Ephesians 4:17 A Way Not To Live

So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. Ephesians 4:17

The majority of the world lives in a way that is to please themselves in the moment. People have the mindset that if if feels good, looks good, or tastes good, then do it. It is all about in the moment of personal pleasure, regardless of the long-term outcome.

The world believes in a freedom that is actually a bondage. They are unable to think in any other way, other than of self.

Paul gets demanding in that he demands that the people no longer live like the Gentiles.

Although on the surface the thinking and ways of the world seem like freedom and good, they are in reality actions leading towards death and destruction. It denies the truth and authority of God.

With this mindset, there is no solid foundation of rules. The rules of the world change according to the feeling in the moment. What was wrong a while back, is now considered good.

There have been many in the church who have chosen to continue to live in this way, while claiming to believe in Jesus. They have chosen to continue to hold onto sinful acts and habits to please themselves.

Alternate lifestyles, abortions, drugs, abuse, sexual immorality and other actions are sadly common among believers as acceptable. Many have been deceived into thinking that living this way is really loving and accepted by God.

Every believer in Jesus is supposed to become a new creation. This means that his ways of thinking and acting are different. He is to longer think and live like the world. One is either living for God or he is living for self, there is no middle ground.

If you consider yourself a believer and follower of Jesus, you must leave the ways of the world behind you. Give up thinking and acting like the world.

Change your thoughts and actions to become like those of Jesus in everything you say and do. Live your life to please God for what He has done for you, not to please self or others.

Living as the world does will only bring God’s judgement of wrath upon you and death.

How are you thinking and living your life today?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will think and act like Jesus; that God will give you strength to reject the ways of the world; and that you will know how God wants you to live your life.

2 Corinthians 2:16 The Aroma Of Death And Life

To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 2 Corinthians 2:16

Most everything gives off some type of aroma. Some of these aromas can be very pleasant smelling, such as with a bouquet of flowers, fresh rain, or a fresh baked pie. Others aromas can be extremely unpleasant, such as the smell of a skunk’s spray, limburger cheese, or decaying food.

The different types of aromas can attract people closer, or push people away. People often use many types of deodorants to change or cover up the aroma around them.

Describing the believers, Paul says that they are an aroma of death to some and aroma of life to others.

Every believer has the aroma of Christ emanating from them as they go through their days. Those who are rejecting Christ or God, will find that the smell of a believer is revolting. It appears as though the believer is bringing about death.

The aroma of Christ is one that does reveal and bring about death. It reveals that one who is living in sin, is dying or already dead. It brings about a conviction of the heart.

One the other side of the picture, the aroma of Christ is one of life. Those who have chosen to believe in Jesus, repent of their sins and follow Him, smell Him as the aroma of life. At the same time, Jesus brings the aroma of death–death to sin and self. This is a very pleasing aroma to the believer.

Every believer will carry those aromas around with them wherever he goes. To some, the believer will be revolting and a smell of death. He will go against the evil ways of this world. To others, he will be a life giving aroma, following the ways of God.

Each day you walk about, you give off some type of aroma. Depending upon how you are living your life will depend upon the aroma given. Living in sin will always bring the aroma of putrid death and decay. Living for God will always be one of life.

Not every person you meet will enjoy the aroma you bring as a believer in Jesus. They will hate it and run from you. However, others will smell the aroma of life and be attracted.

Allow yourself to be the aroma of Christ, being the life to a believer and death to the world.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will bring the gospel message of Jesus to this world; that you will bring true life to those who are dead; and that you will be the aroma of Jesus to the lost and saved.

Zechariah 5:3 Getting Banished

Encases scroll

And he said to me, “This is a the curse that is going out over the whole land; for according to what it says on one side, every thief will be banished, and according to what it says on the other, everyone who swears falsely will be banished.” Zechariah 5:3 

Two things that are very common nearly everywhere a person goes are theft and false swearing, or making false promises. Most people will never claim that they do either of these, yet both are done by most people to some degree or more.

The common view is that if one is not caught, it is acceptable, even though most do not agree with it.

God showed Zechariah a vision of a scroll flying across the land. It would curse and banish those who were thieves and those who made false promises.

While most believers will state that they do not steal, it is common for many to not give their full effort when at work. They cut corners and do as little as possible. This is stealing from their employer.

Many will also say that they do not make false promises. Yet, they make promises to follow God all the time, and then turn back to sin. Others will also promise to do the job correctly, but then cut corners in the work, breaking their promise.

God is against theft and false promises. He is one who always keeps every promise and does not take what is not His. He also expects those who follow Him to live in the same way.

Israel was destroyed for a time because of theft and false promises. God will also judge today in the same way. He has mercy for those who repent and turn from these ways, but will banish those who refuse to repent and change.

You must take a look at your own life and see where your actions are. Only you and God can know if you are taking things that do not belong to you or if you are making false promises.

Turn from those ways and live as Jesus lived, in truth and honesty. Do not live in a way that God will have to banish you. Do not live as many in this world live and accept as good. Be separate from the ways of this world.

Will God have to banish you? Or are you being accepted into His kingdom?

I pray today that you will live by God’s standards; that God will help you to fulfill all of your promises; that you will trust God for all of your needs; and that you will be a witness for Jesus. 

Zephaniah 2:3 What To Search For

Looking on a beach

Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger. Zephaniah 2:3 

As a person is growing up he begins to search for what he wants to do with his life. The challenge of trying to decide what type of career the person would like to do for income looms great in one’s mind.

Throughout life many people will continue to search for meaning and purpose in life. They will seek these things in many different places and things. This will become even more of a concern, when one begins to go through tough times and everything is falling apart.

Zephaniah tells the people to seek God, His righteousness and humility. This is to be done as one sees the day of God’s judgement coming.

God’s patience does not last forever with people or nations. For each person or nation there comes a day of judgement. God will not put up with sin forever. Before the final judgement at the end of time, God has days where He will strike nations or individuals to get their attention back on Him.

Those who are humble and realize that God is in control will seek God. They will seek God to find out what He desires for them. They will turn from sin, repenting in humility as they seek His righteousness and holiness.

Only when a person turns to God and seeks His way of living, will God begin to protect them from the judgement coming. God can work in a way to spare them as others are judged and struck to get their attention. Miracles can occur during times of famine, drought, disaster, disease, sickness, pandemics, or any other event that hits nations or people to get their attention, to shelter those who trust in Him.

You may see disaster, sickness and death all around you, however, you do not need to fear any of those things. Do not seek the ways of this world to get through the troubles. Seek God, His kingdom, His righteousness and holiness and you will be doing what God desires for you to do.

As you are doing what God is wanting you to do, He will put His hand of favor upon you and protect you from judgement. He will give you strength to make it through troubling times.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will seek God in everything you do; that you will seek God’s righteousness in your life; that you will be humble before God; and that you will trust God with your life.