Shouldn't It Look Different than It Does?
Read: Ephesians 4:1-6; Ephesians 5:1-10
One thing we love about having a garden is picking fruit and vegetables right out of the yard. A lovely gift from the Lord Who has created such a variety of good things for us to enjoy, James 1:17; 1 Timothy 6:17. Yet, since it is now mid-September, the garden is beginning to wind down, and this week, we harvested the last of the cantaloupe. The one named "Gurney's Best" was really good, but there was another melon, called "jumbo". That was the name of the other variety that my husband harvested. I don't know about anybody else, but when I hear the name Jumbo, I think of a large cantaloupe, and the write-up on the seed package said as much. So, what did Mr. Jumbo resemble? If you said, Nerf football, you'd be correct. While the other cantaloupe grew much larger and yielded lots more edible fruit, Jumbo didn't live up to its name. We will look at a possible reason for this problem in a little bit, but for now it is enough to say that we expected more, especially because my husband added sand and humus to the soil and faithfully watered the vines throughout the season. Shouldn't the melon have looked different than it did, and what's more, shouldn't the fruit actually have been sweeter and much more robust than it was? Yes, when good seed was given nutrition, water and care, better results could have been expected.
In our scripture readings from Ephesians 4:1-6 and Ephesians 5:1-10, we ‘discover’ many things the Lord says concerning the beauty of a growing walk with Him. Like the description on a seed package, Paul challenges us with both the attributes of a Christ honoring life and the qualities that should not characterize our walk with the Savior.
We should be growing in love, patience and humility, Ephesians 4:2; Ephesians 5:2.
We should be striving to walk in unity with others who belong to Jesus, Ephesians 4:3-6.
We should be walking in purity with one another, Ephesians 5:3.
We should speak without innuendo or profanity. Instead of those kinds of words, our speech should be characterized by thankfulness, Ephesians 5:4.
We should remember that impurity and covetousness are a picture of darkness. Since we are now no longer a part of that kingdom, we should learn how we can live in a new way, discovering what pleases God, Colossians 1:13-14; Ephesians 5:5-10.
When I look at my life in light of this picture from the scripture, sometimes I can identify with that little Jumbo. The description is beautiful, but what I display falls far short of the desired outcome. There is wonderful hope, and it is found in the verses that we have not yet perused, Ephesians 4:1; Ephesians 5:1. Both of these precious statements hearken back to Ephesians 1-3 which lays the foundation concerning the truth of God's love for us.
In Ephesians 4:1, we are reminded that we are those who have been called, and in Ephesians 5:1, Paul reminds us that we are dearly loved children. We have a wonderful identity, simply because we belong to God. In Ephesians 1-3, Paul spells out all the precious promises and privileges that belong to us because we belong to the Savior. In Ephesians 4-6, we are challenged concerning our behavior, in light of God's love. The beauty of our lives should be ever increasing as we grow in our understanding of how we are loved by the Father.
That brings us back to the Jumbo melons and a possible reason for their lack of growth. It may be that the vines didn't receive sufficient light because of the shade from a large tree. We may need to do something different to rectify that problem next year. When we find ourselves not growing in our walk with Jesus, could it be that we are not letting in enough light concerning what Jesus has done on our behalf? The more we bask in the light of His love, the more we will want to do what pleases Him, Ephesians 5:10.
Consider the fact that we have been chosen, adopted, redeemed, forgiven, are seated with Him in the heavenlies, are His creation...! And that is merely an abbreviated list from Ephesians 1-2. We need the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to the riches of God's love for us, and as we continue to allow God's light to penetrate our thinking, Romans 12:2 we will grow and change more and more into His image, 2 Corinthians 3:18.
Lord, Thank You that You teach us Who You are and how You love us before You teach us how to live. Thank You that You will help us day by day, to look more like You, Philippians 2:12-13.