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No longer in the dark

May 25, 2022

Daily Scripture

Ephesians 4:17-24

17 So I’m telling you this, and I insist on it in the Lord: you shouldn’t live your life like the Gentiles anymore. They base their lives on pointless thinking, 18 and they are in the dark in their reasoning. They are disconnected from God’s life because of their ignorance and their closed hearts. 19 They are people who lack all sense of right and wrong, and who have turned themselves over to doing whatever feels good and to practicing every sort of corruption along with greed.

20 But you didn’t learn that sort of thing from Christ. 21 Since you really listened to him and you were taught how the truth is in Jesus, 22 change the former way of life that was part of the person you once were, corrupted by deceitful desires. 23 Instead, renew the thinking in your mind by the Spirit 24 and clothe yourself with the new person created according to God’s image in justice and true holiness.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Many films, novels or pop songs today assume that “doing whatever feels good” is true “freedom.” The apostle Paul totally disagreed. “Paul longs to see the young churches changing their behavior. The pagan way of life all around them is deadly. You can’t alter behavior without changing the mind; and the pagan, Gentile mind, he says, is foolish (verse 17), with darkened understanding and deep- seated ignorance (verse 18).” * The “new person” God creates is set free to experience true joy.

• When you read about God creating “justice and true holiness” in your life, do you picture that “renewed” way of thinking primarily bringing you more of traits like love and joy (cf. Galatians 5:22-23)? Does the word “holiness” make you think of 1) trying hard to avoid enjoying life too much? or 2) finding the truest source of genuine love and joy? For what reasons?

• “What Paul is urging the young Christians is that they allow this teaching of Jesus to have its full effect in their lives….The point, then, is not to be deceived by what lust and greed whisper in your ear. It’s the mind and heart that matter. If they learn to recognize the deceitful whisperings, to name them and reject them, the first vital step to the new way of life has been taken.” ** What helps you more and more recognize “deceitful whisperings,” and live in God’s true freedom?


Lord Jesus, as you dwell in my heart, keep me daily growing more mature in you. Thank you that your love and grace create the safe environment in which I grow best. Amen.

GPS Insights

Kari Burgess

Kari Burgess

Kari joined staff in 2012 after several years in the corporate world and served 9 years on the ShareChurch Ministry Team before moving into her current role as a Creative Project Manager on the Resurrection Experience Team.

She married her college sweetheart, Matt, in 1996 and together they love spending time with their two daughters and supporting them in their music, theater, social and academic adventures. Kari enjoys running with her neighborhood “crew” and hiking.

As Christians, we are called to model our behavior and actions after Jesus. We are people of the light and we are called to act above reproach and not fall into sinful behaviors which might feel good or be fun in the short term but cause longer term hurt and pain.

I remember back in high school, my mom said something that really resonated with me. She said, whenever I thought about breaking a rule or was tempted to follow the crowd and do something I knew I shouldn’t, ask myself, “Would I want Grandma to know I’d done this thing?” or “How would I feel if Grandma knew I’d done this thing?”

Many times in my life, particularly in high school and college, I can remember making choices through this lens. That little reminder helped me make some good choices during those years. I still made plenty of not so good choices, believe me, but thinking about my grandma’s approval helped me avoid some trouble.

Remember the popular bracelets from several years ago that said “WWJD” or “What Would Jesus Do?” I guess I could have worn a reminder bracelet that said “What Would Grandma Do” (LOL). Really, I suppose, Jesus is the lens through which we should make our decisions. The WWJD bracelet is one way to spark our brains to tap into the guidance of the Holy Spirit, a way to discern the next best choice or the best path forward when faced with a problem or journey.

Each day, I pray that everything I do, everything I say, everything I think and feel might be acceptable and holy in God’s sight. I know I can’t do this without guidance and encouragement through Scripture, study and worship and without an abundance of grace.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* Wright, N.T., Paul for Everyone, The Prison Letters: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon (The New Testament for Everyone), p. 51. Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.
** Wright, N.T., Paul for Everyone, The Prison Letters: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon (The New Testament for Everyone), p. 52-53. Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.