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Posts Tagged ‘Ephesians’

Which one of these is your church?

November 3, 2012 4 comments

We have a choice about what kind of church we attend. Which will it be? One where the power of Jesus the Messiah rules everyone and everything OR one where we feel good?

That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn’t stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I’d think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus the Messiah, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!

All this energy issues from the Messiah: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, the Messiah rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence. Ephesians 1:19-23 The Message (MSG)

What is the most dangerous threat to your leadership?

We often see danger as lurking outside of us. Here is a sober reminder from Brandon Cox. Something along the lines of “I have seen the enemy and it is I.”

So what is the most dangerous threat I face? It

… is you. We often guard against the negative impact of others or our perceived threat from other leaders, but at the end of the day, we leaders are our own worst enemies. The most damaging things that will happen to your leadership will be carried out by you.

  • When pride prevents you from learning
  • When anger destroys someone close to you
  • When your ego prevents you from mentoring those who might surpass you
  • When you fold to temptation and risk everything important
  • When you let your profession outrank your family
  • When you turn inward and withdraw into a shell
  • When the approval of people outranks the smile of God
  • When you get too busy to hang out with human beings
  • When you stand God up regularly
  • When you quit just before God is ready to really start using you

Paul once told Timothy, “Watch yourself.” He echoed the same to the Ephesian elders in Miletus as he said, “Take heed to yourself.” I think the aged apostle understood this principle well. There is no greater threat to your ministry than you, and there is no greater guarantee of success than focusing totally on Jesus.You’re quite a threat!

via The Most Dangerous Threat to Your Leadership.

Who is in charge?

Who is Jesus? The very Son of God who, as man, died for us and is now resurrected. But in His resurrection, God has put Him in charge of everything. Nothing is exempt at all. Not a single thing.

So, how long will he be in charge? Imagine billions and billions of years. Imagine it never ending. That is hard to get my mind around some days because this is a world where things come to an end. In Jesus, who is in charge of everything forever, I live and have the same life. This is His gift to me.

All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. Ephesians 1:20 via Ephesians | YouVersion.

Is there a plan B?

April 5, 2012 1 comment

There is no plan B. There is no backup plan. Contingencies are out the door.

The enemy lies to me leading me to believe if I don’t do what my Father wants, then someone else will do it. That isn’t the truth.

Here is the truth. God created me to join Him in the work He is doing. This is the good work He has gotten ready for me to do. This is the work I had better be doing. He doesn’t have anyone else in mind to do it. He doesn’t have a plan B. There is no backup plan. It is His plan for me.

God is ready. Am I?

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

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Are you abundantly free?

February 13, 2012 Leave a comment

God made plans for us that gave Him pleasure in putting together. It was not an inconvenience to Him in any way at all. Just as we as parents love to make plans for our children, our heavenly Father delights in an even greater way.

God sent His son Jesus to make us completely free. Not just a little. Abundantely and completely free. He was willing to risk and sacrifice everything for us.

He has made provision for everything. No detail left out at all. It is all spelled out in His new plan and goals for us. His mission of love makes everything right. Now that is good news.

Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth. Ephesians 1:7-10

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Can I get out of my coffin?

February 11, 2012 Leave a comment

 

I need to wake up from my sleep. I need to get up out of my coffin. Jesus is showing me the way. He is shining His light on me. I need to watch my step. I need to use my head. I need to think and not live carelessly. I need to understand what Jesus wants me to do.

May I understand what Jesus wants me to do. May I know it deep in my heart. May I not only know but also do it, demonstrating my obedience.

This is why it is said: Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. –Ephesians 5: 14-20

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Strength and where it comes from

Some things are amazingly simple with God. Here is one of them. God is strong. Nothing weak about him at all. Like the energizer bunny he just keeps going and going. He is always strong. He never sleeps. He doesn’t grow tired. He has always been strong and always will be.

His desire for us  is that we will always be strong as well. He sent Jesus to die for us and to share in the power of His ressurection. He gave His mighty Spirit so we could be strong. He has given us all the weapons we need to be victorious.

So there!!!

God is strong, and he wants you strong. Ephesians 6:10

May we always be strong, just as He is.

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God can do anything

November 26, 2011 Leave a comment

I have ideas. I imagine, “what if”. Some of this stuff is pretty cool!! Does it seem to be far fetched sometimes? Yes, it does. But God can do anything. He can go way beyond my ideas, my dreams. And, He does it through His Spirit which is already at work within me. Wow!!!

