“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: ‘Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.’” Ephesians 5:11-14
Again, there is so much to expand upon in these verses I don’t want to waste any time before digging in and getting started.
As you can see above I have underlined some key words and phrases up above. Those particular parts of these scripture verse I have expanded below so we can proceed in gaining a greater understanding to the lesson we have set before us today:
“have no fellowship” means the same thing as choosing to not share in someone’s company
“unfruitful works of darkness” would be defined as things that do not produce spiritual fruit, such as goodness, righteousness and truth (like we talked about yesterday).
“expose them” has the Greek tense attached to it which indicates this particular command is to be repeated continually, and what is commands is to shed light on the unfruitful works of darkness being done by those who are committing the acts.
“awake” means open your eyes and wake up to the deception that is going on around you.
“arise” means to stand up and start walking (as we have talked about in previous days – that continual preoccupation with God) and show the world what it looks like to not be bound by the chains of death and sin
“Christ will give you light” meaning Jesus will give you everything you need to shed His light into this dark world
So, here is what we have to in these four verses: “And do not make it a habit of hanging around people who consistently do things that do not produce spiritual fruit, but rather be on the lookout at all times to expose even the secret things they are doing. But all things that are exposed are shown in their true nature not when we bring them out into the open but when the truth of Jesus is shed upon them. Therefore God says: ‘Open your eyes and wake up, and start seeing the deception and lies that are going on around you, Stand up and start being preoccupied with following Jesus and show the world what it is like to live unbound by sin and shame, And Christ will provide everything you need to keep living that day each day of your life.”
I want to live that way each day, don’t you? It is within our reach and when we keep our relationship right with God and let Jesus be light that shines out of our lives. How does that look practically? Well I think our duck will help us to gain a bit more understanding when I relate these truths to her life. And then I think the personal applications I have to share may make a bit more sense as to how they relate to what we have studied today.
For our duck, she had to make a choice to not go to puddle parties anymore OR do what the puddle ducks did as her actions of choice OR even dig into the specifics of the acts they commit at their parties - her natural duck curiosities tended to get the better of her when she did. Rather, she just needed to stay focused and keep enjoying the pond, radiating the joy and fruitfulness which she had acquired while living there, and commit her life to following the Big Daddy duck. Her final concentration had to be focused in looking for ducks who are drawn to visit the edge of the pond. She needed to start living in the pond in a manner that gave her life the type of glow the ducks she had originally saw in the pond when she was first drawn there. She had to be ready to share with these ducks her puddle story and how she came to live in the pond with the Big Daddy duck and how it had changed her life.
Do you remember the end of my original duck story from the day I introduced this story. Here is where the duck from our story got messed up. She was trying to make evangelism happen on her own effort by going to the puddles and bringing the good news of the pond to those places of darkness instead of waiting on the opportunities sent to her in the pond. For today I just want to leave you with that truth and let you soak it in for a while. Tomorrow we will get into the why behind how God works in the manner I described above. But, as for today rest in the fact that you are most effective for the kingdom of God when you shed the light of Christ while staying in His presence, practicing the works He sets before you, and being completely preoccupied with living a life that reflects the light of Christ Jesus around you.
Along this same line, if you have never thought about what you would say if someone were to approach you and ask you about the reason of the hope within you, I would suggest you be ready and alert to do so. If you need a little help in getting started you may want to check out my blog from January 22nd, 2012 titled “Sharing the Hope that is Within You”.