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And He Himself gave some to be....evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ...
- Ephesians 4:11-12

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Location: The Hill Country of Texas

Pastor - Providence Reformed Baptist Church
Director - TIME in the Word Ministries

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Walk in Light

TIME in the Word - Daily Devotional
Together for Inspiration, Motivation, and Encouragement

Verse of the Day - Ephesians 5:8-10
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.

Daily Scripture Reading - Psalm 14

Puritan Catechism
Question #45 - What is required in the second commandment?

Answer - The second commandment requires the receiving, observing (Deut. 32:46; Matt. 28:20), and keeping pure and entire all such religious worship and ordinances as God has appointed in His Word (Deut. 12:32).

Devotional Thoughts
As we are continuing on in our study of Ephesians 5:8-14 today we will examine the end of verse 8 through 10. We have seen already from this passage that we were once darkness and now we are light. What once was has passed away and we are new creatures if we have repented of our sin and placed our faith in Jesus Christ. This is an amazing transformation - literally from night to day, from darkness to light, from death to life - all because of the grace of God.

We learn then that because we were once darkness but now are light in the Lord then we should live like what we are. We should live like light! We should be holy, set apart from the things of the world, shunning sin and embracing what is good. We do this by walking as children of light.

It is interesting to me that twice in this passage from Ephesians 5:1-10 Paul has used the term "children". He started by telling us that we are to imitate God as dear children and now we see that we are to walk as children of light. We could probably spend the whole devotion today going over all the ways that the Bible teaches us to be like children. Jesus even used little children to illustrate the nature of saving faith and the traits necessary for one to be in His Kingdom. However, beside studying all of that today I want to focus instead on one quality here that is relevant to walking in the light.

To imitate God as dear children and to walk as children of light means that we are to be growing. We are not completely mature yet, we have not arrived, we are still growing. We are told in the Scripture to grow in grace, to be strong in grace, to mature, to bear fruit, and to move from the milk to the meat by being full grown in our understanding of the Word. Another way to think of this is to realize that we are not expected to be perfect but we are expected to be growing. Too often we get frustrated with where we are and we forget where we have come from. Let us not forget that we were once darkness and are now light. And while we may not have grown much, we must see that there is importance not just in how far we have moved, but also in which direction we are moving as we grow in grace.

I heard a man say it another way not to long ago. He said that we are told in the Bible to practice righteousness. In 1 John 2:29 we are told "you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him." And the key to this is not that we are perfect at it, but we are practicing!! Are we working hard at getting better and better at obeying and following and denying self? Are we like an athlete, always honing our skills and learning how to depend more and more upon the Holy Spirit and how to walk by faith?

To walk as children of light then means that we are growing and maturing in the light - in righteousness and holiness. We are trusting and teachable and eager to grow. The verses that follow give us 4 areas in which we are to grow. These are areas to practice! And these are things that the Spirit produces in and through us. They are indeed the fruit of the Spirit being born in our lives as we walk with Him. This fruit we are told is goodness, righteousness, and truth. Through this fruit we learn how to walk in the light finding out what is acceptable to the Lord and doing it.

To walk as children of light is to walk in goodness. Matthew 19:17 tells us that only God is good, and Psalm 14:3 makes it clear that when it comes to mankind, there is none good, no not one. Outside of Christ we cannot be good, we are not good, and we have no potential for good. Christ is clear. "Without Me," He says, "you can do nothing." But with Christ all things are possible. He is good. He gives us goodness. He makes us good. He produces fruit in us, and just as it says here so to it says in Galatians 5:22 that the fruit of the Spirit is goodness.

Goodness is that which is "clean." It denotes moral excellence, purity, holiness, and that which promotes health. To walk as children of light is to be growing in that which is good, pure, clean, and spiritually, emotionally, and physically healthy! This means that to neglect what is good in any of these areas is to fail to walk as children of light. We should strive to think, speak, and act in a manner that is always good.

Also we see that to walk as children of light is to walk in righteousness. Righteousness remember is being in a right relationship with God. This can only be done by faith. When we believe, Christ's righteousness is imputed to us. On the basis of His righteousness then we are declared to be right with God - we are justified. And we are to walk then in this justification. To continue to be right with God. We are to hunger and thirst - that is crave as necessary for life - to be right with God and when we do we will be satisfied Jesus tells us.

This means also that we are always on the look out for those things which would cause us to be unrighteous. Sin is a snare, remember? And so we must be on our guard at all times. Paul tells us in Philippians 1 that we are to be filled with the fruit of righteousness - the results of being right with God that work their way out in the way we live. If we are to be growing and walking as children of light then we must be seeking to maintain and grow our relationship with God - for Christ is our righteousness and without Him we have no hope at all of pleasing God or being right with Him.

We also see that to walk as children of light is to walk in truth. Of course in John 14:6 Jesus tells us that He is the truth. God's Word, we are told, is true and every Word is pure. It is interesting then that Jesus is the Living Word of God and the Living Word is revealed through the written Word - and both are true. The Word, living and written is our standard for righteousness and goodness. The Bible is absolutely true and it is absolute truth. There is no deception with God. He cannot lie. He does not change. He is constant and He is true. For us to walk as children of light then is to be saturated with the truth. To read, memorize, and meditate upon the Word of God.

As we look at these three elements of the fruit of the Spirit we see that in reality these things points us to Jesus. He alone is good (Matt 19:17). We wear a breastplate made of His righteousness (Eph 6:14). He is truth (John 14:6). We see then that to walk as children of light is to walk in Christ! It is to put Him on daily. It is to abide in Him as His Word abides is us.

As we walk and live in Christ (Gal 2:20) we see that we are now able to find out what is acceptable to God. Of course, the reason for finding out what is acceptable is so that we can do what is acceptable. We learn that to know Christ teaches us how to know Him even more and the more we know of Him the more we love Him and obey Him.

This also reminds me of Romans 12:1-2:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Presenting ourselves as a living sacrifice is to walk as children of light! We offer ourselves as a holy and acceptable sacrifice and we refuse to be conformed to this world and its lusts. Then as we are transformed by the renewing of our minds by the Word and Spirit of God we see that we are able to prove "what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

Another way to say that, also an accurate rendering of what Paul is saying here, is that as we offer ourselves a living sacrifice and are transformed by the Word of God then as a result our lives prove that God's will is acceptable and good and perfect. We live a life that actively demonstrates for others that God's will is good!

So many today fear the will of God or think that they cannot find the will of God. But the truth is that as we walk as children of light our life is living proof that God's will is very good indeed. Did you ever view your life as evidence of the grace of God to others? This is why your testimony is so important - to be able to tell people about what Christ has done in your life. But even beyond telling them, when we walk as children of light we show them! We practice righteousness. And the more we practice the better we will get at obeying and following and submitting.

Let us not forget, practice makes perfect - and one day practice will be over and we will be perfect, just as Jesus is perfect. Until then, keep walking! Walk as children of light.

Links for Further Study
(links to study each daily topic in more detail if you have the desire and the time)

Commentary on Ephesians 5 by Matthew Henry (born on this day in 1662)
Come Ye Children (A Book for Parents and Teachers on the Christian Training of Children) by Charles Spurgeon

Bible Reading For Further Study

Recommended Songs for Worship

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