Ephesians 4:17-24 Amplified Bible
The Christian’s Walk
17 So this I say, and solemnly affirm together with the Lord [as in His presence], that you must no longer live as the [unbelieving] Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds [and in the foolishness and emptiness of their souls], 18 for their [moral] understanding is darkened and their reasoning is clouded; [they are] alienated and self-banished from the life of God [with no share in it; this is] because of the [willful] ignorance and spiritual blindness that is [deep-seated] within them, because of the hardness and insensitivity of their heart. 19 And they, [the ungodly in their spiritual apathy], having become callous and unfeeling, have given themselves over [as prey] to unbridled sensuality, eagerly craving the practice of every kind of impurity [that their desires may demand]. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way! 21 If in fact you have [really] heard Him and have been taught by Him, just as truth is in Jesus [revealed in His life and personified in Him], 22 that, regarding your previous way of life, you put off your old self [completely discard your former nature], which is being corrupted through deceitful desires, 23 and be continually renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh, untarnished mental and spiritual attitude], 24 and put on the new self [the regenerated and renewed nature], created in God’s image, [godlike] in the righteousness and holiness of the truth [living in a way that expresses to God your gratitude for your salvation].
The Word of God for the Children of God
Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.
Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.
I would like to share about the pressures of life we encounter on a daily basis.
It is important for us as believers to recognize that all of the who’s, the what’s the where’s the when’s and the why’s we are bombarded by everyday will have either a significantly positive or a very negative form of influence in our lives.
There are people, places an things who, which if we let them, will cunningly manipulate, pressure us, into situations where we got no business being in.
In today’s world pressure begins at an early age.
There’s the social pressure of fitting in.
There’s the pressure of looking a certain way, financial pressures.
I once told a former boss I needed a raise, that 4 other companies were after me.
He asked me which ones, I said;
“anywhere else north, anywhere else south, anywhere else east and anywhere else west, just anywhere else except here!”
We experience mounting pressures in the workplace, emotional and social relationships pressures, fitting in, making keeping new friends, moving, being a caregiver, divorce, illness, the pressures of measuring up, having all the latest gadgets, the pressures of social media, pressure of keeping up with the Joneses.
Pressure will have stress and anxiety eventually creep up on you and it will get in the way of your daily life, your work life, your family life, social life, church life and even your daily walk in God, the Father, Savior Christ and Holy Spirit.
But my bible tells me …
Something pretty radical and diametrically opposite ….
Psalm 23 Amplified Bible
The Lord, the Psalmist’s Shepherd.
A Psalm of David.
23 The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me],
I shall not want.
He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still and quiet waters.
He refreshes and restores my soul (life);
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the [sunless] [a]valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You have anointed and refreshed my head with [b]oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the house and in the presence of the Lord.
Know that when you go to God, He will provide you with every last measure and degree of His Shalom, His peace as necessary to withstand the pressures of life.
Which God did when He sent His Son Jesus to us and Jesus died for us at Calvary.
Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde, The World, Living Out Our Christianality
Do you ever feel as if sometimes you are two different “Christian” persons?
Under one circumstance you are staunchly Christian because that is what your Mother and Father taught you when you were too busy trying to just “grow up.”
Then you encountered the “real world” where you had to really live your life on your own – you got your first apartment, went off to college in another state or country, you got your very first job in a fast food place or department store and all of a sudden life comes at you at warp 10 – you have to adjust, then readjust?
When you realize that real life is not always going to be, cannot always be really lived, realistically understood by what your Mother and Father had taught you?
Society and Culture changes.
We are caught up in those changes.
Subtly or “in a heartbeat” suddenly we have to adjust life to those changes.
What Mother and Father taught us – biblically or not so biblically.
What the world is teaching us – challenging our perceptions of “biblically.”
Moment by Moment, do I live my life “Biblically versus Realistically?!?”
Moment by Moment, can I live my life “Biblically versus Realistically?!?”
Moment by Moment, should I live my life “Biblically versus Realistically?!?”
Then comes the inevitable progression to inserting the question – “WHY?”
And that becomes the greatest question we all have to grapple with everyday, in everyway we were probably never taught either by our Mothers and our Fathers.
Back in the nineteenth century, Robert Louis Stevenson explored that idea in his short suspense novel titled “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”
In an effort to become a better person, Dr. Jekyll, a mild-mannered man of science, develops a potion that can separate his good self from his bad self.
Expectedly or Unexpectedly, what happens instead is that his good side fades more, more away, the bad side turns out to be much more evil than expected.
At night he changes drastically and dramatically and he becomes Mr. Hyde, a mysterious, ugly and violent man whose life can think only of its own desires.
Once Dr. Jekyll realizes his own evil, he makes “the only choice possible” and clamps down on his Mr. Hyde, resolving not to take the magic potion anymore.
