A note from our pastor:
“Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.”
Good Morning Dearly Beloved,
Our study verse this week is a continuation of the thought which the Apostle Paul began in verse eight. The entire thought is this, “walk as children of light, proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.” Our focus this week is on the concept of proving what is acceptable, or well-pleasing, unto the Lord.
In many ways, this instruction from Paul is contradictory to the way our lives are conducted today. We live in a world where, from the earliest of ages, those in authority are expected to lay out precise instructions for the actions of those which report to them. The thought of being left to “figure it out” on your own is panic inducing for many people.
While it may not be in accordance with our norms, the instruction given by the Apostle in this verse is to test your conduct and find out if it is pleasing unto God. Why is this the instruction? Because God did not give his people a checklist of behaviors to perform. Rather, he endued us with spiritual life and set forth precepts which we should be guided by in determining our own actions.
We have not space in this study to consider each of the guiding principles which Christ sets forth, but let us take a moment to consider two essential ones.
First, self-sacrificing for the disciple of Jesus Christ is a core tenant. Christ modeled this by leaving heaven and immortal glory to come to earth to die on our behalf. He further modeled it in his ministry with his desire to heal, teach, and care for his followers. For the disciple of Christ, part of proving or testing our behaviors, is to measure them against this intent. Do we have a desire to build ourselves up or do we have a desire to help others? Not every action can be in denial of self, but testing our behavior against this guiding principle will help us move towards actions which are pleasing unto Christ.
Second, believing in the divine will of God is a core principle. Christ repeatedly declared his purpose in his life on earth was to do his Father’s will and not his own. Fulfilling his will meant loving people in a self-sacrificing way. For the disciple of Christ, it is vital to recognize our actions need to be in accordance with God’s will and God’s will is driven by love for his people.
The aim then is to live each day, carefully choosing and evaluating our own actions, that we might test and then repeat the actions which are pleasing to God.
Our Prayers are with you daily,