This is not the image that comes to mind when thinking about the early Pilgrims! Although, perhaps the dissenter in the background is! Pilgrims were also called “Separatists” wishing to separate from the Anglican Church. The Puritans joined them after failing to reform the church with their efforts to make it more pure and simple. Together, their desire for purity often demonstrated itself in a rigid and rule-following society. Unfortunately, they traded their freedom from the Church of England into a bondage to another kind of legalism.
Today’s verse talks about unbelievers whose lives are marked by futile thinking. Paul admonishes the Ephesians to no longer live like they do, as they “indulge in every kind of impurity and are full of greed.” (verse 19) Believers separate themselves from a way of living that dishonors their Creator (II Cor. 6:17). But they also separate themselves to something; the life of God.
The life of God that we enjoy is possible only because He has made the attitude of our minds brand new! (verse 23) Because of Him we can experience and show kindness, compassion and forgiveness (verse 32). The life of God is unavailable as long as one continues to live with a “hardened heart.” With that kind of resistance and stubbornness to God’s Spirit, one is separated from the best kind of life.
I want my life to be different, separated to God and enjoying His love and forgiveness. But just as important to me is to see my friends and family enjoying this life of God as well!
Lord, thank you for giving me this life I do not deserve!