Take 5 (May 22-26, 2017)

Caleb Korth • Pastor of Worship Arts

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MONDAYEphesians 4:17-20 

Have you ever failed to pay attention to a traffic sign? Maybe you turned the wrong way on a one-way street or you ignored the speed limit sign only to find red and blue lights in the rear view mirror moments later. Observing and obeying street signs is very important. Failure to pay attention to their commands and warnings can be very dangerous. What would happen if everyone decides to do whatever they want one day and completely ignore those signs? Imagine the chaos that would ensue! Paul begins today’s passage by reminding the Ephesian believers that they were not to live like ignorant people without aim or purpose. The ignorance of the Gentiles alienated them from God because of the hardness of their hearts. They were also calloused toward sin. Paul is trying to show them how Christians should be markably different from those who do not believe in Christ. It is a great reminder to us to be aware of what God expects from us and then to live in such a way as to honor Him. A good place to start is to ask God to make us sensitive to sin.

Ask God to keep you from being calloused toward sin.

TUESDAY: Ephesians 4:21-24 

Have you ever had difficulty adjusting to change? Maybe your favorite restaurant stopped serving that special dish, or your favorite TV show got canceled, or perhaps it was a new way of doing things at work. Embracing new things can be very difficult. In today’s reading, we find Paul addressing the importance of change in the life of a believer. He is imploring the reader to shed the old, sinful self and to embrace the new life in Jesus Christ. In Christ, we are a new creation and as God’s children we should reflect the character and values of our heavenly Father. Righteousness and holiness are two aspects from the verses that we are to reflect in our own lives. These are the kinds of spiritual clothing that we should be wearing. Thankfully, we have the Holy Spirit to help us employ the character of God in our everyday life.

Ask God to help you live a holy and righteous life.

WEDNESDAYEphesians 4:25-28 

Sometimes the truth hurts! Have you ever been in a position where telling the truth was difficult? There are times when we need to communicate challenging information in a loving, but honest way. This is especially true of the family of God. We should not be known for lying and false speech, but for our honesty and character. Along with these aspects, Paul challenges us to be in control of our anger. Is it possible to be angry and not sin? Yes! There are times when believers will get angry over a legitimate issues. The key to this is to deal with the issue that caused anger quickly and in a godly way. The devil would love for these situations to turn into sin and cause disunity. That is why it is necessary to keep open, honest, and clear communication in the body of Christ that is rooted in love and humility.

Pray for the Bible Center family and ask that God will help us speak truth in love.

THURSDAYEphesians 4:29-30 

Did you know that you can build people up with your words? Words are powerful and can be used to breathe life into people and provide hope. They can also be used to tear people down and act like wrecking ball, causing great damage. How we use our words matters to God. Corrupt or unwholesome talking displeases and dishonors God, and it grieves the Holy Spirit. As God’s children we are to represent Him with holy and righteous living–this includes the way we talk. Is there someone in your life that you need to speak kind words to today? Have you been using your words to tear down your spouse, children, or co-workers? Maybe you haven’t been talking about things that are pure and wholesome and need to ask God to forgive you and help you change. If you have a particular challenge with using words to love others well, take some time and memorize verse 29.

Use your words to communicate Christ’s love to others.

FRIDAYEphesians 4:31-32 

At Bible Center, we communicate regularly that we want “to be a church Charleston can’t live without.” But what if we took that a step further and made it personal? We could say individually that “I want to be a believer Charleston can’t live without.” What does that kind of Christian look like? When we reach for peace over bitterness, or when we employ patience over anger, we bless those around us, our community, with godly character. When we exercise self-control over outbursts of rage when the waiter gets our order wrong we demonstrate the love of Christ! When we pursue forgiveness and restoration over the cancer of bitterness, we act like a believer Charleston can’t live without. Remember that you represent Jesus Christ! You are the walking billboard of God’s redemptive work on the cross. You are the ambassador of Christ to a world that needs the hope of the resurrection. So be a believer that Charleston–and the world–can’t live without!

Ask God to help you be a believer that Charleston can’t live without!