Gracefully Truthful

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Read His Words Before Ours!

Psalm 119:9–11
Acts 9:3–5
Ephesians 5:1-17
2 Corinthians 6:14-18
1 John 1:5–9

When I consider being God’s “dearly loved children” (Ephesians 5:1), I think of my identity as a daughter.  

As a daughter, I have the genetic traits of my parents as well as learned behaviors I unknowingly gleaned over time. Children, as natural imitators, take on the characteristics of their parents, with whom they most identify and spend time. For example, genetically, though I show hints of my father, I look most like my mother; we could be twins. In terms of learned behaviors, I emulate my mother in times of frustration, completely unintentionally. 

As an adult, it was shocking to discover these more problematic tendencies and recognize them for what they were. Sister, just like you, my parents and I share a default condition called sin.

However, when I became a daughter of the Creator and the Holy Spirit took up residence within me, those traits diminished because who I was – and Whose I was – changed!

I was no longer just the product of my earthly parents, but rather a daughter of the King, created in His image. (Genesis 1:27) My desire to please my Heavenly Father became my driving force. My new identity and desire required me to “be diligent to present [my]self to God as one approved” (2 Timothy 2:15) by learning from Scripture what it meant to be a daughter of the King.

Today’s passage from Ephesians says I must love as Christ loves. I had no idea what this love looked like, so I needed to learn from Him; He proved “His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

Wow!

Not only was I experiencing such unconditional love for the first time, but I was also led to extend it to others. I realized I could not view people in the same negative ways I had before, but instead, as fellow image bearers loved by God. This love requires me to look beyond someone’s actions, pray for them, and forgive as I am forgiven. This is humanly unnatural and requires a strength which can only come from spiritual intimacy as I abide with my Abba Father. In order to imitate my Father, I need to know Him! 

This is what our Ephesians passage today is getting at when it talks about walking in the light versus walking in the darkness. Psalm 119:9-11 says, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping Your  word. I have sought You with all my heart; don’t let me wander from Your commands. I have treasured Your word in my heart so that I may not sin against You.This is walking in the light.

By contrast, “darkness” in Scripture refers to sin and its resulting separation from God.

Imagine a little girl walks into a room at night. It’s dark, and she is immediately met with fear; fear of the unknown, fear of what she can’t see, fear of her imagination at play against her, and fear of darkness. She doesn’t feel safe, so she calls to one whom she trusts and asks them to walk with her and be by her side. The “One” who knows better, who has experienced this before many times, walks with her, but also tells her to turn on the light.

As the light illuminates the room, darkness flees and immediately her fear dissipates. The light shines in the shadowed recesses of the room, and she can see there is nothing to fear. The One who walks with her demonstrates the power of the light as He tells her to look around in the light to see what is truly there. This is a glimpse of what we experience when we first encounter Christ and accept His love. In fact, John illustrates this picture of light and darkness profoundly in 1 John 1:5–9, referring to our Christian life and walk. 

Likewise, when I consider the author of Ephesians, I realize he is personally acquainted with light and darkness. His life as Saul, before becoming Paul, was one focused and fueled by darkness. His misplaced zeal led him to hunt, persecute, imprison, and kill Christians, and he thrived on this destruction. However, on the road to Damascus, he encountered the Light. (Acts 9:3-5)

Paul’s change of heart was immediate upon encountering the Light of the world, Jesus Christ. Upon hearing and seeing the Light, Paul’s response was, “Who are you, Lord?” (Acts 9:5) Lord! Paul recognized someone bigger than himself. 

2 Corinthians 6:14 asks us, “What fellowship does light have with darkness?” Light and darkness cannot coexist together. Sisters, we must spiritually battle daily, so we can walk as children of Light.

Each day, we must:
Adorn ourselves in the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18)
Renew our minds with the truth of Scripture (Romans 12:2)
Confess our sins so nothing hinders our prayers (Psalm 66:18)
Allow the Holy Spirit to guide us. (Galatians 5:16-23)

We have been blessed with the joy of being children of the Light. Let us walk in that light!

Heavenly Father,
Thank You for the privilege of being Your children and giving us the righteous call to walk in Your light. Please give us Your wisdom for how to walk in that light daily and live our lives based on Your will and way. 
In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

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