HPC – Live A Life Of Love

Reading Eph 5:1 – 20

Introduction

Did you know that Chuck Norris sleeps with the light on – not because he is afraid of the darkness, but because the darkness is afraid of him.

God wants us to be fully encouraged today. We need our hearts to be uplifted. We need to be full of joy and positive anticipation and energy and life – because, that is what our God is like. And we need this because;

Alas, the truth is, even as this scripture tell us;

Eph 5:15b the days are evil.

Let’s be honest – the days are evil. Things are not as they should be, as God always intended. Life is not fair. Greed and corruption and anger and bitterness and violence and fear is what rules this world – and disappointment.

There is an urgency in this passage in Ephesians – and instruction on where our focus should be, and how we should live and approach God and life and treat one another – because the days are evil.

Paul is communicating his sense of urgency because of this evil in his day. We need the same sense of urgency because – absolutely nothing has changed – our days are the same. And we have to know what to do about that.

We are told that we must keep our standards high, act wisely and do good whenever we can. It is the only way to live in evil times.

This passage is full of encouragement and instruction – this is God’s positive Word for us. The first thing He tell us is;

Eph 5:1 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

As always it is so easy to just read the Bible – but we are to study every Word, and apply every Word. I recon we could spend weeks studying just the first four Words of this chapter.

Be imitators of God. Did you know that YOU can be an imitator of God? That you can follow Him by being like Him.

Before all other things, we are to follow God, follow His example, and imitate Him. The

next word is “therefore” – we need to know why this therefore is there, so we should read what came before;

Eph 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Primarily God is a God of Goodness. Mercy. Grace. Love. He is Kind and Compassionate and Forgiving.

And of course His greatest example of all this is His Son Jesus. He is a sacrificial God, giving everything for that which He loves the most. The world, everyone in it, you and me.

The next thing we truly need to understand and apply is – you are a dearly loved child of God. He is your Father. As children we grow up imitating our parents – how much more so should we then imitate our true Father in Heaven.

You are a child of the living God, and we are to be like Him.

And we are told we are to “Live a life of love”.

In understanding this passage – love is measure by what you give to others and what you give for others. Love is sacrificial – that is how God showed His love for us – just as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

So then – be a fragrant offering and be a sacrifice to God. Have you ever thought of yourself in that way – a fragrant offering to God, a sacrifice to God? How do you smell to God? Greed and corruption and selfishness has a smell to it. It sure stinks to us doesn’t it – how much more then to God? But to God there is nothing more beautiful and fragrant as a selfless, giving and generous and loving heart – a life of love.

And so then – in order to smell good, and in knowing our true identity as a child of God, we must get rid of those things that stink and destroy our fragrance and identity as children of God.

There must be no sexual immorality or impurity, no greed, no obscenity, no foolish talk, no course joking, no drunken debauchery. No shameful things done in the darkness.

Instead, we are to live as children of light – and the fruit of light is goodness, righteousness and truth. We are to be God’s Holy People. There should be thanksgiving and understanding of what pleases the Lord. We are to wake up and rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you. We are to be careful and wise. We are to make the most of every opportunity. We are to understand the Lord’s Will and be filled with the Holy Spirit. We are to speak God’s Word and life into each other, we are to sing and make music in our hearts to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything.

Eph 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.

As children of light – your actions should reflect your faith. You should live above reproach so that you will reflect God’s goodness into a dark world.

There is no such thing as darkness. Darkness is – the absence of light. There will only be darkness when there is not enough light. And so we are told to shine – it is only God’s people living this life of light that will push back the darkness. No government, aid organization – nothing can push back darkness. Only God and His People, you and me, can do that.

Eph 5:10 and find out what pleases the Lord.

Well first of all – He is pleased with you. He likes you and loves you. And so it’s living this life of love that completes what pleases the Lord.

Eph 5:17b but understand what the Lord’s will is.

That’s what this passage is telling us. His Will is that we would live like His children.

Eph 5:15 Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity….

Make the most of every opportunity! This is the key. Here we see that urgency mentioned earlier. We are to be looking for every opportunity to live this life of love – to live as children of light, because the time is short for those still in darkness.

Eph 5:20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything.

Put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Giving thanks to God is Praise.

Are you able to give thanks / praise to God for all things? Thank you God that I just had this accident!?

It doesn’t start there.

Thank you God, that you are my Father, and that you dearly love me. Thank you that I was dead, but you made me alive in Christ. Thank you Jesus that you shine on me and I can be your light. Thank you Jesus for sacrificing your life for me and giving me the example to imitate. Thank you for your Holy Spirit in me. Thank you that in you, I can live this life of love. That I can know your Will and what pleases you. Thank you for all good things, for family, friends, your Church. For those who love me, for those you have given me the opportunity to love. Thank you for creation, the blue sky and the birds that sing every morning….

And thank you that I had a car in the first place in which to have had an accident! Thank you that even this is an opportunity – through this to witness your light into a dark world. To give you Praise, regardless of the circumstances. Thank you that I live in Zimbabwe in these days!

With the right staring place. With the right foundation – we can live the most awesome of lives, regardless of our circumstance – regardless that the days are evil.

Lord, give me someone to love! What a privilege, that as a child of God, He has called us to be about our Father’s business. To be His imitator and follower – to be His light in the world, to be Good. To have Mercy, Grace, Love, Kindness and Compassion, to be Forgiving, to be a Fragrant offering and Sacrifice to God.

The days are evil – but your Father is awesome and you are His child.

And did you know, that the darkness is afraid of you.

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