This afternoon, I had a mini-date with God. Actually, I am still on it and it is quite a nice date. I came home after work and found myself with nothing to do. Raleigh had to run some errands after work but they were to boy places so I opted to not go with him. It is raining so that eliminated taking the dogs on a walk and I really didn't feel like exercising at the gym this afternoon so I came home, put on my comfy clothes, opened my Bible and got to have a good conversation with Jesus Christ. Boy, it feels good to be in the word. I knew I wanted to write a post this week and I was having a hard time trying to come up with some scripture to base it around. My church has a woman's group that is currently doing a series called "Spiritual Boot Camp" that is focused on Ephesians so I decided to start my reading from that book tonight.

Ephesians was written by Paul and that man sure did have some good stuff come out of his mouth. The main verses that I want to share are from chapter five but the whole book of Ephesians (which is only six chapters so you could read one a night with one free night and have read the whole book in a week) is really good, practical information. Ephesians 5 starts out, "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." To me, that one sentence sums up our purpose on earth. What I would like to do over a couple of posts is to really scrutinize what it means to be imitators of God and how we use that in our daily lives.

One way that we can be imitators of God is to make the most out of every opportunity. Ephesians 5:15 states, "Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is."

In high school, how many of us got a talk from our parents before we went out on the weekend? Raleigh has often told me his dad would pull him and his brother aside and say, "Remember whose you are." In saying that, he would always stress to his sons to not only remember their family name but also to remind them to make Christ-like decisions. Now, let's be honest...sometimes that is easier said than done. How often, as teenagers, would our parents give us advice and then we would do the exact opposite? It is so easy to make the wrong decision. The devil is so good at manipulating us into believing that if we do things of this world we will feel better, have more fun, and be a cooler person. We have to stop giving in to his tricks, friends! Before we make decisions, we need to really think if that decision will make us an imitator of Christ or Satan.

We all struggle with this constant battle of good vs. evil. Right now, we are either living in a pit of darkness or know someone that has fallen into the devil's lair with poor choices that have been made on this earth. Paul tells us, "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them."

Friends, our sins are washed clean by the blood of Christ. We are dearly loved by God. It doesn't matter how many wrong decisions we have made, we will always be welcomed into the arms of Christ. When he died on the cross for us, all of our poor decisions were automatically forgiven by our Father in Heaven. I love how Ephesians 5:1 states that it was a "fragrant offering." It was a sweet-smelling, loving act of God's grace and kindness shown to us so we could live our lives of love, living out our lives by making the most of every opportunity.

Please take time today to pray for our fellow travelers that are walking in the dark. By the grace of God, let them see the light.

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

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