Monday, February 2, 2015

NTDS (58): Darkness to Light

Eph 5:8-10 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. NIV

Did you read this carefully? Paul does not say that you were once in darkness (although elsewhere this term is used, Jn 12:46, Ro 2:19, 1 Th 5:4), but in this case, you and I were darkness. What that means is, that our very nature was darkness. We were once ruled by the darkness of our sin nature. This term, expressing what we once were, is accurate. The good news is, that now we not only walk in the light (1 Jn 1:7), but we are the light. Jesus said in Matt 5:14, "You are the light of the world.” (Emphasis mine)

The significance of this fact cannot be overstated. It means that we need to live out what we are. Anything other than that, is in essence, hypocritical. Look at how Paul describes that life. It is filled with goodness, righteousness and truth. He further states,  Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” (Eph 5:11) He then tells us to “find out” what pleases the Lord. That is part of our living as light.

It is interesting that today, so many people seem to think it is hard to figure out how to live as light and how to please the Lord. It is not hard at all. It is all given to us in God’s word, the Bible. In fact, in chapters 4,5 and 6 of Ephesians, Paul enumerates dozens of things we should demonstrate and dozens of things we should not demonstrate in our lives. Will you please take the time to read those three chapters and find out what pleases the Lord?

It couldn’t be more clear, so why the confusion? Could it be that we do not always want the responsibility that comes with “living as light?” It is not always easy to live according to our “new nature,” because our old one does not want to let go. Yet, Paul says in chapter 4, verses 20-24,“You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him 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. (Emphasis mine)

If Paul instructs us on what a life, of one who is light, should look like and what it shouldn’t look like, then it must be possible for one to live that way. It is not possible to be perfect, but the desire of our heart should be to live more and more closely in the new nature of light that we possess.

Is this the desire of your heart? Do you want to live a life completely pleasing to the Lord? As you read through the three chapters in Ephesians, to find out what pleases Him, take the time to ask God where you might be falling short. Ask him to help, by the power of the Holy Spirit living inside you, to make the necessary changes so that your light will shine.

Thank him in advance for what He will do and watch with joy as you see the changes He will accomplish in you. Jesus said that when we ask, according to His will, He would grant us what we ask for (Jn 14:14,16:24)). We know that it is in His will to live as light in this world, so we know we can count on Him answering this prayer!

God bless you

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