Ephesians 5:1-21 Devotion Sharing

Submitted by Joyce Lee,  Gracepoint Austin

O: Who does Apostle Paul exhort us to be imitators of? God

O: What does he address us as? As dearly loved children

O: In what ways are we to imitate God? In living a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

D: Why might Apostle Paul remind us that we are dearly loved children, as he asks us to imitate God? As we remember our identity and history, that we have been dearly loved by God ever since before we were born, that God takes care of us as if we were his own children, that gives us the motivation to also live out a life of love.  Knowing how much love and blessings that we have already received, it frees us up to not worry about or look at ourselves, but to give of ourselves and love others.

D: How did Christ live a life of love? He gave himself up as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  He lived a life that was completely surrendered to God.  He did not hoard anything for himself, or guard his own life for his benefit.  There was no selfishness about him at all, but He lived a life of serving and loving others.  As we recently went through devotionals in Mark, Jesus’ life was characterized by constantly thinking about others, meeting people’s needs, healing and ministering to people without rest. He never shut people out when they approached Him, even if He himself must have been so physically tired and drained. He didn’t consider himself highly, but was a servant to all.

App: How have I been dearly loved by God?  What are concrete ways in which I can live out a life of love today? As I look back at my life, this has been so true, that I have been dearly loved by God.  He has regarded my life as more precious than even I considered it.  God has always desired the best for my life.  Had God left me to myself without persevering after me, I would have made such a mess of my life.  I shudder to think where I would be now. God has protected and shielded me from harm, he has blessed me with a rich community, with so many sisters and brothers in Christ.  In the past couple months, I have been experiencing affirmation of the fact that God loves me. Even though the reality of my mom’s cancer and the uncertainty of her condition has been scary, at the same time, I have experienced in such a personal way God’s presence, His Words speaking personally and relevantly, God giving me a sense of peace through times of prayer, the way He has guided and given enough mercy to go through each day.  Whenever I go back to this truth and fact that I have already been so loved by God, then I gain proper perspective about my life, and I experience being able to give myself to others.  It gives me the motivation to love others, and to be a servant. As dearly loved by God, and as his child, I have nothing to worry about.  God has taken care of my life, and He will continue to take care of me in the future. Therefore, I can be freed up completely to give myself to others, to use whatever resources I have to love others (financially, physically, emotionally). This is the identity that I want to struggle to hold onto each day as I engage in ministry, as I reach out to students, as I interact with the team members here, so that I can be a person that can love others as Christ has loved me.

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Submitted by Sara Song, Gracepoint Austin

What is entailed in living as children of light?  How can I get better at this?
In being a child of light, there is now a fundamental shift in how to view the purpose of my life, myself, and God. Once my purpose was to pursue my own passions and sinful desires and doing whatever made me feel good, including the list of sins in verses 3-5. But as a child of light, my purpose is now to “find out what pleases the Lord,” and “exposing the fruitless deeds of darkness.” Once my view of myself consisted of just being someone who was on my own – a person who only answered to herself and had no other higher duty but to fill my flesh. But now God calls me his “child” and an “imitator of God.” A person who can bring God’s light into situations and circumstances where there is only darkness and exposing the lies of this world through God’s truth. Once my view of God was just a distant, aloof and irrelevant being. However, as a child of light now God is the Father of light, the one who infuses within me his own Spirit of holiness and righteousness, the one who has loved me dearly. And part of living as a child of light entails daily reminding myself of these truths and struggling to live them out – that I have a greater purpose in life to do God’s will, that my identity is rooted in God’s love, and that God is my Father. That basic fact that I am a CHILD and God is my FATHER helps me to understand how it is I ought to live my life, and as I learn more about my Father, I want to become more like him in his character. Living as a child of light, therefore, can only become more of a reality in my life as my personal relationship with the Father, the source of light, becomes stronger. As a child of light, Paul gives specific commands on what to do, which were to “find out what pleases the Lord” and to “have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness.” Finding out what pleases the Lord is natural as a child would want to find out what pleases his/her parents and wants to do them. As a dearly loved child would want to love her parent back and knowing that the parent is loving, the child would find ways to obey and do things that please the parents. It’s a natural response of love for God, knowing his character, holiness, and goodness. Then exposing the fruitless deeds of darkness is also natural response of my relationship with God – as a child of light, my presence in a situation that is filled with sin, darkness and falsehood should be to shine God’s light of truth.

