+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Opening (A Collect for Peace – Tuesday)
O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Morning Reading – Ephesians 4:17-32 (NLT)
Living as Children of Light
With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 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. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.
But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.
So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Put on your new nature.
“Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.
Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.”
– Ephesians 4:23-24 –
Yesterday Paul stressed the importance of living in unity in the church. Today Paul stresses the importance of living in holiness. Both require an extraordinary work of the Holy Spirit to achieve this transformation. We can resist the Holy Spirit and cause him grief, or we can cooperate with the Holy Spirit and bring him joy. The choice is ours – choose joy and be transformed into the righteous and holy likeness of Christ.
+ Throw off: confusion and darkness, closed minds and hardened hearts, lust and lies, anger and abusive language
+ Put on: truth and light, renewed minds and tender hearts, purity and honesty, kindness and forgiveness
Questions for consideration:
- When you think of your old sinful nature, what comes to mind? Please explain.
- When you think of your old sinful nature, what have you already thrown off? What remains? Please explain.
- When you think of your new nature, what comes to mind? Please explain.
- When you think of your new nature, what have you already put on? What needs renewal? Please explain.
- What do you need the Holy Spirit to do in your life? What do you need to do in order to cooperate with him. Please explain.
Morning Prayer: For a Virtuous Heart (Thomas Aquinas)
Give me, O Lord, a steadfast heart, which no unworthy thought can drag down; an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out; an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose can tempt aside. Bestow upon me understanding to know you, diligence to seek you, wisdom to find you, and faithfulness that finally may embrace you. Amen.
“Christ Be All Around Me” – All Sons & Daughters
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen