But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving thanks. – Ephesians 5:3-4
Scripture reading: Galatians 5:16-26
To be imitators of God’s love is no doubt a great challenge; a challenge because our old sinful nature is not always so loving; a challenge because the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. And yet, when we are born again by the Spirit, filled with the Spirit and led by the Spirit, this ungodly conduct is not only inappropriate, but should not even be named among Christians. These vices are unbecoming of those called to be saints, those separated unto God as His dear children for whom Christ died.
Rather than engaging in these vices of the flesh, we should be actively engaged in giving thanks to God. We ought to give thanks to God for His gift of love in sending us His Son, Who has fully paid for all our sins with His precious blood, and has set us free from the tyranny of the devil. Because we belong to Him, Christ, by His Holy Spirit assures us of eternal life and makes us whole-heartedly willing and ready from now on to live for Him.
When our hearts and minds are filled with an appreciation of all the blessings which we, in Christ possess, our lips respond with praise and thanksgiving. Paul not only lists the vices that are not fitting for Christians, but he responds with the one virtue that sums up the Christian’s life. Thanks be to God!
Suggestions for prayer
Let us pray that we may put off the works of the flesh and walk by the Spirit.
Rev. Henry Van Olst felt called to the ministry at the age of 32 after 12 years of working in the accounting field. He served the Parkland Reformed Church (URC) of Ponoka, Alberta from 1993 to 2005; served in several other churches, and upon retirement in 2020 moved back to Ponoka, Alberta along with his wife Mary, to be closer to their four married children and fifteen grandchildren. Rev. Van Olst remains active in preaching and teaching as the church is currently vacant. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.