READ: Ephesians 5:3-20
THINK: Have you ever kept something secret until someone convinced you to give them a hint? It doesn’t take much, does it? A little bit can prove to be quite revealing. When God says that “there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or any kind of impurity…” He’s not saying that you can entertain just a little impurity, as long as you don’t get into the really obvious stuff. He’s telling you not to let the least little bit into your life. That includes conversations, actions, relationships and what you allow into your mind through things like entertainment. The Bible makes it clear that while these things may seem perfectly acceptable to most people in society–and even to some in the church–they are completely inappropriate for those who uphold God’s standards and reflect His character.
RESPOND: What does it mean that among God’s people “there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or any kind of impurity…”? (See 5:3 note.) Why are these things inappropriate for God’s people? What kinds of thoughts and behaviors must you be extremely cautious about (cf. v. 4)? Why are these things such a serious issue? (See 5:5 and 5:6 notes.) What warning does verse 7 give regarding the people with whom we associate? What do you think it means that Christ’s followers are “light in the Lord” and that they are to “live as children of light (v. 8)”? In what ways are true Christians to expose “the fruitless deeds of darkness”? (See 5:11 note.) What implications does verse 12 have for a Christian’s conversation and behavior? Why is it so important to be careful how you live and to “make the most of every opportunity” (v. 16)? Why is it so important to “understand what the Lord’s will is” (v. 17), and how can you do this? In the context of verse 18, what does it mean to “be filled by the Spirit,” and why is this so vital? How can singing honor God and encourage others? (See 5:19 note.) Why is a constant attitude of gratitude important for Christians (v. 20)?
PRAY: Pray that God will keep your conscience strong so you can recognize and avoid conversations, activities and behaviors that could convey any degree of sexual immorality or impurity. Pray that you will recognize and take advantage of every opportunity to reflect Jesus’ character and illuminate the way to God.
ACT: Change or remove from your life any habit, behavior, activity or thing that demonstrates or condones sensual impurity or selfishness. Express gratitude to at least two people for something specific they’ve contributed to your life.