The world of the Ephesians was highly sexualized. In the ongoing massive archaeological excavations, a startling number of brothels have been uncovered – and right on the main streets of the city! I recall following ancient arrows carved in the paving stones of the roadway, which inevitably lead to a brothel (carvings on the doorposts leave little doubt as to the nature of the building)! Our own society is also highly sexualized, as a quick tour of the television channels or internet will reveal. Paul calls this “idolatry” – replacing our worship of God with other things. As Christians, we are called to different ways of living.
1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.
Heavenly Father, I long to be like Jesus and know that in myself I will always fall short of His standard of perfection and purity, but Lord I pray that You would examine my inner heart and secret thoughts and identify in me those areas that need to be rooted out, so that Christ may live in me and work through me to Your greater glory. Give me the grace to recognise any impure areas in my life that need to be rooted out. Help me to keep the eyes of my heart fixed on Jesus Christ my Lord, and grant me the purity of heart and integrity of spirit that is becoming of a vessel fit for Your use. Begin to search me today O Lord, know my heart, and see if there is any impurity of heart, evil intent or prideful thoughts. May I be willing to be stripped of everything that is not of You, so that I may be pure and holy in Your sight. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.