Scripture Reading:  Ephesians 4:17-19

“Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.  They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.  They have been callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greed to practice every kind of impurity.”  (Ephesians 4:17-19)

Paul was reminding the Ephesians about the life of futility they lived before they came to Christ.  What a sad picture!  Life without God is futile and meaningless.  One may enjoy temporal happiness, success and pleasure, but without God there is no eternal security and significance.  Believers in Jesus Christ know they are secure in Christ’s love and they are significant because He loved them so much that He died for them.  They know the reality of God’s presence within them.  They know their eternal destiny and they know they are fully accepted and loved by God.

These things are not true of unbelievers.  They life a life of futility.  They strive for more things and more success, but when they get these things they still are not satisfied.  They lack an eternal perspective.  They cannot find true satisfaction — “All the rivers flow into the sea, yet the sea is not filled…All things are wearisome…Their eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear filled with hearing” (Ecclesiastes 1:7,8).

Unbelievers are darkened in their understanding of spiritual things.  They do not realize the sad state they are in.  They cannot grasp spiritual realities — “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (I Corinthians 2:14).

Unbelievers are excluded from the life of God.  They are alienated from Him and they cannot experience His love, mercy, forgiveness and grace.  They don’t have God when they face the troubles and tragedies of life.  They are excluded from the life of God because of the hardness of their hearts.  “For although they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:21).

Unbelievers become callous to their sin.  They live for themselves and for temporal pleasures in life.  They give themselves over to the things of this world — “the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions” (I John 2:16).

When Jesus comes into our lives, all these things change.  He softens our hearts, opens our eyes to spiritual realities and brings us into the very life of God.  We find eternal meaning and purpose.  Jesus changes everything!

Lord Jesus,  thank You that You rescued me from a life of futility and brought me into Your life.  Thank you that You love and accept me and give me meaning and purpose.


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