How can I get better at this? I see that being a child of light is more than just following specific acts or commands. Like everything in Christian life, my identity and duties as a child of light comes from being personally infused with God’s light through building up my relationship with Him. I see that as my understanding, intellectually and emotionally, of my place as God’s child deepens, then I WANT to live my life pleasing my Heavenly Father and doing just as he does – to expose the darkness and bringing truth and light through his Word into this world. I see just how much more I need to be in the presence of my Father and not become complacent in struggling through my thoughts, feelings, or those voices that negate God’s calling about me or lure me to think that I am alone or an orphan. I sometimes think these kinds of struggles aren’t as serious as others that are more outwardly apparent because I can hide them from others, but it’s clear that living as a child of light can only happen as my personal relationship with the Father, the source of light, becomes stronger.

What is entailed in living as children of light?  How can I get better at this?
In being a child of light, there is now a fundamental shift in how to view the purpose of my life, myself, and God. Once my purpose was to pursue my own passions and sinful desires and doing whatever made me feel good, including the list of sins in verses 3-5. But as a child of light, my purpose is now to “find out what pleases the Lord,” and “exposing the fruitless deeds of darkness.” Once my view of myself consisted of just being someone who was on my own – a person who only answered to herself and had no other higher duty but to fill my flesh. But now God calls me his “child” and an “imitator of God.” A person who can bring God’s light into situations and circumstances where there is only darkness and exposing the lies of this world through God’s truth. Once my view of God was just a distant, aloof and irrelevant being. However, as a child of light now God is the Father of light, the one who infuses within me his own Spirit of holiness and righteousness, the one who has loved me dearly. And part of living as a child of light entails daily reminding myself of these truths and struggling to live them out – that I have a greater purpose in life to do God’s will, that my identity is rooted in God’s love, and that God is my Father. That basic fact that I am a CHILD and God is my FATHER helps me to understand how it is I ought to live my life, and as I learn to more about my Father, I want to become more like him in his character. Living as a child of light, therefore, can only become more and more of a desire or reality in my life as my personal relationship with the Father and source of light becomes stronger.
As a child of light, Paul gives specific commands on what to do, which were to “find out what pleases the Lord” and to “have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness.” Finding out what pleases the Lord is natural as a child would want to find out what pleases his/her parents and wants to do them. As a dearly loved child would want to love her parent back and knowing that the parent is loving, the child would find ways to obey and do things that please the parents. It’s a natural response of love for God, knowing his character, holiness, and goodness. Then exposing the fruitless deeds of darkness is also natural response of my relationship with God – as a child of light, my presence in a situation that is filled with sin and darkness, falsehood should be to shine God’s light of truth.
How can I get better at this? I see that being a child of light is more than just following specific acts or commands. Like in everything in Christian life, my identity and duties as a child of light comes from being personally infused with God’s light through building up my relationship with Him. I see that as my understanding intellectually and emotionally of my place as God’s child and who God is deepens, then I cannot BUT want to live my life pleasing my Heavenly Father and doing just as he does – to expose the darkness and bringing truth and light through his Word into this world. I see just how much more, then, I need to be in the presence of my Father and not become complacent in struggling through my thoughts, feelings, or those voices that negate God’s calling about me or lure me to think that I am alone or an orphan. I sometimes think these kinds of struggles aren’t as serious as others that are more outwardly apparent because I can hide them from others, but it’s clear that if everything stems from my relationship with God, then I will never really end up understanding what it means to live as a child of light and allowing God’s light to powerfully shine through my life.

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5 Responses to “Ephesians 5:1-21 Devotion Sharing”

  1. Kim says:

    thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Hannah says:

    thanks for sharing joyce!

  3. Ernie says:

    Thank you for sharing, Joyce!

  4. Allen says:

    Thanks for sharing

  5. janice says:

    thanks for sharing!

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