May I not limit God to my dreams. May I lean in to hear what He has in mind. It is more than I can ever imagine. His desire for  me is greater than my desires for myself.

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Ephesians3:20

Songs from my heart

November 5, 2011 Leave a comment

What excuse do I find to sing a song to God? I don’t need one. Everything is a reason to praise Him.

May I drink in huge draughts of the HOLY Spirit. May I be filled with Him.

Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him. Sing hymns instead of drinking songs! Sing songs from your heart to Christ. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:15-20

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Things way over my head

October 28, 2011 Leave a comment

That God has done something in my life is a real surprise, Him handling every single detail. It is nothing but a gift, His riches which I have a hard time understanding, coming to me every day. I am writing about things that are way over my head.

My task is to bring out into open what He is doing. His generosity is amazing. It is hard to get my arms around it. The credit goes to Him. It is His work for sure.


To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, Ephesians 3:8

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Mere busywork

October 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Not all work is the same. Some things are much more important in the Kingdom than others. I shouldn’t waste my time on useless work. Am I just doing busywork? Do I see that as a sham? How would this look in the light of Jesus and His glory?

May I know what He wants me to do and may I do it with enthusiasm!!

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them–Ephesians 5:11

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Hang out with Him

September 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Well here we go. When I keep company with Him, hang out with Him, I will learn a life of love. He is so extravagant in His love as well. He just showers it down on me. Overwhelms me with it. Slathers it on me.

He is good to me all the time. So if I just hang out with him, it rubs off on me. Mostly what He does is love me. Woo Hoo!! That is good stuff.

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. Ephesians 5

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Who is running things?

This is stunning. God raised Jesus from the dead and He is in charge of running everything. There is not a single thing that is exempt from His rule. He always has the final word. God is God. He is in charge. His church is His agent on earth carrying out His will. He speaks and acts through us.

So, do I act on this belief daily? Do I conform to what He wants me to do right now?

All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence. Ephesians 1:20-23

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My inner being

My heavenly Father is VERY rich. His riches exceed anything I can imagine. They are glorious. Through the power of His Spirit, He can strengthen my inner being. Jesus, the Master, can dwell in my heart. I must have faith to make it happen.

May I have faith and be strengthened in my inner being. May His Spirit stengthen me.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. Ephesians 3:16-17

God can do anything

I have ideas. I imagine “what if”. Some of this stuff is pretty cool!! Do these ideas seem to be far fetched sometimes? Yes, they do.

God can do anything. He can go way beyond my ideas, my dreams. And, He does it through His Spirit which is already at work within me. Wow!!!

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Ephesians3:20

May I not limit God to my ideas. May I lean in to hear what He has in mind.

Work with a smile on my face

My work is not for myself. My work is for our God. That allows me to have an amazing attitude and smile when others might not. It allows me to go beyond what others might do since my mission is to please him. And so, with Joshua I say “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.

I am really serving God. It is that simple. That makes all the difference in everything I do.


Servants, respectfully obey your earthly masters but always with an eye to obeying the real master, Christ. Don’t just do what you have to do to get by, but work heartily, as Christ’s servants doing what God wants you to do. And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God. Good work will get you good pay from the Master, regardless of whether you are slave or free. Ephesians 6:5-8

 

What is God doing?

Jesus said He only did what He saw the Father doing. So, what is the Father doing? Mostly just finding ways to love us. The more I keep company with Him, the more I will learn a life of love. What I see Him do, I will do likewise. I will not be selfish or cautious in my love. I must be extravagant in my love. That is His way.

So, what do I need to do to learn to love more? Spend more time with Him.

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. Ephesians 5

Special agents

God has a plan for us. Under His plan, we are special agents of Jesus. His assignments for us aren’t “normal”. They are special. Planned out just for us. How amazing is that?

Now that is some very good news for today. That brings some much needed grace and peace to our lives.

I, Paul, am under God’s plan as an apostle, a special agent of Christ Jesus, writing to you faithful believers in Ephesus. I greet you with the grace and peace poured into our lives by God our Father and our Master, Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1:1-2

May I understand the role God has for me and serve as His special agent.