But Mr. Hyde has become too powerful, strong, too influential to overcome.
In despair of ever changing himself for the good, Dr. Jekyll commits suicide.
In no way do/would I ever advocate the act of suicide as any solution to crisis!
As such thoughts enter into your mindset – get professional help immediately!
Do NOT ever act upon those self-destructive thoughts – Call 911 locally
International Suicide Hotlines
One Biblical versus Worldly Response
Some of you are probably feeling like you’re losing it, you’re at a breaking point.
God is surely, certainly telling you today, Pray! stay with me, I’m going to get you thru this, stay in my will, don’t lose your courage, come stay in my house …
Psalm 23 The Message
23 1-3 God, my shepherd!
I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
4 Even when the way goes through
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure.
5 You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.
6 Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
for the rest of my life.
A Father, Son and Holy Spirit Inspired Response:
The apostle Paul speaks of the same struggle in different terms—“old self” and “new self.”
One of the great issues of life is how we can change permanently and deeply so that we look, live and love far more like Jesus and less of ourselves all the time.
Will it take moral effort, or meditation, or what?
In Ephesians 4 Paul says it requires “the truth that is in Jesus.”
There is much to learn about how the power of the cross creates that truth in us.
But today let’s give thanks Christ can change our old self into a new self which honors all of him and nothing of ourselves.
There is a significant difference between the pressures of the world upon our shoulders and the pressure God our Father sometimes want you to grow thru.
You see the world wants to do everything it can to crush you, to drive you into despair, make you feel forsaken, destroy you, but my bible tells us otherwise.
Ephesians 4:17-24 J.B. Phillips New Testament
Have no more to do with the old life! Learn the new
17-19 This is my instruction, then, which I give you from God. Do not live any longer as the Gentiles live. For they live blindfold in a world of illusion, and cut off from the life of God through ignorance and insensitiveness. They have stifled their consciences and then surrendered themselves to sensuality, practising any form of impurity which lust can suggest.
20-24 But you have learned nothing like that from Christ, if you have really heard his voice and understood the truth that he has taught you. No, what you learned was to fling off the dirty clothes of the old way of living, which were rotted through and through with lust’s illusions, and, with yourselves mentally and spiritually re-made, to put on the clean fresh clothes of the new life which was made by God’s design for righteousness and the holiness which is no illusion.
Sometimes there are seasons in which there is one trial after another.
Remember this Verse to the Hymn …. “What a Friend We Have in Jesus?”
“Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.”
Temptations are around us at all times, so we can answer the first part of this Hymns verse with a great big resounding, heaven shaking, “Yes!!!”
We all well understand that many times in the midst of trials and temptations that our hearts can subtly, so quickly and suddenly lose hope and be tempted to descend into deep discouragement if we do not stay focused and remain in faith.
I praise God that my Savior Jesus knows me inside and out and He also knows very well EVERY single last one of my least and greatest weaknesses within me.
I pray as I may descend into measures and degrees of discouragement, I may remember to stay in fellowship with Him in prayer and He will reveal to me calm meadows filled with lush grasses and still waters to slake my thirsty soul.
I deeply this wonderful BFF Friend named Jesus will not only show me my weaknesses but He will enable encourage and inspire me to learn, grow and sitting at His table, to become far strong in those weak places within my soul.
I encourage you to take your known and unknown weaknesses to Him in prayer, and to ask Him for wisdom and healing.
To reveal in His times the weaknesses within you that you are not aware of.
Many times it is when we are standing in the midst of hardships that we awaken our awareness of His awareness to areas within our soul weak or broken down.
We can think we are so strong to find out differently in the midst of a trial.
Let this not become a constant or instantaneous source of discourage for your heart but rather a source to determine yourself to grow in the midst of it all.
I thank God today that I serve and walk with my good friend Jesus.
He said He would share in all of my sorrows,
and even though He knows every weakness of yours’s and mine,
He continues to forever stand with us and vigilantly walk beside us.
What a friend we have in Jesus!!
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
Most glorious, kind, and blessed God of the present moment, I beg Your grace and Your presence that I might be able to reject the temptations of the enemy and my flesh that drive my mind to obsess on the past or worry about the future. Help me instead to embrace the sufferings and challenges of the present moment knowing that You are with me in them and that if I surrender myself to You and the duties of this life in the present moment, You will give me all I need to endure or overcome any challenge, take care of all matters that are outside of my control, and will reveal Yourself and Your holy will within and through them. By Your grace I reject, in Jesus’ name, all regrets, laments, frustrations, or other temptations that draw my thoughts and attention away from the duties of this present moment and more importantly, away from Your presence and provision. I affirm, invoke, and implore the power of Jesus’ name against the efforts of the enemy to draw me out of Your presence in this moment, and I, by God’s Grace, His Divine Will, my human will, through the power of thy Holy Spirit, choose to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.
Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.