God’s Holy People
Father, I praise You for the wonderful gift of new life and closeness to You that I have through Jesus.
Read EPHESIANS 5:3-20
 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.  Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.  For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person-such a man is an idolater-has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.  Therefore do not be partners with them.  For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light  (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)  and find out what pleases the Lord.  Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.  For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.  But everything exposed by the light becomes visible,  for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”  Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise,  making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.  Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,  always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy are these behaviors so inappropriate for believers?
Are we ever guilty of idolatry? Paul describes the person who is guilty of the behaviors he lists (3-5) as “an idolater.” Idolatry is, in fact, anything which denies God his rightful place in our lives. For the Israelites, their drunken revelry was closely connected with their idolatry and disobedience (Ex. ch. 32). God’s anger with such sin was seen in his consequent judgment. God still judges sin (6)—but that judgment has been taken by Christ (2). Our thanksgiving for his sacrifice should be seen in our lives—biased unwaveringly to what pleases the Lord (10).
So, how should we “live as children of light” (8)? Instead of “vulgar talk,” our lives are to be characterized by thankfulness (4). Giving thanks to God “for everything” (20) will constantly keep our minds, words and actions centered on him. We are to “find out what pleases the Lord” (10) and “understand what the will of the Lord is” (17). And, if we are filled with the Spirit, then our whole lives will be taken up with pleasing God. Contrary to what those who tempt with “empty words” might think, living this way brings joy (19,20)—beyond our wildest imaginings.
Review the behaviors Paul forbids. Do you need to renounce any? How are you living as a “child of light”?
Ask the Lord to fill you with his Spirit so you are able to live in a way that consistently pleases him.