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We have a place

We have a home that God is building and we are the bricks He is using us to make His building magnificent. He is making it in His country of supernatual courage (faith). What is amazing is that He is using us to create a place for Him to dwell. We all have a place there and He wants to live in it. He has given us great gifts to benefit His people.

So … In God’s country:

  • We don’t have to wander around not know if we belong.
  • His country of supernatural courage is where we fit in.
  • We all have a place of honor in His world.

That’s plain enough, isn’t it? You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home. Ephesians 2:19 -22

May I find my place in His building and fit in the right place.

My work

April 29, 2011 1 comment

Paul made tents for a living. It wasn’t how he defined his work. His work was to help people understand the good news that God has for those who come into his life. It wasn’t even something he was talented at. It was a gift from God. He wasn’t qualified to do it but God gave him everything he needed to succeed.

My work is not what I do for a living. My work is to take advantage of the gifts He gives me and press on. It is His way in His world and that is good news.


This is my life work: helping people understand and respond to this Message. It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details. When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background in God’s way, I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities. Ephesians 3:7-8

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God has pursued us

O Living Flame of Love . . . How gently and how lovingly Thou wakest in my bosom, where alone thou secretly dwellest; And in Thy sweet breathing full of grace and glory how tenderly Thou fillest me with Thy love.

These words, penned by St. John of the Cross in his book Living Flame of Love, capture the heart-cry of every soul for intimacy with God. For this we were created and for this we were rescued from sin and death. In Ephesians, Paul lets us in on a little secret: We’ve been more than noticed. God has pursued us from farther than space and longer ago than time. God has had us in mind since before the Foundations of the World. He loved us before the beginning of time, has come for us, and now calls us to journey toward him, with him, for the consummation of our love.

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You get to walk right in!

In our family, like most families, being a “member of the household” means something special! It means you walk right into the house without knocking. It means family members wait up for you when you are out late. It means that you are cared for enough that somebody wants to know where you’re going, when you will be back and reminds you to “be safe.” It means you get a kiss when you go out the door in the morning. That’s what being a member of the household means. And the Good News is that we are members of God’s household. And it’s the very same way at His House. So go on right in! And don’t forget to yell “I’m HOME!!!” He’s so very glad to see you!

“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household,” -Ephesians 2:19

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Love that is not cautious

February 27, 2011 Leave a comment

His love is extravagant!! It is absolutely over the top and He never holds back at all. Mostly what my heavenly Father does is love me. He is not cautiously waiting to see if I love him back. When I don’t spend time with Him He still loves me. Extravagantly!! When I keep company with him I learn to love like he does. His love is the kind that is giving not looking for anything in return.

May I spend more time with him. May I watch what He does and then do it myself.

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. Ephesians 5

Each word a gift

February 23, 2011 Leave a comment

I must watch the way I talk. There should be nothing foul or dirty coming out of my mouth. Each word should be a precious gift saying only what will help. The real test is will what I say benefit whoever is listening?

May I be a blessing by what I say.

 

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

My imagination

January 17, 2011 Leave a comment

I am not thinking big enough. My imagination is limited in ways I can’t grasp. I ask for catfish and He gives me Tilapia. His power is in me. I need to ask for more. If I think God wants to comfort a dear friend who is sick, why don’t I ask Him to completely heal them? If I think a family member needs salvation, why don’t I ask for complete deliverance?

My limitations are my limitations. Nothing is impossible with God. He wants to do stunning things.

May I expand my view to the possibilities that my all powerful God can do and not what I am willing to settle for.

 

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

 

 

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Mere Busywork?

December 7, 2010 Leave a comment

I am interested in how much of my time is “mere busywork”. Now stuff has to get done; there is laundry, cleaning, dishes and meals. I don’t think that is what today’s scripture (Ephesians 5:15-20) means. Times where I have “the chance” to do what “the Master wants” as opposed to the dark world where the enemy entices me to do what I want; what choice do I make? Each day is made of these moments.

  • Am I evaluating my time in the light of what the Master wants?
  • Is this what the Master wants me to do right now?
  • When I am not doing what the Master wants, do I see that as a fraud to the way He wants me live?

May I drink huge draughts of the Spirit of God. May I understand what the Master wants.

Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.

Wake up from your sleep, Climb out of your coffins; Christ will show you the light! So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!

Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.

Don’t drink too much wine. That cheapens your life. Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him. Sing hymns instead of drinking songs! Sing songs from your heart to Christ. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:15-20

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