Ephesians 4:22-24 – 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.
“Now that they are ‘in Christ’, they have the responsibility, in the power of the Spirit, to take off the old lifestyle, the old way of being human, like someone stripping off a shabby and worn suit of clothing. It may have become comfortable. You may be used to it, and even quite like it. Familiar old clothes are often like that, and brand new ones often feel a bit strange. But if you want to live as a new person in and for the king, the old suit of clothes has to come off, and the new one has to go on.” [NT Wright, Ephesians for Everyone, 52]
Do you see that God has your life in mind even more than what you have in mind… even more than what you see and think? No matter how young or long we have been a Christian, God has something new for every single one of us – that’s a given – but are we willing to let go of the old or even what we currently know? Put off the old and let God make your mind new. Say yes to the Father for the new he has in mind and walk into it as you worship to “Here Again” by Elevation Worship (Click here).
Ephesians 4:20-21 – 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.
“This isn’t a matter of university degrees and paper qualifications, helpful though they may be. It’s a matter of the heart and mind being open to the ever-wider range of insight and imagination that comes with ‘learning the king’ (verse 20) … So what Paul is urging the young Christians is that they allow this teaching of Jesus to have its full effect in their lives.” [NT Wright, Ephesians for Everyone, 51-52]
What makes up ‘the way of life’ that the Ephesian church learned? Is there an ‘ever wider range of insight and imagination’ that is filling your heart and mind as you learn the truth that is in Jesus?
Take time to pray for the truth in Jesus to fill your heart and mind with an ever wider range of insight and imagination for his kingdom. Likewise, take time to pray for this truth that is in Jesus to affect even more the lives in your church, missional group/campus ministry, and those in your immediate context as you worship to “There’s Nothing That Our God Can’t Do” by Passion (Click here).
Philippians 2:5-8 – In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
“Conversion is a renunciation of a self-centered identity in favor of a Christ-defined identity. All that shapes us is given over to Christ, and his mindset of self-giving love becomes our mindset. Conversion is the restructuring of a person’s thinking by the Holy Spirit as the result of a direct encounter with the love of God in the person of Christ.” [K. Snodgrass, NIVAC: Ephesians, 240]
Because Jesus emptied himself for us and because ‘his mindset of self-giving love becomes our mindset,’ we can empty ourselves through the Spirit. This self-emptying love is being on point as a Christian. Take time to empty yourself before the Lord of specific thoughts, feelings, concerns, preferences that need to be let go of. Let God fill you with his love and thoughts as you worship to “Better Than Life” by Phil Wickham (Click here).
Prayer: Lord, thank you for giving yourself so that I would be filled with life. Let your love change my thinking to give myself for your purpose. May there be more of you and less of me. It’s in Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Ephesians 4:18-19 – 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.
“Christianity is a religion that emphasizes on the one hand the futility and distortion of humanity without God and on the other hand the value of humanity in God’s eyes and with God… We [humanity] give ourselves to trivialities and diversions. Our minds are given to sports, movies, and sitcoms to avoid thought. Our self-centeredness alienates us from God. We do not acknowledge our need of God, do not have time for him, and if we think about him at all, our thought is juvenile. Having lost sensitivity to God and fellowship with him, we give ourselves to sensuality… We are caught in an increasing downward spiral of serving ourselves.” [K. Snodgrass, NIVAC: Ephesians, 237, 239].
Paul paints a very bleak picture of those who are separated from God. Do you agree with the strong language that Paul uses? How would you view yourself and those around you in the truth and love of God?
Take time giving yourself over to God’s truth and ways. Ask God for his perspective for the people around you in your life as you worship to “This We Know” by Passion (Click here).
Ephesians 4:17 – 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.
“Paul asks his Gentile readers not to live like Gentiles! This sounds strange, but obviously “Gentile” could be used both in an ethnic sense and in a moral sense, somewhat akin to the earlier flexibility of the English word “pagan.” … While Paul could address them as Gentiles ethnically (2:11), he did not want his readers to be like the Gentiles among whom they lived.” [K. Snodgrass, NIVAC: Ephesians, 229]
What’s the difference between ‘in the Lord’ and ‘in the futility of their thinking’? Why did Paul insist that the Ephesian church no longer live and think as the Gentiles do?
If you are a student, then don’t just live like other students around you. If you are a working professional, then don’t just live like others in your workplace. As Christians, we are to be different from the world in how we live ‘in the Lord.’ Take time to reflect on any areas/thoughts that might be challenging your faith in God. Pray and insist that your thoughts and living be in the Lord as you worship to “Who You Say I Am” by Hillsong Worship (Click here).