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     And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And live a life of love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Eph. 4:30-5:2
     Merciful Father, mighty Holy Spirit, most compassionate Lord Jesus, I praise you today for the love with which you love us, in which you have rooted us, and by which you are transforming us. It took the whole Trinity to redeem me, and it will take the whole Trinity for me to live this life of love to which you have called us. There’s no other way I will even begin to be an “imitator of God.” So hear my cry.
     Father, I don’t want to live today just with a theoretical or theological awareness of being your dearly loved child. Let it be deeply experiential and existential—very real, very encouraging, and very humbling. Your lavish love for us is the greatest convicting power this side of the new heaven and new earth. Stun my heart afresh—show me yet again, and even more of the height, depth, width and breadth of your love for us in Jesus.
     All day long, let me hear you serenading me in the gospel, that I might be filled with joy and peace, and that I might grieve the ways I grieve the Holy Spirit—with my thoughts, with my words, and with my actions. Without the incontrovertible convicting work of the Spirit, I might seek to justify the ways I love poorly—blaming others for my bad attitude and grace-less manners.
     Lord Jesus, you are so kind, compassionate, and forgiving of me. May the fragrant aroma of the sacrifice you made for me on the cross to permeate all my relationships. You’re not calling us to change or fix anyone. You’re calling us to live as a broken perfume bottle, through whom the aroma of grace will bring your gentling and transforming presence. Show me how to boast in you and in my weakness, that I might freely and gladly live as a servant of others.
     God the Holy Spirit, you who raised Jesus from the dead, give me the power I will need today to rid myself of all bitterness, anger, rage, brawling, slander, and malice and all the other ways I love poorly. Indeed, Triune God, the life of love you live for me, please live through me. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ peerless and loving name.

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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