Key Verse: Ephesians 5:18-19
“And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”
In an earlier reading from Ephesians, we noted that the words “in Christ” (or its equivalent) are repeated 35 times. Interestingly, there are also 35 directives given!…one for each reminder of our position “in Christ.” Do we need another reminder that good behaviour is determined as a result of being “in Christ” and not a factor in getting us into the body of Christ? We are there only by grace through our faith; it is a gift of God, not of ourselves (Ephesians 2:8-9). We’ve considered this fact before, but it needs to be repeated to make sure we’ve got it in the right order.
Our reading begins with the directive, “Walk in love as Christ also has loved us.” His love is a sweet-smelling aroma. There is a sign on a Kingston, Ontario, shop that says, “Aroma Therapy.” We have never gone in to check it out, but we do breathe deeply of the aroma of Christ every day. It’s the cure for whatever ails us. Then having been saturated in His fragrance, we will carry that fragrance with us for at least 24 hours. We mentioned this in our reading from 2 Corinthians 2:14-17. Christ definitely passes the smell test! Do we? There are at least 35 ingredients in the content of the fragrance, according to Paul. Please don’t list them and put them on the wall like the Ten Commandments. We need to relax in the knowledge that we are “in Christ.” His constant Presence in us will exude His fragrance through our behaviour. We may or may not have ever been drunk with wine (I don’t ever intend to find out what it’s like), but be assured we cannot ever drink too much of the Spirit of Christ. Just hand Him our lives and say, “Fill ‘er up!”
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Dear Lord God, may I receive grace from You to be like Jesus, speaking as He would speak and doing as He would do. May the fragrance of Jesus permeate my person so that others will know I’m “in Christ,” and He is in me. As our key verses tell me, Lord, may I not be under the influence of wine but filled with Your Spirit and under Your strong influence at all times. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
At 19 years old, 3 years after I made my lifetime commitment to Christ, I said to God in a time of discouragement, “I can’t live the Christian life as I should. I might as well quit!” God’s response was unmistakable. I heard that still small Voice of the Lord say, “Good, go ahead and quit. Now perhaps you’ll let Me live the Christian life in you and through you.” Suddenly I felt totally free just to go ahead and LIVE! I can’t begin to describe the feeling of elation, joy, strength, and courage I began to experience. I knew beyond any doubt that my life would be lived “in Christ” and that Christ lived in me. My life was not “of works, lest anyone [me] should boast.” I was totally confident that I was “His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works” (Ephesians 2:9-10). I was the proud owner of a 1947 Plymouth. I did not have to move each piston up and down to move the crank shaft which moved the transmission which moved the drive shaft which moved the wheels. All I had to do was to connect to the power by my free will decision to connect to the engine. Believe me…I knew from that time forward that I needed to connect with God first thing every day. That spark connected me to the power of the gasoline in my spirit combustion works, and power flowed to every part of me so I could live, move, and get to where I needed to be.
The winter I was 20, I remember being out front of the railway station in Chalk River, Ontario, with my car and booster cables, trying to start a friend’s car at almost 50 degrees below zero. It took patience and I persisted. Finally there was ignition and he was on his way. Leading others to Christ may be a challenge, but with persistence and the right connection, it will happen. I will seek to give someone a boost in coming to life in Christ today!
Yours for being connected to Christ and for connecting others to Him,
The ancient Ephesus Commercial Agora (shopping mall) is in the form of a square, each side 110 metres, and surrounded completely by columns. The Agora has three entrances, one from the front of the theatre on the northeast, one opening to the harbour on the west, and a third from the Celsius Library. The north side of the Agora is left open, and the other three sides are surrounded by a portico in which there were rows of shops.