Have you ever seen the movie “Princess Diaries”? It’s about a girl who is the daughter of a prince but she doesn’t know it, until one day her grandmother shows up to take her home so she can take her place. All of a sudden she has to learn a new way of acting, and a new way of speaking.
It’s kind of like what happens to us when we become Christians. We used to live one way but now we are something else and we are called to live like it. Our behavior is to reflect our new identity.
Ephesians 5:8–10 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.
So far this Lent we’ve been looking at what Jesus’ death provides for us – a new family, righteousness, salvation from God’s wrath. These next two weeks we’ll look at how we are to respond.
Paul reminds us that we were once darkness. Not in darkness, talking about what’s around us, but were darkness, talking about what’s in us, our very nature.
Ephesians 4:18 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.
Light in the Lord
John tells us that God is light, Jesus said that He is the Light of the world. When we become followers of Christ we are united with Him, what Paul calls being in Christ. This change in our environment produces a change in our nature. This changes our lives – our priorities, our values, the way we think, and of course this leads to changes in the way we live. In our reading for today Paul is calling the church in Ephesus, and us, to live up to our calling. He gives three qualities that should be evident in our lives.
Goodness – being of generous spirit, willing to help others. Also one of the fruit of the Spirit
Righteousness – acting justly. Because has given us Christ’s righteous we are to live in a way that reflects his righteousness.
Truth – integrity and dependability
Paul describes these qualities as fruit
They come naturally as a result of who we now are
They take time to develop
Pleasing the Lord
How do we apply these qualities in our everyday lives? Paul sums it up by saying that we should find out what pleases the Lord. What will make God happy with us? Paul says he makes it his goal to please God. In all our activities we are to evaluate what we do by whether or not or not it would be acceptable to God.
Find out – don’t guess, don’t base it on what would please us or someone else.
Takes careful thought and effort
God will show us by filling us with knowledge
Colossians 1:9–10 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,
We are called to live as children of light. Will we be 25 watt or 200 watt?