Home > Bible Study, Devotional, Ephesians Devotional > Ephesians Devotional—Week Four, Day Five (12/25/09)

Ephesians Devotional—Week Four, Day Five (12/25/09)

Ephesians 4:31-32

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. {32} Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

This passage is closely linked to verse 30.

If we allow the evil of v. 31 (bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice), we grieve the Holy Spirit. These are horrible and destructive attitudes which can produce horrible and destructive behaviors to others. Doing these things, we cause the Spirit to feel distress, sorrow, heaviness.

Contrariwise, if we practice the virtues of v. 32 (kindness, compassion, and forgiveness) , we bring Him joy and gladness. These are characteristics of His own nature, as well as of the nature of the Father and the Son. He loves it when we humans reflect godly attributes, because they are His attributes.

What is the driving force or motivation behind such behavior toward others? It is found in this key phrase: “just as in Christ God forgave you.”

What God has done for us in Christ is what we must do for others because of Christ. Believers have an entirely new lens through which to view themselves and others. It’s the lens of the mercy and grace of God. Because we have been granted kindness, compassion, and forgiveness through what Jesus Christ did for us in His death and resurrection, we grant the same to others. We are the forgiven servant of Matthew 18:21-35. And we must never forget this fact.

  1. Spiritual checkup time: allow the Holy Spirit to inspect your heart for any trace of the evils of v. 31. Tell the Father (confess) anything He may show you, receive the cleansing of Christ’s blood (1 John 1:9), and determine to make your attitudes and actions right.
  2. Consider an individual in your life with whom you’ve had trouble in the past. How would your outlook change if you obeyed v. 32 right now, and began given him/her the same kindness, compassion and forgiveness you’ve been given by God?
  3. Weekly assignment: make an attempt to begin viewing everyone you meet in Christ. Pray about this matter, and submit to the Holy Spirit to help you. Make note at the end of the week how your heart has been changed in the process.
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