New Lives for Old
Thank God for the difference he has made in your life. Pray for God to continue working in you.
Read Ephesians 4:17-32
 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.  They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.  Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.  That, however, is not the way of life you learned  when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.  You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;  to be made new in the attitude of your minds;  and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.  Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.  “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,  and do not give the devil a foothold.  Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. 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.
ReflectWhat practical guides for living are given here?
Reality TV is very popular at the moment: people are given advice on what to wear, what to eat, how to decorate their house or bring up their children. It seems we feel the need for a “makeover” in many areas of life. Getting to know Jesus is like this, Paul says. Before, we may have been quite happy with the way we lived, but now we know that we need to change (17). It is far more radical, though, than a change of clothing or diet. Using the analogy of changing clothes (22-24), Paul says that Christians are called to put off their old self. This radical change is from the inside out. The Christian life is not so much about what we do as about who we are. Paul does not appeal to the Ephesians on the basis of rules that have to be kept but reminds them that their new identity in Christ affects the whole of life. It is a makeover of the heart and mind (23). This is not just an individual lifestyle choice because sin affects the whole body of Christ (25) and grieves the Holy Spirit (30). Sin is a denial of who we truly are.
Reflect on v. 30. How does your life reflect “the badge” of Christian identity you bear?
Ask the Lord to help you see better how to represent him more fully, and then to live that way.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.