Practice – “repeated performance or systematic exercise for the purpose of acquiring skill and proficiency.”
Plie’, tendu, degage’, rond-de-jambe... repetitive barre-work begins a ballerina’s day, every day as long as she dances. Practice is focused and purposeful; the honing of basic skills to show oneself approved.
This week Ephesians has been challenging me on what skills I am to practice for God. … you must no longer live as non-believers, in futility of thinking … greedy to practice every self-gratification.(4:17,19)
No, I am to have a Renewed mind- putting on a righteous and holy self; created after the likeness of God. (4:23-24)
…with ALL humility and gentleness, patiently (!) letting NO unwholesome word come out of my mouth -ONLY what’s beneficial, FULL of grace… EVER Kind, compassionate, forgiving others, like God forgave me through Jesus – whew. (4:29, 31 & 32)
Boy, that’s a lot to practice daily, requiring great purposeful effort on my part! If I’ve been saved by grace alone, why should I go to such extreme efforts?
Because my behavior expresses gratitude to God for my salvation… I walk in love, like Jesus loved me and gave Himself up for me, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (5:2)
A tall order no doubt, but I am not alone…
God is the One bringing forth in me both the desire and the effort – for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13
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