Welcome back to the Hope is Here Bible study.  This study of Ephesians was originally developed for my church, The Father’s House, as a compliment to the Hope is Here message series this August.  Check out http://www.tfhny.org for message videos and more information.

Day 12 – Walking Wise

Why are kids afraid of the dark?  For that matter, why does darkness put many adults in a state of unease?  Navigating darkness has stirred feelings from discomfort to outright terror in the minds of sailors and soldiers throughout history.  The loss of control, awareness, and certainty posed by the absence of light leaves everyone unsettled.

As we continue our “Hope is Here” study today, we encounter a strong warning from Paul about the perils of choosing to follow Jesus, while allowing ourselves to engage in actions, thoughts, and decisions that lead away from the light and hope provided by Jesus.  God, in His infinite wisdom and grace, allows us to live in a condition of free will.  This means He will not force us to follow His path for our lives.  Yet, when we choose to veer away from His path, we often encounter a spiritual darkness that can be devastating.

In today’s passage, we find Paul giving us warning signs to watch out for that indicate we could be headed away from the light.  He also lays out things we can do to move towards the light and hope provided by Jesus.  As you read, look for warning signs, as well as the things we can do to reorient ourselves to God’s plan, when we get off course.

READ – Ephesians 3:11-20 (ESV)

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.    12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret.    13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Awake, O sleeper,
    and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,  16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.  17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

REFLECT – Take a moment to answer the following questions in a journal or the notes app on your phone:

  • Question 1: What are the warning signs Paul shares that indicate we are headed towards “spiritual darkness?” (hint: see verse 2)
  • Question 2: What actions does Paul share that can steer us back to the path God intends for us?

RESPOND – Take some time to reflect on the path your life is on.  Are there any indicators that you are headed towards darkness?  Are there any actions from today’s passage that you should engage in  to reorient towards the light and hope of Jesus?

Leave a comment in the space below and share what you have learned.

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