It Takes Relationship
Live as children of light.
The Apostle Paul makes this statement to the church in Ephesus. History tells us that the church in Ephesus was one of the fastest and largest growing churches in Paul’s day. People were coming to hear the gospel message by the thousands, both Jews and Gentiles. It was here that the ‘home church’ of Acts 2 morphed into what would be deemed today as a mega-church. People were being healed of all sorts of diseases. Incredible miracles were being done. The demon possessed were being set free while writers, scholars, and magicians were burning their books and leaving their trade to seek the Lord. Just to watch all this would have been incredible and exciting! I would imagine something of this magnitude would have caused the majority of the city to become one heart. People must have been happy, thankful, singing in the streets and enjoying their salvation. But according to Paul, and the history books, it was anything but that. As one group of people put it, ‘you’ve turned our city upside down!’ For you see those who weren’t interested in salvation, the tension to get the city ‘under control’ was growing. Rome was nervous as loyalty to another ‘King’ was taking precedent. For city officials, things weren’t looking so well either. They happened to own the magicians and clairvoyant. With what is equivalent to over $1.5 million in business, their employees followed Christ and walked away from the job. To top things off, the Gentiles (who were the city’s majority) knew little about the Torah, the commandments and nothing about living for Christ. To these new converts, accepting God’s grace equaled one thing – a clean slate to do whatever they wanted. The work for Paul and his team had just begun.
Years later Paul wrote a letter to the church in Ephesus encouraging them what it looks like to live for Christ. Paul told them, ‘Live as children of Light.’ For those who have given their lives to Christ, it means our hearts aren’t darkened anymore. It means how we once thought and acted, isn’t who we are anymore. In other words, we have to relearn life. We have to go back over feelings, thoughts and actions and begin asking ourselves the tough question, ‘Is this God approved?’ To adjust one’s thinking is nothing short of monumental, believe me. I’ve come to realize that only by the help of the Holy Spirit is this even possible. But it is possible. It’s possible to change your perspective. It’s possible to change your attitude in how you view yourself and others. It’s possible to walk away from selfishness. But I realize it takes more than just effort and willpower. It takes relationship. It comes from a progressing revelation on how much God loves us and what pleases Him. It takes time. But the results are rewarding. A life fulfilled.
Remember to be you this weekend. Live from the inside out.