Friday, June 6, 2014

Marked for Life

Ephesians 4:30  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. 31  Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, 32  and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.
Eph 5:1  Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, 2  and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Paul describes the Spirit of God as a “seal” which marks each person as belonging to God.[1] This draws on the practice of sealing a letter with wax and then stamping it with the insignia of the sender. Paul suggests that once the Spirit has touched our lives, we ought to be visibly recognisable as belonging to God. This will be evident in the refusal to show “bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander”; Instead the insignia of our Lord is seen in the way we are “kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another”.

This means that we cannot be secretive about our allegiance to Jesus. Ours is a very public faith, meant to be demonstrated in the way we live out the values of Jesus each moment of each day. This is possible only by allowing the Spirit of God to claim more and more ownership of our lives. As we surrender our lives, we allow the Spirit space to work through us.

This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. The best way to celebrate the presence of the Holy Spirit is to allow the “seal” of the Holy Spirit to become visible through becoming “imitators of God” in our acts of kindness, forgiveness and service.

I am so far from perfect
I thought life was worthless
Until you showed me who I am (don't forget you're)
Not here by mistake
No luck, only grace
I'm on my way to
Who I am (now called your son), I am (forgiven for what I've done)
I am (forgiven for what I've done), I am (yes)
Thank God I am (sealed by your grace)
I am (still here, help me say), I am                                                           

29 The Church of the Spirit
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Rueben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 184.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day.

[1] Ephesians 4: 30; and also Ephesians 1:13

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