The Collective Devotionals

Unshakable 3.21.18 {New Life to Live}

April 16, 2015

So much of Ephesians can be broken down into two ideas.  The first is the idea that we receive reconciliation and new life in believing Jesus Christ is our savior.  The second is that with this new life comes a new way to live. And that second idea is what Paul discusses here in these verses.  I think the idea of “living to a higher standard” or “living a life beyond reproach” is probably something a lot of Christians have heard of before.  But what I think is supremely important to remember is that it’s not just about begrudgingly following some rules that have been laid out for us.

 

Don’t get me wrong—God does want us to live within a certain set of boundaries, and when we do so, there is goodness and fulfillment there.  That’s the way He designed it. But what I’m getting at, and what Paul reminds us of in these verses, is that the rules are not the end point.  It’s not just about forsaking certain actions and ways of life, but on a deeper level, it’s what we pursue beyond that.  If you just give up partying, abstain from sex, stop lying and cheating and gossiping, you are really missing out.  Yes—do pursue a moral life, a life that requires giving up certain things…but also GO DEEPER! Pursue God! Fill your life with Him!  Don’t just stop gossiping, but start praising God and saying thanks to Him. Don’t just stop celebrating life with alcohol and partying, but start celebrating life by praising your Creator and participating in the community He has given you.  Use every opportunity you have to draw closer to God, and to abide in Him. In the process, may you know what it is to experience the joy that comes from going beyond the idea of living a life of restriction, and instead diving into a life of fullness.

 

Questions:

 

Does it ever seem like being a Christian is more about the rules than about anything else?

 

Has that made it harder for you to want to pursue a relationship with God?  Has it made it easier for you to get caught up in the rules?

 

Do you find it easy to lose sight of Jesus in pursuing rules?  Or do you find it easier to focus on pursuing Jesus than living according to the way He set out for us?  How do you find a balance between the two?

 

 

Prayer:

 

Spend some time in prayer asking God to give you a heart for Him so that your actions are rooted in a desire to serve Him.  Ask Him to show you the joy of living according to His standards, and the freedom that comes from that. If that seems like a hard or strange thing to ask God, start with asking to know Him and His character better.

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