Today’s reading is Ephesians 4.
Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is actually a powerful sermon with two main parts. The first part explained the faith. That is, it told what God had done through Jesus Christ for Jews and Gentiles alike, making one body from the two peoples by the forgiving blood and gracious sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It told of the recreation God had produced in the disciples by the death of Jesus. The second part called for application. God never expected to produce faith alone in disciples. Rather, the faith prompted action. We are God’s workmanship, Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:10, that you have been created to walk in God’s good works. Therefore, Paul urges you “to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.” By the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus we have been created anew to walk; so let’s get walking.
Tomorrow’s reading is Ephesians 5.
Continue reading “Created to Walk”
Today’s reading is Ephesians 3.
Talking about amazing examples of God’s power in us, have you considered the apostle Paul? God’s power raised Jesus from the dead and sat Him in the heavenly places above every rule, authority, and power. When we were dead in sin, His power did the same for us, sitting us alongside Jesus. But in case you have trouble believing that, look at Paul. The gift of God’s grace was given to Paul by the working of God’s power. Think about what that power did. It took a man who was the enemy of Christ’s church, who was a minion of the rulers, authorities, and powers who are against us, and turned him into an ambassador for Christ’s kingdom. WOW!!! Would you have thought that was possible? I can imagine first century Christians praying that God would deliver them from Paul, do you think any of them had Paul’s conversion in mind? That is the true power of God. Power that was not only displayed toward Paul in his salvation, but also displayed toward God’s kingdom by removing enemy #1 who was attacking, persecuting, destroying and directing all his talents and gifts in the exact opposite direction–growing the kingdom. That is power. And that is the power that can, will, and does work in us. Praise the Lord!!!
Tomorrow’s reading is Ephesians 4.
Continue reading “God’s Power In Us”
Today’s reading is Ephesians 2.
Sadly, some are so busy arguing theology that they miss the real point of “dead” in Ephesians 2:1. Paul isn’t trying to give us a doctoral thesis on the nature of sin. He is providing a parallel. Because of the sins and trespasses of others, Jesus was dead. However, God raised Him up and seated Him in the heavenlies above every rule and authority. Because of our own sins and trespasses, we too were dead. However, in Christ, God has raised us up by His grace and power and seated us alongside Jesus Christ in the heavenlies above every rule and authority. WOW!!! Praise the Lord! This is the power of God toward us who believe. Have you followed in Jesus’s footsteps? Where are you sitting? In your chair? Or in the heavenlies?
Tomorrow’s reading is Ephesians 3.
Continue reading “Where are You Sitting?”
Today’s reading is Ephesians 1.
As we read Ephesians, stay tuned to “power.” It’s a competition. There are powers attacking us. But there is Power for us. The attacking powers were demonstrated when Jesus was hung on the cross and executed. But God’s power was demonstrated when He raised Jesus from the dead and enthroned Him in the heavenly places far above every other rule and power. Whatever comes at us, remember the Power that is for us. He is the one who provides blessings in the heavenly places.
Monday’s reading is Ephesians 2.
Continue reading “In Heavenly Places”
Today’s reading is Galatians 6.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are the fruit of the Spirit. They are not the fruit of our intense efforts. We cannot manufacture these fruit. Rather, the Spirit blesses us with them and grows them in us. That being said, Paul continues his metaphor in this chapter and does demonstrate that while we cannot grow the fruit ourselves, we must plant the seeds. If we sow to the flesh, we will reap the works of the flesh and ultimately corruption and death. However, if we sow to the Spirit, we will reap the fruit that comes from the Spirit and ultimately life eternal. However, recognize growth of a seed takes time. Don’t expect to plant a seed today and tomorrow have mature fruit. Keep hanging on. Keep planting the seeds. In due time, the Spirit will grow the fruit.
Tomorrow’s reading is Ephesians 1.
Continue reading “Sowing for Life”
Today’s reading is Galatians 5.
Here is what throws many people off. If a person is going to believe they are justified by keeping any part of the Law, they need to understand that they will only be saved by keeping every part of the Law. Of course, if one is trying to be justified by keeping the Law, that person has abandoned being saved by God’s grace. Keep in mind, Paul was writing this to people who had already become disciples. These were people who had entered the grace of the Lord through baptism for the remission of their sins. Now, they were adding the Law into their service and surrender. They weren’t trying to become Christians by keeping the Law, they were trying to live as Christians by keeping the Law. And Paul called that falling from grace. Then he explained circumcision doesn’t matter. That is, keeping legal requirements is not what matters. Rather, faith working through love matters. It does matter how we live, but we won’t be justified by Law keeping. We will only be justified by Jesus. Let’s hang on to Him by faith and simply go where He leads.
Tomorrow’s reading is Galatians 6.
Continue reading “What Matters?”
Today’s reading is Galatians 4.
I know this is shocking to many. But Paul’s point in today’s reading is that the Jews under the Law, though they were children of God, were essentially in the same state as the Gentiles outside the Law. The Gentiles were slaves, and the Jews, though children, were no different from slaves. Which explains why Paul was so shocked these Gentile converts were so quickly being convinced they had to keep the Law. They left the slavery to false gods to become Christians. Now they were going back into a system that was not any better for them. Of course, this doesn’t mean they were free to ignore God’s will, remain impenitent, or pursue sin. But neither did they, nor do we, have to surrender to the Law. They needed to surrender to Jesus. So do we. Law doesn’t justify or save. Jesus does. That is good news.
Continue reading “Slaves”