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!
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)…
Sometimes we get so caught up in our own desire to be right, we miss out on being a part of God’s mercy. We choose judgement and misery over excitedly taking part in a miracle because we’ve forgotten how merciful He’s been to us! There is much we can learn from the Biblical account of the prophet Jonah.
For the past four weeks we’ve been studying the Bible to learn some of what the Infinite God has revealed to us about Himself. We discussed His identity as the Triune God, and unpacked the unique characteristics of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Today, we’ll wrap up this series with a look at His infinite qualities, and how we should respond.
We’ve been working our way through a study of the One God of the Bible. In week one we examined how He reveals Himself in the form of three unique Persons. Then we spent a week studying the Father, one studying the Son, and now we have reached the week in which we’ll examine Scripture to see what we can learn about God the Spirit.
We have embarked upon a 5-week study to know God. We started by learning about the Trinity – three Persons united as one God. Last week we learned about God the Father: His authority, sovereignty, adoption, discipline; His role as the One to whom we pray, and His love. This week we are going to study Scripture to learn what we can about God the Son. Friends, there is no way to contain all there is to be known of Jesus in one blog post, so this is going to be both long, and shockingly inadequate. I’ve done my best to hit the most important aspects while keeping it simple.