Journal Eph 5 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Walk as children of light…and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time (because the days are evil).” Excerpts from Eph 5:1-2; 8b-10; 15-16
Observation: Walking is an analogy for conducting myself. How I walk is synonymous with how I conduct myself. So…conduct does matter.
Analysis: What is among the first things I think of when thinking of how to conduct myself?
If I were playing baseball, it would be process and rules. Process things could look like: step into the throw; use two hands to catch; keep my hind end down when fielding a grounder, etc. Rules could look like: 3 strikes I am out; that is a foul line; passing the runner ahead of me results in an out; etc. The more I play, the less I must actively think about process and rules—it just comes reflexively.
What makes me think Christianity is different?
I actively use (and think) the analogy of baseball with how I think of Christianity. One particular thought is that wearing a glove doesn’t make me a ball player just like saying I am a Christian doesn’t make me a follower of Christ. Of course, looking at the same situation from a child’s POV, I might be stoked to think of myself as a ball player because my dad got me a glove. Likewise, a new Christian.
Actual pursuit and dedicated application must happen to become better, whether baseball or Christianity.
I think Paul is encouraging the folks at Ephesus: Be imitators, walk in love, walk as children of light; practice discernment; look carefully how you walk; make the best use of your time.
I do well to pay attention to the verbs and adverbs of the Scriptures: do this, pay attention—the imperatives or declarations. When I do that, I put sweat equity into my learning of doctrines, precepts and law. I PURSUE God—I put effort behind my thoughts and study of scripture.
“Practice these things—IMMERSE yourself in them so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this…” 1 Tim 4:16-16a
Prayer: Father, it always seems to me that I emphasize to the man in the mirror only a few things. I wonder if I should be concerned about other stuff in Your Word. And then I think “What am I doing?”
Make the steady plodding to reap results in me, according to your promise. “Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me.” Ps 119:133 AMEN