This Day in History: 0000-09-10

September 10 – Ephesians 4:30-32

And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, He has identified you as His own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. 
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.  Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

The second half (vs 17-32) of Ephesians 4 is all about throwing off the old sinful nature and allowing the Holy Spirit to renew us, so that we can put on our new nature, created to be like God – truly righteous and holy.  There is a pattern in these verses.  Almost a formula.  As we throw off each specific behavior or element of the sinful nature it tells us to replace that behavior with a new one – a righteous one. Stop lying, instead (actively) tell the truth.  Stop being controlled by anger, instead choose to resolve your conflicts before the day ends.  Stop stealing,  instead work hard and give generously. Stop tearing others down with your words, instead use what comes out of your mouth to be an encouragement to everyone around you. Then we get to the verses above.

Stop living in a way that brings sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit, (who lives inside of you and is right there with you every time you sin) instead remember who you are! The children of God don’t live according to the lusts and passions of their sinful nature. No!  The children of God know that their eternity is secure and live in submission to the Holy Spirit, bringing Him joy rather than sorrow!  God’s holy people are not filled with bitterness, and rage. They are not angry and their words are not harsh. God’s holy people are not gossips and they don’t slander others. When we belong to God, we will not make a practice of engaging in any kind of evil behavior.

INSTEAD, the children of God are kind to each other.  They look for opportunities to bless the people around them the way God has blessed them.  God’s holy people are tenderhearted. They are empathetic and will rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.  Those who belong to God are quick to forgive, because they know how much they have been forgiven.  Their blackest sins have been washed clean by the blood of Christ and they have been clothed in the royal robes of a royal heir – the sons and daughters of the King.

Are you holding on to any bitterness or anger today?  Have you forgotten who you are?  Let’s throw off our old sinful natures right now and replace those evil behaviors with new, redeemed actions.  We have been forgiven  of every dark sin we have ever committed or ever will commit.  How could we possibly refuse to forgive another in light of that truth?  Let’s surrender to the Holy Spirit today and chose kindness, tenderhearted understanding, and forgiveness.  We are the sons and daughters of the High King of Heaven, how could we possibly offer Him anything less?