“So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.”
Ephesians 2:19-20 NLT
This chapter in Ephesians talks about how Christians are all part of the same family, the family of God. We were once dead in our sins but God in His mercy sacrificed his Son so we could be called children of God and have eternal life. As a result, our lives should reflect our gratitude for this grace and we should be mindful to carry ourselves in a way that sets an example of a godly life. It makes sense and sounds nice, but it isn’t always easy!
“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.”
Ephesians 5:1-4 NLT
Go ahead and re-read that verse… “no obscene stories, foolish talk, or course jokes…” That might mean you shouldn’t be laughing at a co-workers jokes, re-posting a crude meme, or even liking certain posts on Instagram! This isn’t because of legalistic guidelines- this is God’s word! Think twice. Your friends can see it- and so can God.
“In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
Matthew 5:16 NLT
It isn’t wrong if you do a good deed and someone finds out and praises you for it. What’s wrong is if your attitude is so self centered that your good works reflect solely on you. If possible, use the opportunity to give the glory back to God by using your spiritual gifts to serve others.
“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.”
1 Timothy 4:12 NLT
Remember, no one is too young to set an example. Younger siblings watch older siblings, friends watch friends… make sure the example you set is one of love, faith, and purity. There’s no expectation to be perfect. But God says “be holy” to set a standard for us. He desires that we are dedicated to becoming more like Him and truly reflecting His character as members of His family.
“…For you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light.”
1 Peter 2:9 NLT
As members of God’s family we have the privilege of being able to show others the goodness of God! Let’s live in such a way that we reflect God’s character and cause the people we come into contact with to have a desire to experience “His wonderful light” and love too.