Putting God's Word into Practice…

Ephesians 4:17-24

on January 23, 2018


Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT YOU LEARNED IN CHRIST! (Ephesians 4:17-20)

The phrase that stuck out to me was, “They have become callous.”  Callous means insensitive, indifferent, unsympathetic.  In this text, I believe it is talking about being callous towards sin and towards God.  But the Holy Spirit is telling my heart that it also describes my feelings towards others.  Rationalizing one critical, judgmental thought at a time builds a layer of unfeeling, numbness towards the hearts of others–making me insensitive, indifferent, and unsympathetic.

Based on verse 19, we become callous by living to serve and satisfy self.  So when someone becomes difficult for me and I want ease, I grow hard in my heart towards them.  I put layers of thickened skin between them and me.  I try to protect myself.

The removal of callouses is a three-step process.  The first recommendation is that they are soaked in warm water daily.  Then they are removed using a pumice stone or file. And finally a protective pad can be worn in place to intercept the cause of callouses and protect the new skin.

In Ephesians 5 it says that we are washed by the water of the Word.  Daily saturation in the Bible will help to soften the callousness of our hearts.  But then they have to be removed.  Just like soft dead skin is undesirable; a soft, dead shell around my heart is of no use!  Those layers have to be peeled away, uncovering new, fresh skin.  We need to allow the Father to apply His pumice stone to our calloused hearts until we are fresh and new in our feelings towards others.  And then we have to put Him on as our protector and sustainer.  Only He can keep our hearts soft and new.  I have to trust Him to do what He promises to do!

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