Breaking down Ephesians: My daily study 4:17-24

17 Therefore, I say this and testify in the Lord:You should no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their thoughts. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts. 19 They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more.
20 But that is not how you learned about the Messiah, 21 assuming you heard about Him and were taught by Him, because the truth is in Jesus. 22 You took off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires; 23 you are being renewed in the spirit of your minds; 24 you put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth. (Ephesians 4: 17-24)

These are my personal reflections as I study verse by verse. I welcome your observations, as we all learn to walk with Him for His glory!

Living the New Life

Paul describes the wickedness of the gentile world this way; Darkness. Paul describes early Christian’s as ‘darkened in understanding, excluded from the life of God.’ Early believers had the saving knowledge, but chose to live in darkness, giving into their sinful lives and desiring more of the same. Ignorance and hard hearts prevail. Doesn’t this sound like the same world we currently live?

God wants us to live in Him, in purity, righteousness, truth and goodness, BUT most of this world has a dislike for a life of holiness. We get so comfortable in the sins of this world that it becomes normal, we lose sense of what sin is, pick and choose how to live and are blind to the dangers and consequences of our sins; at least until the world comes crashing down upon ourselves and others we love.

The truth is in Jesus! When we finally understand and set our hearts upon Christ, we begin to separate ourselves from the world. Our character changes. Our thoughts change. Our actions change! God changes us! We now have learned not to do as others do, but to do as Christ has instructed us. God teaches us through His Word, His Son and His Spirit.

You will know when you have been renewed by His Spirit. You will exhibit a new nature, you will have new principles, you will have received the grace that makes you a new creation in Christ. God’s power is beautiful, true and excellent! If you are not there yet, take a moment to ask God to help. Only He can change you … you can not do it alone.

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Share today’s message by clicking on one the social media buttons below: Twitter; Facebook; StumbleUpon, Google+, Pinterest, or E-Mail.  “Then He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15 HCSB

Breaking down Ephesians: My daily study 4:7-16

7 Now grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of the Messiah’s gift. 8 For it says:

When He ascended  on high, He took prisoners into captivity; He gave gifts to people.

9 But what does “He ascended” mean except that He descended to the lower parts of the earth? 10 The One who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things. 11 And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. 14 Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. 15 But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head — Christ. 16 From Him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part. (Ephesians 4: 7-16)

These are my personal reflections as I study verse by verse. I welcome your observations, as we all learn to walk with Him for His glory!

Unity and Diversity in the Body of Christ

Each one of us is given some gift of grace, as Christ came down from heaven to receive us, teach us and give us his love, he also returned to heaven but continued to give us his gift through the Holy Spirit.  Through trust and obedience, there is a fullness in Christ, and a measure of that fullness given by God to every believer; but we never come to the perfect measure until we come to heaven. God’s children are growing, as long as we are in this world, our growth lends to the glory of Christ. True faith, obedience and trust in Christ is what must be written on our hearts! When our hearts are focused on Christ, our body will serve and glory Him!

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Share today’s message by clicking on one the social media buttons below: Twitter; Facebook; StumbleUpon, Google+, Pinterest, or E-Mail.  “Then He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15 HCSB

Breaking down Ephesians: My daily study 4:4-6

4 There is one body and one Spirit — just as you were called to one hope at your calling — 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.  (Ephesians 4: 4-6)

These are my personal reflections as I study verse by verse. I welcome your observations, as we all learn to walk with Him for His glory!

Unity and Diversity in the Body of Christ

In the next few chapters of Ephesians, Paul switches from teaching doctrinal truths to teaching us how we are to live our lives as Christians. Our faith must now be put into action, they go hand-in-hand and we exhort Christ through the purity of our life.

(v. 4-6) As Christians, these three verses we should shout with joy. As Christians, we belong to one church, to one body with one heart. Through Christ Jesus, we have been given one spirit, the one Holy Spirit that guides us, provides us with God’s grace, enriches our life and leads us towards eternal life. As Christians, our hope rest in Jesus Christ. We have been called to a heavenly inheritance, a free gift by the actions of Christ Jesus. Our one lord, is Jesus Christ, who is the head of the church, and the subject of all Christianity. Our faith is in the gospel of Jesus Christ, through which all believers will be saved. Our faith in Jesus Christ will lead to repentance of our sins, followed by a public profession of our faith in the form of baptism. We are baptized by water, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. God is our heavenly father, our creator, he reigns in heaven above his creation, through his Spirit, his Son, and through his church, his message will be known to all. It is our responsibility as Christians, to be faithful in our lifestyles, in our worship, and carrying the gospel message to those who have yet not heard. We must teach our children and disciple new believers on how to live for and love Christ Jesus.

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Share today’s message by clicking on one the social media buttons below: Twitter; Facebook; StumbleUpon, Google+, Pinterest, or E-Mail.  “Then He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15 HCSB

Breaking down Ephesians: My daily study Chapter 4:1-3

1 Therefore I, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting one another in love, 3 diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us. (Ephesians 4:1-3)

These are my personal reflections as I study verse by verse. I welcome your observations, as we all learn to walk with Him for His glory!

Unity and Diversity in the Body of Christ

In the next few chapters of Ephesians, Paul switches from teaching doctrinal truths to teaching us how we are to live our lives as Christians. Our faith must now be put into action, they go hand-in-hand and we exhort Christ through the purity of our life.

