The Solace of God’s Grace and Others’ Kindness

With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.

20 But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. 21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. 26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil. – Ephesians 4:17-27 [NLT]

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Lake in the Early Morning | Hensley, AR | October 2019

The young woman was in a state of rebellion. She abandoned her college studies and took up with a young man who would best be described as a bad boy. He was a con artist, a hot check writer, a shoplifter, gas drive off, and one who would book a motel room with a bogus credit card, destroy it in a frenzy of wild debauchery, and skip town the next day. She had been raised in the faith. Her parents were faithful and dedicated servants. She, however, was in full rebellion mode.

There was, however, something that she could not escape. There were values deeply planted in her soul that would not be erased. Faith was planted deep in her heart and her soul would not allow her heart to deny it. She couldn’t let go of the idea that this was not good for her. The values she was taught prevented her from simply giving into a wanton lifestyle.

Paul reminds us:

But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. 21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

The young woman had a Prodigal Son in the pig sty moment and returned to her home and family. She threw off her sinful nature, abandoned her rebellious ways, and sought and received the solace of God’s grace and her parents’ forgiveness.

We may not have such a dramatic turn of events, a reckless abandonment and radical return to godliness. Or we may. In any case we were made to be like God–truly righteous and holy. That calling is an ever constant urging of the Holy Spirit, and a daily vocation of a Jesus’ follower.

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