Devious Diversions – Transform My Mind
Paul had lived in Ephesus for at least three years. His quotation here isn’t directly from Scripture. It’s probably the text of a hymn they’d often sung together, loosely based on Isaiah 26:19; 15:17; 52:1; 60:1) and Malachi 4:2).
Interact with God’s Word: Ephesians 5:4-16
- How do the electronic media excuse sins that God condemns? Do you risk being fooled into discounting God’s anger with impurity?
- Clearly, we’re to avoid acting out sinful behaviors (v. 7), but could viewing/listening to it as entertainment be a form of participation?
- Paul’s quotation (in verse 14) is meant to be a wake-up call. What “darkness” (vv. 8-13) should you steer clear of? What “light” should you shine on evil to expose it?
- Paul characterized his days (v. 16) as evil. How would you size up our days?
- How do you determine (v. 10) what is pleasing to the Lord?
- What changes might be required (vv. 15-16) to live wisely and make opportunities for doing good?
Spend Time in Prayer: Ask God for the ability to retain a pure mind in an environment of obscene stories and coarse jokes.
4 Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. 5 You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.6 Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him.
7 Don’t participate in the things these people do.8 for once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!9 for this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.
10 Carefully determine what pleases the Lord.11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. 12 It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret.
13 But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them,14 for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said,”Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.
Prayer for the Week: Lord, transform my life by renewing my mind in accordance with Your good and perfect will.