Monday in the Fifth Week of Ordinary Time

Ephesians 5:6-10

Walk as Children of Light

“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.”  This is where we left off yesterday and it is a good place to begin today.  We must not succumb to the false doctrine of cheap grace. 

Instead, Paul would have us to understand that in coming to Christ Jesus, we have come out of darkness where we once resided—each and every one of us were residents in that dark realm in which we all are born.  It is dark because sin dwells there, immorality and impurity dwell there, coarse and unedifying speech dwell there, in sum, Satan dwells there.  And “there” is anywhere where one does not know the Lord by saving faith—it may be a bar, a penthouse, a din of iniquity, or one’s own home.  When we are lost and without hope, we are in the dark, groping, even if we are not aware of it.  And though that darkness may have something to do with that place, yet that darkness has primarily to do with that person’s mind, heart, and soul.  He lurks in the darkness because his deeds are evil (John 3:19).

“Do not become partners with them.”  Do not return, do not go back.  “You are [now] light in the Lord.”  That is what we become when we come to saving faith.  We no longer pursue those things that those who love darkness pursue; instead, we pursue “all that is good and right and true.”  Our desires are changed.  We have new loves.  Goodness, righteousness, and truth become beautiful to us, and we find them in our God and we adore and follow Him.  I do not say that this is not difficult; old habits die hard.  Satan will hang on for dear life (actually, “dear death”).  But with the Spirit’s help, we can forsake old haunts, both in the world and in our flesh.  Some of those haunts are in our minds and hearts.  We must put them to death and mortify the sin which so easily besets us.

Paul then says, “Try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.”  I believe that Romans 12:1-2 can shed light on how to do this: “By the mercies of God, present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God…Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”  So discerning the will of the Lord has to do with forsaking sin and the world, and having one’s mind renewed by the Holy Spirit as one reads the word of God.  It is not easy or automatic but comes with discipline, godliness, and blamelessness.  Do not be deceived.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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