ESOCS Devotional 26 August 2023 – Maintain God’s Seal on You
MEMORY VERSE: “And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he is the one who has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30 – NLT
TEXT: EPHESIANS 4:17-32 (KJV)
So this I say and solemnly testify in [the name of] the Lord [as in His presence], that you must no longer live as the heathen (the Gentiles) do in their perverseness [in the folly, vanity, and emptiness of their souls and the futility] of their minds.
18 Their [a]moral understanding is darkened and their reasoning is beclouded. [They are] alienated (estranged, self-banished) from the life of God [with no share in it; this is] because of the ignorance (the want of knowledge and perception, the willful blindness) that is [b]deep-seated in them, due to their hardness of heart [to the insensitiveness of their moral nature].
19 In their spiritual apathy they have become callous and past feeling and reckless and have abandoned themselves [a prey] to unbridled sensuality, eager and greedy to indulge in every form of impurity [that their depraved desires may suggest and demand].
20 But you did not so learn Christ!
21 Assuming that you have really heard Him and been taught by Him, as [all] Truth is in Jesus [embodied and personified in Him],
22 Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts anddesires that spring from delusion;
23 And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude],
24 And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore, rejecting all falsity and being done now with it, let everyone express the truth with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one body and members one of another.
26 When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down.
27 Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him].
28 Let the thief steal no more, but rather let him be industrious, making an honest living with his own hands, so that he may be able to give to those in need.
29 Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it.
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [do not offend or vex or sadden Him], by Whom you were sealed (marked, branded as God’s own, secured) for the day of redemption (of final deliverance through Christ from evil and the consequences of sin).
31 Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind).
32 And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.
The major objective of God in the redemption plan was to save us from the torment of hell fire; and to change our sin nature to the nature of sainthood. He took the necessary steps and actions on the cross. The precious Blood of Jesus washed the sins away and gave us a plain field. We should continue in that plan from where the Blood stopped; and that is, to accept the teachings of the gospel into our hearts, meditate on them, and live by them. However, we cannot do this unless we consciously removed the nature of Adam in us – the nature of sin.
This is a very important spiritual exercise. If we do not do it, it would be difficult for us to live our lives the way God wants it. We should follow the example of the apostles and disciple of Christ. Our Lord said to them after a while of teaching them, “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.” They had listened to His teachings and obeyed them. In other words, they dropped every ungodly attitude or character they had before they met Christ because they applied the word of God to their lives. They began to live a new and different lifestyle. We should do likewise. The scripture counsels us not to do the things ungodly people do (v 17); we should throw away our old way of life (Adam), which is rotten before God and use the word of God to cleanse and renew our hearts and minds so that our thoughts and attitude would be different from our past lives (vs. 22 & 23). We should imitate the life and ways of Christ (the new man). He is the standard our heavenly Father wants us to attain.
The Holy Spirit is there to help and guide us. Let us always listen to His instructions and counsel when He speaks to us in His gentle voice. We would make Him unhappy if we refuse to listen to Him or refuse to do what He says (v 30). The devil is looking for opportunities to deceive us (v 27). We should resist him (James 4:7). We should live a sanctified life. It pleases God greatly. He made us His own through Christ. We can only show we appreciate it when we live and do the things that are acceptable to Him. He should not find in us anything Christ would not do. Our goal should be to be like Him in our thoughts, words, and actions. We should live a practical Christian lifestyle. The Holy Spirit has already sealed us for the day of redemption. Let us not pollute it.
- Outline those things you do that God does not approve and begin to eliminate them from your character.
- Set up a plan to monitor your lifestyle in order to do only the things that Christ will do.
- Pray that the Holy Spirit should not take His seal away from you.
- Pray for the support of the Holy Spirit in your eagerness to live a holy lifestyle.
FURTHER READING: Joel 3:9-end; Zechariah 8:18-end; Luke 13:1-9; 1 Corinthians 8:1-end
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ESOCS Devotional 26 August 2023