December 26, Wednesday

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“Changing”

Ephesians 5:1-8

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.  8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light

For the last year or so, my wife has been a changed person.  She went from a relatively normal person into a fitness nut (maybe semi-nut is more accurate).  Whereas before she didn’t regularly workout, now she spends several hours a week in studio doing classes like cycling, bar, and body pump.  Sometimes she takes three classes back-to-back-to-back in a single day. It’s kind of humbling because I used to always be the most fit person in my house; now I have to hang my head in shame and admit that my wife is in better shape than me (unless, of course, you consider “round” a shape).  Here’s the thing that I know because I’ve been around people who exercise a lot—I can tell that my wife is genuinely changed. She’s not going to be one of those people who hits the gym hard in January only to lose the love in February. I can see that exercising is in her blood, and it would take an extraordinary set of circumstances for her to go back to an inactive lifestyle.  

In our passage, we get a picture of an even more dramatic change than even any fitness plan can put us on.  It’s what you see when darkness becomes light (vs. 8). We see that the early Christians once walked in varying degrees of immorality but were now called to walk in love because we are God’s holy people.  So this morning, let our passage remind you of who you really are in Christ and the implications of your changed identity.

Of course, like anyone who is committed to physical fitness, there are going to missed workouts and occasional snacking, you aren’t going to be perfect and you’re gonna mess up, but generally are you living like a genuinely changed son or daughter of the Holy God?  Do you represent him well? Are you becoming more like Jesus? Are you changed?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You that because the Holy Spirit lives in me, I am genuinely being changed.  I am no longer darkness, but I live in Your light! Help me to live this day as a child of light. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today:  Proverbs 27


Lunch Break Study

Read Proverbs 26:17-22:

Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own. 18 Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death 19 is one who deceives their neighbor and says, “I was only joking!” 20 Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down. 21 As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife. 22 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.

Questions to Consider

  1. What does the Proverbs say about quarreling words?
  2. What are the dangers of gossip?
  3. Do any of these speech problems plague you?

Notes

  1. Quarrelsome words can get you or others hurt or bit (vs. 17), and they are the fuel for long-term feuds (vs. 21).
  2. We often forget how harmful gossip is as it also prolongs and fuels quarrels (vs. 20).  But we also see that gossip, if we are honest, is kind of tasty (in a bad way – vs. 22).  
  3. Application question for children of light.

Evening Reflection

Today’s theme was being a child of light and living like we are truly transformed.  In the afternoon, we talked about speech patterns that we may still struggle with. Are there other areas in your life that you feel like the Lord wants to refine in you?

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