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         . . . Ephesians 5:1-14
". . . and walk in love, as Christ also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering." Ephesians 5:3 (NKJV)
The four lessons in November close Paul's instructions to the Ephesians:  "Walking in Love," "Walking Wisely," "Walking as Family," and "Walking to Battle."  Paul's admonitions to believers then and now echo Tim Tebow's recent statement that believers need to boldly embrace and live out Christ-like values in our secular world.
IMITATE (Ephesians 5:1-2)
Ephesians 5:1 is the only New Testament text in which believers are called upon to be imitators of God.  Similar scriptures include . . . "Be Holy because I am Holy" (see 1 Peter 1:16) and "Be perfect, therefore as your heavenly Father is perfect" (see Matthew 5:48).  We are to be kind and compassionate, as dearly beloved children.  To walk in love is also to remember how Christ gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering.  This means that God was pleased His Son provided the path for redeeming and restoring the lost.  "And suddenly a voice from heaven said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased!" Matthew 3:16 (NKJV)  Imitate Him by walking in love.
ISOLATE (Ephesians 5:3-7)
Paul pulled no punches with the former pagans.  Remember how he dealt with the Corinthians?  Knowing that the flesh is weak and temptations may tempt mortals to return to pagan ways, Paul thundered that sexual immorality and greed should be avoided at all costs.  The Greek word for "sexual immorality" is porneia
from which our word pornography derives.  It involves all the shameful, sordid, demeaning acts that immorality involves.  Nor should we engage in obscene, foolish talking, and crude joking.  Flee such!  Only the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit who lives with us can replace sinful lifestyles with holy ones.  Otherwise, those who practice such have no spiritual inheritance and face God's coming judgment on the disobedient.  Imitate Him by walking in love!
ILLUMINATE (Ephesians 5:8-14)
We were once children of darkness . . . but now we are children of light.  As an old preacher said, "Jesus said, "I am the light of the world."  Then He said, "You are the light of the world." Now that is no contradiction.  What He meant was I am  the sun.  You are the moon.  The moon reflects the light of the sun.  So brethren, "let it shine, let it shine!"  The fruit resulting from imitating Christ is goodness, righteousness, and truth.  Before, we were spiritually dead; now, we are alive in Him.  We are to reflect Christ's likeness in a decadent world!  How?  By imitating Him and walking in love!
Charles Foxworth
Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Education (Ret.)--Louisiana Tech University -- Ruston, Louisiana
Supply Minister for Concord/Union Baptist Association -- Ruston, Louisiana
[Editor's Note:  Remember to turn your time pieces BACK one hour before bedtime Saturdayevening, November 02, 2019, as Daylight Saving Time ENDS.  nhs]
eThoughts Team -- Extended Week-day Free Devotionals -- Vol. XIII, No. 11-92G -- Archived 
Dr. Nelda Hughes Spinks, Professor Emerita -- Editor and Publisher
Scripture is taken from THE NEW KING JAMES VERSION, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.  All Rights Reserved. 
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