Monday, January 17, 2011

The Dark versus the Light

In Ephesians 4-5, Paul gives a pretty extensive list of the qualities of those people who are without God. (Taken from Amplified Bible) I'm going to call it the dark side of the force, an analogy taken from Star Wars.
 
Dark Side
Perverseness
Vanity
Emptiness of soul
Moral understanding darkened
Reasoning cloudy
Alienated,Self-banished from God
Ignorant
Willfully Blind
Hard hearts
Insensitivity to their moral nature
Spiritual apathy
Callous
Reckless
Abandoning themselves to unbridled sensuality
Greedy to indulge in every form of impurity
Depraved desires that spring from delusion
Covetous
Idolators
Bad Temper
Foul or polluting language
Quarreling
Slandering
Lying
Stealing

Doesn't sound too good, does it? Yet, how accurate this seems when compared with what's happening in our culture today. Now, here are qualities of the light, taken from Ephesians and also from the fruits of the Spirit

The Light

Truthful
Helping one another
Tenderhearted
Compassionate
Understanding
Forgiving
Walking in Love
Thankful
Uprightness of Heart
At Peace
Hopeful
Self-control
Patient
Perservering
Honorable
God-fearing
Filled with Joy
Humble
Hard working
Self-sacrificing

What a contrast, huh? It amazed me as I read through these Scriptures. I believe the differences between the dark and light will become much more pronounced as we approach the end of the age. It already has done so in my lifetime. Fifty years ago when I was born, nearly everyone in my city called themselves Christians, and it was actually a bad thing to cuss, or steal, or sleep with your boyfriend. How quickly things have changed!

But, you may say, I'm not all those good things! Help!   I don't think any of us will achieve all of those qualities in this lifetime, but with God's help, we can acquire more and more of them each day. Paul doesn't leave us with just these lists to ponder. He also instructs us how to walk in the Light.

Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). Ephesians 4:15

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 and desires that spring from delusion; And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind. And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God's image, Godlike in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24

Therefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, Ephesians 5:1

At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. Ephesians 5:20

In other words
  • Enfold yourself in the love of God and grow up!
  • Stop doing the things you used to do and allow God to change the way you think by spending time with Him and in His Word
  • Imitate the life of Jesus
  • Constantly give thanks!
So, walk in the light, like Children of the Light and don't let the Dark Side have any power in your life!

9 comments:

  1. Mon Jan 17th,
    Morning, MaryLu.
    Yes, I can see it is by a conscious choice and effort (on our part) ... to walk and live in the light, daily. "Enfold yourself in the love of God, and grow up!" .... I love it !!! Amen, and Amen !
    Thanks MaryLu ... for yet, another timely Word in due season !!!
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

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  2. Thanks, Mary Lu :) :) I'm going to have to read this today and see about making alist. I like how you ordered them here :) :) Your observations are good ones. I'll have to talk to my dad about that, because he'd probably make similar comments, too!!! Have a wonderful week. Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

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  3. I hear you, MaryLu, just the other day I was called 'old fashioned' because I still follow the laws of God. People conform to this world so easily these days, clouding their judgment....and we should be able to see 'growth' in newly saved people at some point. Far too many times, I have watched certain people give their lives to Christ, yet years later, they are still living the 'old' life. All you can do is pray sometimes. It is just so hard when it is someone in your family....thanks for the post.

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  4. Thanks for sharing this with us!

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  5. Hi Brenda! You're always the first to comment. :-) And it's always a pleasure to see your note first thing in the morning.
    Yes, Heather, the list of evil things is quite scary. Especially when you see so many of those qualities in the world around you!

    Debbie. Yes. Too many so called "Christians" never grow up in the faith and remain in their old selves. I feel bad for them because they are missing so much!

    Thanks for dropping by K9 Grace!

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  6. Wow, MaryLu. This really opened a window for me. This really forced me to see how I actually am. It made me realize just how much I really have to learn about God and trying to be like Jesus. I have a long way to go, but hopefully, I'm much closer today, than I was yesterday. Thanks for the post!

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  7. Eszter, I love your humility! Yes.. I realize too how much I fall short of being God-like. But like you said, we are all a work in progress! And He is faithful to complete the good work He has begun in us. :-)

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  8. Is it strange that I also happen to like the "fairy" (or is it angel??) pics? As they say, a picture can speak a thousand words and these two pics are sure talking. I would love to show them to my family along with the list you posted.

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  9. They are angels, Eszter. I loved this picture. What a contrast between light and dark. Feel free to share with anyone..

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