Read Ephesians 4v17-5v2
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17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self,[a] which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
5 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Thoughts to consider
· Spend some time today reflecting on whether you have fully ‘put off’ your old self. What parts still come to the surface now and again?
· How can you ‘put on the new self’?
· Do you speak truth with others?
· Paul uses the example of the thief in v28 to show repentance as a two way thing; what we put off and what we then go on to put on. Have you done the first without doing the second? Think about how you can practically do this.
· In James 1v26 it says we need to bridle (control) the tongue. Take some time to consider how you are doing in this regard? Do unhelpful words slip out? What about when you get angry?
· How do we grieve the Holy Spirit of God (v30)?
· Finish off these reflections by thinking just what Christ has done for you. How can you imitate Him? How can you walk in love today?
Father, thank you that I am a work in progress. You want to change me each day and make me more like your son. Help me to continually put off the old life and put on the new. Lord my desire is to become more like Jesus. If I have grieved your Holy Spirit I repent and ask for His help to change. You wouldn’t have commanded me to imitate you if you hadn’t made it possible to do so, so I receive your help, as your beloved child, in Jesus name. Amen