(v. 1-3) Paul is imprisoned in Rome, but he once again declares that he is a prisoner for the Lord. He declares that he is not ashamed of Christ and his imprisonment is because of his faith, not of evil works or actions. Paul is a strong man of faith that will not let anything deter his work for Christ. In this letter, he is encouraging us to live and act like Christ-followers. Think about what Jesus has done for you … is this request unreasonable? Of course not! We call ourselves Christians, therefore we must answer by that name and live like Christians.

What does this look like according to verses 1-3? God knows we are not perfect, but we must strive to live a righteous and holy life. Paul tells us to be humble, gentle, patient and accepting of others, in love, just as Christ loves us. The latter part can be challenging, and I am being tested with ‘acceptance of others’ at this moment. Paul tells us that we must look within our own hearts. This is where we will find the Spirit of God that will bring peace and unity to each other.

If you are like me and currently struggling with any of these characteristics of God, take a few minutes to lay them at the feet of Jesus, ask for forgiveness, strength and direction. He will listen and He will respond. Many blessings!

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Share today’s message by clicking on one the social media buttons below: Twitter; Facebook; StumbleUpon, Google+, Pinterest, or E-Mail.  “Then He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15 HCSB

Breaking down Ephesians: My daily study 3:20-21

20 Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us — 21 to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21)

These are my personal reflections as I study verse by verse. I welcome your observations, as we all learn to walk with Him for His glory!

Prayer for Spiritual Power

(v.20-21) Paul finishes his prayer with praise, thanksgiving and admiration for the glory of God. He tells us the God is able to do more for us than we will ever comprehend. God knows our hearts desires and prayers before we can ask or even ‘think’ about them. God gives to us abundantly even at times that we might not recognize God’s handiwork, but that doesn’t diminish the truth that God’s grace is poured over us, into us and through us by His Spirit. Take a few moments to praise Him for the work that He is currently doing in your life. Praise Him for sending His Son Jesus redeem you and save you from the evil in this world. Praise Him for sending His Spirit to guide you through each day. Praise God for His glory, because He is God!

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Share today’s message by clicking on one the social media buttons below: Twitter; Facebook; StumbleUpon, Google+, Pinterest, or E-Mail.  “Then He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15 HCSB

Breaking down Ephesians: My daily study 3:14-19

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. 16 I pray that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power in the inner man through His Spirit, 17 and that the Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, 19 and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19)

These are my personal reflections as I study verse by verse. I welcome your observations, as we all learn to walk with Him for His glory!

Prayer for Spiritual Power

(v.14) I have a beautiful image of the humility of Paul’s heart and complete reverence to God as I see him kneeling before our Father in prayer. Shouldn’t we all approach our loving Father in the same manner? Regardless of how we pray, rather seated, standing or kneeling, the important aspect of this action is that we are communing with God. I am challenged by Paul to be more humble and to pray with complete love and a humble heart for Christ.  (v.15) We are all family in the eyes of Lord, connected through our faith and His church, we are all Christians. (v.16) Paul considered the Ephesians his friends, and what better way to show love for your friends than to pray for them. Paul asks God to pour out His spiritual blessings upon them, to give them inner strength. Paul is asking God to protect their hearts and soul. We can be tested and attacked by the evil one to drive a wedge between us and our Lord, but Paul prays for his friends–he prays for us.

(v.17) Paul tells us that Jesus lives in our heart, through our faith. It’s important for us to live as though we represent Christ. I am currently interval running to prepare myself my first 5K run in 28 years. This is not easy for me, it takes desire, commitment, practice and training. I have to eat healthier, lose some weight, lose some fat and rebuild some lost muscle memory. Our Christian faith takes just as much effort. We must pray, read God’s Word daily, live out our faith in public and especially in private! As Paul says, we must remain rooted and firmly established in the love Christ. (v.18-19) Our walk on earth is a short one. You must seek to know God more and more each day. You can do this through prayer, quiet time, bible study and getting involved in God’s work in your homes, work, school, communities and around the world. We will never completely understand the unsurpassed love of our Savior this side of heaven–but when you are standing in His presence, I believe you will finally get it!  Praise Him!

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Share today’s message by clicking on one the social media buttons below: Twitter; Facebook; StumbleUpon, Google+, Pinterest, or E-Mail.  “Then He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15 HCSB

Breaking down Ephesians: My daily study 3:11-13

11 This is according to His eternal purpose accomplished in the Messiah, Jesus our Lord. 12 In Him we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. 13 So then I ask you not to be discouraged over my afflictions on your behalf, for they are your glory. (Ephesians 3:11-13)

These are my personal reflections as I study verse by verse. I welcome your observations, as we all learn to walk with Him for His glory!

Paul’s Ministry to the Gentiles

v. 11 God is eternal while our physical lives are temporary. We know that all things work for the glory of God, and through Christ, our spiritual lives are eternal. We have fallen so far from God since the days of Adam, but praise be to God that He sent us Jesus with a promise of redemption and eternal life. 

v. 12  I know that I can go to God with anything–praise, worship, strength, comfort, needs, wants … it does not matter, through Christ, I have access to a Father that is my personal advocate. I can pray, be still and listen for the Spirit of God to guide me. It is with boldness and complete freedom that I can talk to Him! He will listen!! Paul knew this and he didn’t want the people of his day to be discouraged by trials in life. He was imprisoned, but he still encouraged and sent God’s messages to His people.

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Share today’s message by clicking on one the social media buttons below: Twitter; Facebook; StumbleUpon, Google+, Pinterest, or E-Mail.  “Then He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15 HCSB