Ephesians 5:3 says, there must be no sexual sin among you. Sexual sin doesn't just mean having sex before you're married. It also refers to pornography, sending nudes, oral sex, hand jobs, making crude jokes, and movies and images that make you think about sex.
Don't get me wrong, God loves sex - he invented it. But he designed it to be enjoyed as part of a committed relationship (marriage). Imagine trying to use a chainsaw to cut someone's hair. That's not what a chainsaw was designed for and someone is bound to get hurt. Sexual sin is the same.
Ephesians 5:2 says, Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ.
To love like Jesus, we need to look at the Bible.
Jesus was compassionate - Matthew 14:14
Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
Jesus felt sorry for the people so he healed those who were sick.
Jesus was forgiving - Luke 23:34
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”
When he hung on the cross he forgave the people that put him there.
Jesus was humble and servant-hearted - Mark 10:45
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others.
He associated with people who others considered unimportant such as children, lepers, Samaritans, and tax collectors.
Jesus' love is great - John 15:13
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Jesus' love is so great that he sacrificed himself for us, his friends.
His love is great, it's big, it's huge!
Jesus loved in actions, not just words - 1 John 3:18
Let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.
Jesus didn't just say he loved people, he showed them by his actions. He loved them by healing them, feeding them, listening to them, being kind to them and dying for them.
Can you think of one way that you can love like Jesus today?
Ephesian 4:32 says, Be kind and loving to each other. Forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ. It's easy to to be kind and love people you like, but it can be difficult to be kind and loving to people you are related to or are difficult get along with.
When I find it hard to love difficult people, I try to see them through God's eyes. He created them, loves them, and sees them as worthwhile.
Here are some other Bible verses about loving people:
You have heard people say, “Love your neighbors and hate your enemies.” But I tell you to love your enemies and pray for anyone who mistreats you.
1 John 4:8
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other.
This week is Random Acts of Kindness Week. Get creative and try to be kind to as many people as you can this week.
Ephesians 4:31 says, Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Paul uses quite forceful language in this verse. He said get rid of, not avoid or don't do these things. Getting rid of things requires action.
These are the things we should get rid of from our lives:
The world is full of this kind of behaviour. When people look at our lives they should be able to tell that we love Jesus because we don't do those things. Do you struggle with any of these things? Ask God to help you to be more like Jesus and to renew your mind.
Ephesians 4:29 says, Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. This verse hardly needs explaining, but I feel like the world needs to hear it right now.
I have to be completely honest and confess that I struggle with this. I have been known to make cutting remarks behind someone's back, to use the occasional mild swear word, to say things that don't build people up and make them feel better. I'm not proud of it. I have asked God to help me with it and he has.
Our words are so important. Here are some other Bible verses about them:
People will have to explain about every careless thing they have said.
Your words will be used to judge you—to declare you either innocent or guilty.
People who are careful about what they say will save themselves from trouble.
We should use words that are loving to God and loving to others because that is our purpose in the Christian life. This doesn't just refer to the words we say, it also refers to the things we write. I don't read the comments on social media posts because people are so mean. Then someone says something mean to the person who said the mean thing, then someone else says something mean to them and it just goes on and on.
This week pay attention to your words and judge whether your words are good, helpful and encouraging.
Ephesians 4:28 says, Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. Most people don't think that they are guilty of stealing. Have you ever stolen a chocolate bar from the supermarket? Have you ever taken a handful of sugar sachets from a fast food chain with no intention of using them all? Have you ever taken stationery from work or school? Have you ever slacked off at your part-time job when you should have been working? These are all examples of stealing.
Paul said that we should work hard so that we will be able to share with those in need. Stealing is selfish, but working hard to help others is selfless. Which end of the scale are you? Do you steal (even if it's just small things)? Or, do you work hard and share with others?
Short and sweet inspirations for Christian teen girls.