dramatically connected to our Messiah, Jesus. We must trust in the Messiah for righteousness, remember our new identity as children of light, and forsake our old selves that used to follow darkness.
1) In what ways do you tend to drift back toward darkness and sin?
2) What must you do to remain grounded in your new identity as a child of light?
3) Think about the significance of moving from death to life (Ch. 2) and from darkness to light (Ch. 5). How does that impact the way you live your life?
Ephesians 5:8 – 8”For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.”