Saturday, July 08, 2006

Ephesians 5 - The light shines on us
Have you ever looked under a rock or somewhere else where the sun never shines? Ugh.... unless you are fond of bugs and other nasty things, it isn't a pleasant sight.

When our daughter was born, she like many babies, was a bit jaundiced. The way to get rid of it was to put her in the sunlight for a few hours a day. The sun was the cure.

Well, Ephesians 5 talks about a different kind of light - SONlight. If each minute of each day we thought of the beam of His light on us (His love), we might behave differently.

With two small children, I have to admit that each year as December gets closer, we play the "Santa is watching" card on more than one occasion to get their behavior to line up with our expectations. Now, in general I'm not fond of using fear as motivation for behavior, but it does snap us back to reality to believe that someone is watching our every move.

The good news is that someone is watching over us, but not because He is waiting for us to trip up. No, our heavenly Father watches over us and shines his light on us because He loves us and the light of His love is healing and encouraging. And, we don't have to earn it. It is FREE.

Thank God for that! So that frees us to read his Word and listen to what He says and know that His instruction is for our good. We don't have to fear his retribution, but look for His light to shine the way to a really wonderful place. A place of peace and joy where we can focus on each other and not on bad things or recovering from mistakes.

Whew...... light is good and good things happen in the light. That is where I want to be!

Oh, and did I mention how much I like the way "The Message" translation portrays verses 25-28 (see below)!! (and yes, I am also happy to be subject to my husband as the head of our house and our family!) Amen and amen!

Ephesians 5

Wake Up from Your Sleep
1-2Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.

3-4Don't allow love to turn into lust, setting off a downhill slide into sexual promiscuity, filthy practices, or bullying greed. Though some tongues just love the taste of gossip, those who follow Jesus have better uses for language than that. Don't talk dirty or silly. That kind of talk doesn't fit our style. Thanksgiving is our dialect.

5You can be sure that using people or religion or things just for what you can get out of them—the usual variations on idolatry—will get you nowhere, and certainly nowhere near the kingdom of Christ, the kingdom of God.

6-7Don't let yourselves get taken in by religious smooth talk. God gets furious with people who are full of religious sales talk but want nothing to do with him. Don't even hang around people like that.

8-10You groped your way through that murk once, but no longer. You're out in the open now. The bright light of Christ makes your way plain. So no more stumbling around. Get on with it! The good, the right, the true—these are the actions appropriate for daylight hours. Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it.

11-16Don't waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It's a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.

Wake up from your sleep,
Climb out of your coffins;
Christ will show you the light!
So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!

17Don't live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.

18-20Don't drink too much wine. That cheapens your life. Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him. Sing hymns instead of drinking songs! Sing songs from your heart to Christ. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ.

21Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.

22-24Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.

25-28Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ's love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They're really doing themselves a favor—since they're already "one" in marriage.

29-33No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That's how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become "one flesh." This is a huge mystery, and I don't pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.

No comments: