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Ephesians 5:8-14 - Exposing the Darkness
by Gary Sims
02/28/05
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The Letters
Ephesians 5:8-14 - Exposing the Darkness

Key Verses:
(NRSV)
  • 8: "For once you were darkness, but now in the LORD you are light. Live as children of light." - Our actions, thoughts, and deeds should reflect our faith.

  • 10-11: "Try to find out what is pleasing to the LORD. 11Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them." - Happy are those who frolic in the joy of the Lord for theirs will be the smiles of God.

  • 14: "For everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, 'Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.'" - Remove the fig leaves of life and shine the glory of Christ wherever we go.
Points to Contemplate:
  • Are you living as a "child of light?" How can you tell? Does a spot light follow you wherever you go? Are you the shining star - the center of attention? Are your eyes shining bright? Does your countenance glow? Or are you powdering your face to cover up the shine? Are you worried that your nose is too bright and other reindeer will not want to play? What is God asking of you in these verses? Does He want you to take off your masks of piety and self-righteousness and reveal to the world His true glory shining through you? Can you lighten up and shine for Christ?

  • "What is pleasing to the Lord?" Does God enjoy it when you adhere to rigid rules and laws? Does He laugh when you stand on a soap box and spew forth ideology, creed, and dogma? Is He smiling when you condemn and judge? What are His thoughts when you criticize and argue? Is He pleased when you wallow in fear and anxiety? Or when you whine? Does He want you to be serious in your faith? Or is it possible that God is mostly pleased when you laugh? Are you laughing enough lately? Is your joy overflowing with love and affection for everyone you meet? Have you found what pleases God the most? Is God smiling when you smile?

  • Are you trying to be invisible? Are you trying to hide certain aspects of your life from God? Have you created elaborate fig leaves behind which your shame and embarrassment hide? What will it take for you to wake up? How long will you waste time in the darkness of hidden sins? When will you choose to open the prison walls of your past and allow the light of Christ to shine into all aspects of your life? Is it time for you to become a Lazarus that is destined to be raised from the dead and into the light of God?
Promises of the Gospel:

The outline of a sad-faced clown is slowly revealed in the darkness of the circus tent. He is alone in the center ring with a mask of sadness and pain plastered across his face. He sits on the edge of the ring feeling alone, dismayed by his life and worried about his future. So immersed in his selfishness he fails to see the glow of a spot light hovering just to his side. He gets up from his seat and begins wandering the ring in search of everything that has eluded him in life. Everything is dark and nothing satisfies his need. As he walks the light closely follows behind but the clown never sees it. Still immersed in sadness, his face reveals a longing for better days - a hope for a joy that remains outside his grasp. Then suddenly and unaware, he steps into the light. With this step the entire circus tent bursts alive with light, sound, joy, and activity. The entire circus world of jugglers, clowns, trapeze artists, and animal tamers comes swirling into the ring. The standing-room only crowd is revealed. Applause, laughter, and excitement fill the air. In some fantastic way the countenance of the clowns face is changed. The mask of sadness and despair falls to the floor and the true face of joy is revealed.

And Jesus said: "The kingdom of heaven is like…"

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