We’ve been working our way through the book of Ephesians, learning to identify ourselves according to God’s definitions and not those of the world or the enemy. Today we’re learning about the power we’ve been given through the Holy Spirit to live righteously. There is a standard of right and wrong that is sort of written on our hearts, but despite our greatest efforts, none of us can live up to those standards in our own strength. That’s why, when we begin to live in the power of the Holy Spirit, believers are going to stand out so much from the rest of the world. We’re suddenly going to do things differently, because when we’re sealed by the Holy Spirit, there is a new and powerful force at work within us.
Today we’re learning about our calling and gifting. The identity God has given us is not meant simply to benefit our own lives. It is such a wonderful, mighty identity that it is meant to spill out of us and pour onto the entire body of Christ. We’ve each been called by God and uniquely gifted to serve the greater whole, and when it all works together, it is the most beautiful thing the world will ever see, for it is Christ Himself revealed through us!
Today we want to let a few profound truths about our identity sink down like roots that keep us secure in the knowledge that in Christ, I am strong, SO deeply loved, and complete. Oh you guys, I find myself longing that we could all truly understand these truths, just as Paul did as he wrote our passage for today. I fall to my knees and pray along with him that they would sink deep into our hearts and change us forever!
Each part of our physical body is uniquely designed to serve a purpose along with all the other parts that, when combined, create a functional powerhouse capable of just about anything. The body of Christ is no different, and when we understand our role within it, and our relationship to it, our attitude will likely change. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and it is imperative that we work together well!
We’re talking about covenants today. Specifically, God’s covenant promise to us, and how it fits into the Old Testament and all the promises to Israel we find there. We’ve been working through a study of the book of Ephesians in order to better understand how we have been identified as God’s holy people. (Click to catch up on what you’ve missed) We’re allowing our Creator (the One who so carefully knit us together in our mother’s womb) to give us our labels, since He’s the only one who really has that right. We’re ready to dive into the second section of Ephesians two where we’re going to be introduced to the idea of a covenant promise, and learn to understand our identity as citizens of the Kingdom of God.
This week we’re looking at the first half of Ephesians 2 and will be stepping back a bit to re-examine more deeply some of the truths we learned in week one – Who we were without Christ, and what it means to have been made alive in Christ. Today, we’re going to learn to understand what it means to be a new and beautiful creation in Jesus – His masterpiece!
A good place to start when we’re looking to re-write our identity is with an understanding of the nature of our existence. We need to know whether we’re just some cosmic accident, or the result of an intentional plan because the answer to that question will define our purpose.
All praise to God who tells us we are not, in fact, some fluke of nature. We are His own special creation: Chosen by Him before the beginning of time, purchased out of our state of slavery to sin by His very own blood, and adopted into His family forever. Let’s think about the ramifications of those three simple realities.
There are a million steps we have to work through in order to recover from intimate betrayal, but I believe the first (and most critical)
Establishing strong, Biblical boundaries is one of the hardest, yet most important things for a betrayed wife to do. Really, for any believer to do. Unfortunately, it’s a task that leaves most of us wondering where and how to even start. Many of us have spent our lives believing that unconditional love looks different than the Bible actually describes it. But God sets strong boundaries with us, and He makes it clear in Scripture that we are to do the same in our relationships. All of them. So, we’re going to spend the next 6 weeks exploring what the Bible has to say about boundaries. We’ll learn what Biblical boundaries look like, how to set them up, and how being obedient in this area ultimately puts God in control.
When hearts are broken, seeking God is often the last thing we want to do. The enemy is quick to use these terrible moments to convince us we “can’t” seek Him. To convince us we’re too broken, too incapacitated. It. Is. A. Lie, dear sisters. He knows the best way to keep us broken is to keep us as far away from God as he can. We can choose to run or hide. We can make excuses. We can blame others. But the truth is, we’re simply hurting ourselves. The good news is, He will pursue us. He will continue to call for as long as it takes to convince us to come out of hiding and seek Him again. When we finally do, what healing there is in His glorious presence! Why do we wait so long to accept that healing?
Join me in looking at Psalms 19. As we dissect this passage, may it break down our walls and convince us to come running back into His open arms!
I’ve read the most wonderful book, Nuggets from the Heart, by Rosie Chavez Williams. If you’re looking for something encouraging to read, this is it! It’s a heart-warming compilation of short stories and testimonies from Rosie’s life. All of which point back to our wonderful Savior and His unfailing love and faithfulness.
What comes to mind when you think of Mary, the mother of Christ? My guess is that most of us have found inspiration in her story. She was a godly young lady. One we should all look to as an example and role model. We easily recognize the great honor she was given: selected from all the women throughout time to mother the Savior of the world! But have we pondered the trials of such a magnificent calling? I believe with some study and a little contemplation, a fuller appreciation for her story can help put into perspective the trials we’re called to endure for the cause of Christ. Perhaps we’ll realize that the very things that have brought us the deepest pain are, in fact, indications of the favor of God!
The sin of sexual addiction runs rampant in our world and people are hurting! Families are being destroyed. Hearts are being broken. Lives are being ruined and even lost! The enemy is winning far too many battles. It can be easy to question where God is in all of these stories. To begin to doubt His sovereignty and His loving care. But Scripture reminds us that He is there. He is working, even when we can’t see it. The enemy may seem to be winning the battles, but the war is already won. I would like to share a Psalm that I hope will be a great encouragement to the precious women who are hurting so badly right now because of it.