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Showing posts from September 23, 2012

Flow

There is a natural or maybe we should say a supernatural flow to a life that is connected to God. We see a stream that is flowing in both directions. Paul mentions four elements important to this flow in his closing verses to the church at Ephesus.
“Peace to the brothers, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.” (Ephesians 6:23-24)
Peace in the heart and among the brethren along with the love which God gives in the heart are the result of a faith that comes from God and unites all as one. There is no partiality in this community and all direct their love to God and extend it to each other. All of this is possible because of the great grace that has been already extended from God to individuals by allowing them to become sons of God through the work of His Son on the cross.
So we see that peace and love flow out of a faith life and a faith life is only possible because of grace received by the ind…

Idolatry?

We think of idolatry as something that demands a stone, clay, wood, or metal statue. We see people bowing down to Buddha, see thousands honor idols in Hinduism and that becomes our overall image of an idol. But wait; can idolatry have a broader definition? Yes.
Paul to the church living in Ephesus expands the idea of idolatry by saying, “For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person---such a man is an idolater---has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” (Ephesians 5:5)
In the beginning Paul identifies the certainty of the statement he is about to make by saying, “for of this you can be sure.” It’s not his idea, not an impression and not a quickly devised revelation, what he is about to say is sure, clear and comprehensive.
A person is an idolater if they are immoral, impure or greedy. Their idolatry is unable to be grasped because it is not made of physical elements but it is certainly present. They have not put God first in their lives but allowed an i…

Speech

There is much to be said about a good word. Encouragement is an important aspect to communication. We fail to understand how important positive words are to a person’s soul.
Paul said, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29
There are five different sins named in Ephesians 4:25-32: lying, anger, stealing, corrupt speech, and bitterness. Number four which we are looking at is speech that is worthless, bad, or rotten. It’s not just dirty words we are talking about here; it is words that are empty, non-encouraging, destructive and downgrading.
Paul challenged the believers of Ephesus to listen to what they were saying. The heart speaks out of the mouth and it reveals the master of the life. He wanted them to be persons of truth and purity revealing their new master, Jesus Christ. He wanted them to build up each other with their talk and benefit ot…

Best Life

What is the best life you can live? The answer to this question you might say includes reaching your potential, harmonizing with the world around you, and being kind to all. However, Paul states the true answer to this as living “a life worthy of the calling you have received.” (Ephesians 4:1)
Living a life worthy of being called a “son of God” is the desired mode of God for us. To further explain what he means Paul shares seven connected virtues of this kind of living:
It is completely humble with no taint of selfishness or prideful ambition.It is gentle or meek which is not weakness but power under control.It is patient or translated as long-suffering in other passages. This is the ability to endure even when you think you have already endured too much.It is bearing with one another or enjoying the uniqueness of each individual within the body of Christ.It is acting lovingly at all times in this journey with others.It is making every effort or e…

God's Power

We all accept nature as powerful. We see nature’s earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, and tsunamis and say, “that is powerful.” And we are right, but we are wrong to think these are the most powerful of all things because we can see and feel them.
Isaiah saw God “high and lifted up” (Isaiah 6:1). God identified Himself through Isaiah in 43:13 as “your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” He spoke in 43:15 saying, “I am the Lord, your Holy One, Israel’s Creator, your King.” He calls Himself in 44:6, “Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.”
What in nature can bring forth a nation? What in nature can bring out of nothing something (creation) and a nation of millions out of a family of twelve sons (Israel)? God is all powerful and personal; His power extends far beyond that of nature. In Isaiah 43:25 He states, ”I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake.” Really? God takes care of our sin for His…

Memory

Our memories are so important to our present and future. They can remind us of the wrong or the right we have done. They can encourage us by our successes or discourage us by our failures. It is interesting that our memories don’t keep the pain of accidents but it fades, otherwise we would be racked by every time that pain had been a part of our lives.
Remember this as Paul states it in Ephesians 2:12-13, “remember that at that time you were separated from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.”
What a wonderful miracle is our salvation in Christ. To ignore it or assume it is a denial of all the good it provides for us. How can you thank God today for bringing you into His kingdom?