Today’s readings are Eph. 5:15-21 and Hebrews 13:5-6.
The last day of 2014 is here and what a great way to end the year by hearing the words of Ephesians 5. “Be very careful then, how you live, not as unwise but as wise” (v15).
As the year ends and as the Apostle Paul gets close to ending his most powerful letter, he fixes his gaze most firmly on our growth in Christ. Or to put in another way, in Chapter 5 he lights a fire under our growth. He challenges our self-centered thinking, our attitudes and our desire to live more on the worlds side than on God’s.
The great Watchman Nee said, “spiritual growth is the increase of the element of God and on the negative side it is the decrease of things usurping God’s place. The extent of this decrease depends on the degree to which our heart is turned toward God. How we wish something would be removed from us daily! This is daily dying. Whenever we do not find anything dropping off, our progress has stopped.”
I love that. Ephesians 5:15-21 can be summed up with the question, “What has dropped off in 2014?”
Do not try to reject the desires we have, it never works. Rather bring them before the Lord and seek the Lord’s will. The more we try to control our desires the more we become controlled by them. Instead be filled with the spirit.
Finally, let me encourage you all to have a heart check as this day unfolds. Allow our attitudes to be challenged, seek to build up others up and not tear down. The world does that really well. We should not. May it be, that when others see us in action, they see a people who are thankful and full of grace so that we can be the lights in the world.