1-2Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. 3-4 Don't allow love to turn into lust, setting off a downhill slide into sexual promiscuity, filthy practices, or bullying greed. Though some tongues just love the taste of gossip, those who follow Jesus have better uses for language than that. Don't talk dirty or silly. That kind of talk doesn't fit our style. Thanksgiving is our dialect. 5You can be sure that using people or religion or things just for what you can get out of them—the usual variations on idolatry—will get you nowhere, and certainly nowhere near the kingdom of Christ, the kingdom of God. 6-7Don't let yourselves get taken in by religious smooth talk. God gets furious with people who are full of religious sales talk but want nothing to do with him. Don't even hang around people like that. 8-10You groped your way through that murk once, but no longer. You're out in the open now. The bright light of Christ makes your way plain. So no more stumbling around. Get on with it! The good, the right, the true—these are the actions appropriate for daylight hours. Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it. Ephesians 5:1-10, The Message
"His love was not cautious but extravagant". . . if only I could put into practice a small portion of extravagant love, how life changing that would be! To look at the world as a place to serve and lift others up. . .to be their shelter in the storm. To provide them a place where they feel comfortable being themselves and even finding themselves.
"God gets furious with people who are full of religious sales talk but want nothing to do with Him.". . .praying that God keeps my eyes open to "talk" so I can turn away from it. Lord, I pray eyes to be opened in this generation and truth to be sought. Let us no longer be content with following the crowd or what is comfortable. . .shake our lives up!
"The bright light of Christ makes your way plain. So no more stumbling around.". . .no more excuses. We have EVERYTHING we need through Christ. Make time to slow down enough to listen to Him. I know for me, when I slow down and listen to Him I am overwhelmed at the confirmation I receive. Sometimes so overwhelmed I want to get "busy" again so I have an excuse not to act on what He has laid on my heart. (wow, that was honest)
"Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it!."
I never read The Message translation while growing up and I still use different versions for my bible study reading, but I've become slightly addicted to re-reading everything in the message. It takes out all of the fluffy words, inserts some words we are all more familiar with, and then surprises you with it's direct and well-placed message.