October 22, 2014
READ: Ephesians 5:1-20
Once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! (v.8).
I enjoy driving at night and seeing the warmth of a well lit house permeating the velvet darkness around it. Regardless of what the neighbourhood may look like in the daytime, the contrast of the light in the night makes even the least attractive places appear inviting. Flip the image, though, and a boarded-up house on a sunny day becomes an antagonistic sight, even to the most tenacious of visitors.
Reminding the church at Ephesus that belief culminates in action, Paul explained that all of the answers for life could be found in the testimony of Jesus (Ephesians 5:1-2). Centuries earlier, Isaiah had prophesied: “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine” (9:2). More than a model of good choices, Jesus is Himself the light God promised (John 1:4-5, 8:12).
Just as “God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all” (1 John 1:5), so we must decide between light and darkness. Sin is appealing, but the long-term consequences are clear: “Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going” (John 12:35).
Paul defined salvation—the freedom from sin and its consequences—as a distinct movement from “the kingdom of darkness” into the “Kingdom of [God’s] dear Son” (Colossians 1:13). To walk in the light requires our repentance (Psalm 56:13; 1 John 1:7) and worship (Psalm 89:15); then the life—and light—of Jesus permeates every part of our being. In this way, God confers the inheritance of Christ on those “who live in the light” (Colossians 1:12). We don’t earn it through works, but experience it through the same grace that empowers us to live free. —Regina Franklin
365-day plan› Acts 9:32-42
Read 2 Samuel 12:1-25 and consider how the unexpected revelation of our sin can either be an opportunity for redemption or lead to further deception.
What are some ways you’ve stayed in the shadows of sin because you feared what people would think of you if you confessed? How does our choice to move from darkness into the light require an adjustment of our eyes?