Ephesians 4:29-5:2 – “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
5:1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” NKJV
So much of our modern world including those in the church have developed a victim mentality. That phenomenon has been to the detriment of both society and the church and is foreign to Christ and Christianity. You may have been victimized but you should never be a victim.
When I come to the text for this devotional I reflect back on what Paul has been talking about, the New Birth. He has been talking about leaving the old world, old way and the old man behind. Everything that belongs to sin and the race of Adam has been taken out of the way. Something happened and we have been transferred from the kingdom of darkness (this world) into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. We have a New Self, are a New Man or a New Creation. We have been ‘re-birthed’. Therefore, it is imperative that we learn to live out our New Life in Christ. We need to BECOME the people the Bible says we really are!
This point in our lives (New Birth) is a time of crisis. Most acknowledge that but tragically too many of those who profess Christ continue to emphasize and focus on that crisis the remainder of their days on earth. We sing about the crisis and go to church to hear about and discuss the crisis. In so doing, I believe, we have missed an important truth in the Gospel.
The New Testament is not about the crisis it is about being taken out of the crisis and the process of becoming who God says we are. Now that we are saved and have passed from death to life we need to BECOME. We are no longer who or what we were for we are New Creations in and through Jesus. Now is the time to begin the process of allowing that Newness to invade every dimension of our lives. We have been re-birthed and now it is time to become!
In all honesty, many that I talk to about Christ and Salvation seem to have everything in reverse. I’ve had countless people say, “Let me shape up and then…” They seem to feel that if they somehow turn over a new leaf, change, try harder THEN they can be accepted. Got receives us and once He has received us we are accepted. In that state of acceptance God says, “Now let’s change you! Let’s help you BECOME…“
THE CHANGE SEEN IN OUR TEXT:
He says there are some areas in our lives that must change: Bitterness, malice, evil speaking, anger and anger we are to PUT AWAY. Then he tells us we are to BE… Kind to one another, tenderhearted and forgiving. We are IN CHRIST, pardoned and have been given righteousness so now it is time to start working and walking that out in our lives. It is not someday in heaven we are going to BE it is NOW.
We were in and of the world which is a part of THE LIE that goes back to the Garden. Man believed that he would be as God and independent of God. NOW, we have been delivered from that realm and we must learn TRUTH and through that truth a new LIFESTYLE that is completely opposite of what we knew. Simply we have to RELEARN LIFE. No wonder Jesus said that we must become as little children. We are Brand New and as a child must learn to LIVE! Being a Christian is not adding Sunday to your schedule it is relearning how to live 24/7/365. We are being delivered from the Bentness, Distortion and Wrong Thinking and must have our minds renewed so we can become who we are. Victors not Victims!
God bless you as you go through this day!