Last week we started a series called Facing Fear. It is a Bible study on fear and faith, (click for whole series) and this week we’re learning about an interesting aspect of a right relationship with fear – the Fear of the Lord. We want to know, what IS the fear of the Lord, why is it important to fear God, and what does walking in the fear of the Lord look like?
FEAR. We all have the capacity to make it our constant companion. Chronic fear can paralyze us, keeping us stuck in misery and brokenness. This is never more true than in the aftermath of a shattered heart! When the world turns upside down, it can be difficult to figure out how to reconcile fear and faith.
Psalms 139 is one of my favorite chapters in the whole Bible. It paints a beautiful picture of God’s tender, intimate love and care for each of us! When we stop to consider who God is; how very great He is, it’s so humbling to then realize that He takes the time to know each of us so well. Who am I that He would consider me? Who am I that He would care about me? My life is but a breath and yet He counts me worthy of His great love! I am so thankful!
Today, we’re learning all about God’s Armor, which He has generously given to us. We’ve learned SO MANY things already about who we are in Christ, and about what those identifiers demand from us as a response. We’re almost fully equipped for battle. We’re almost ready to face this life, not just knowing who we are, but knowing exactly what that means about the victories that already belong to us.
It’s a very special thing to be set apart, but it means we’re going to be different! I mean, the phrasing itself indicates favor, exclusivity, and most of all distinction. It’s a privilege to be set apart from the crowd in many situations, but to be set apart for GOD!?!? I mean, the very idea of it is more than I can even understand. It causes me to want to make the most of every opportunity I’m given to live my life for His glory! So let’s dig into our passage from Ephesians and see what that looks like fleshed out in our day-to-day lives.
Today we’re starting Ephesians 5 to learn about our call to be an imitator of God. We’re not supposed to look like the world anymore. We should stand out and be a bright light in the darkness. We should be living in the light of our Lord and Savior, looking more and more like Him with each passing day.
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.
Sometimes life gets foggy. For one reason or another stress piles up and it becomes difficult to navigate or even find the path forward. When that stress is a result of deep betrayal, especially when it has been repeated again and again, the fog is likely to gather all around our perceptions of ourselves. Insecurity is almost inevitable. It can become so very difficult to find truth when our thoughts are clouded by questions about our identity and worth. This is when it is so important that we find our answers in the TRUTH of the Word of God!
The question, does God love me no matter what, is one I’ve wrestled with for most of my life. If you too battle the lie that tells you you’re unlovable, I pray this story will help you to truly know and believe that God loves you personally and deeply and without condition!
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!
What is our part in God’s Eternal Plan? As you are discovering your God-given purpose, remember that many generations have waited for the treasure we have in Scripture – the mysteries of God revealed.
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!