Sunday, September 3, 2017

Ephesians Devotion 4: September 3 - 9

Let Go and Let God, Part 2

Last week we coined the slogan “Let Go and Let God.” We also began thinking in terms of being a prisoner of Christ. This week we are going to go deeper in that slogan and the thought of being a prisoner. As this unfolds a little deeper, we will evaluate every aspect of our actions and words.

As you go into this week’s devotion, think about how you handle situations with people who seem to demand a great deal of patience from you. I think we all encounter those kinds of people from time to time. These are the people who try our patience and push to us to react and speak unkindly sometimes.

Unity in the Body of Christ

Sunday: Read Ephesians 3:1-3 “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” 
Last week we learned that we are to consider ourselves a prisoner of Christ, and as a prisoner, we are not free to go and do as we please. This week we are going to go deeper into our actions and reactions to other people. The passage today tells us to walk at all times in a manner worthy of the calling that has been extended to us. Read the passage several times and think about each aspect we are to exemplify in our lives.

In your journal list the aspects we are to display. Beside each one explain what it means in your own words. Then, write beside the explanation how well you think you have displayed that aspect or characteristic in your life.

Example: Humility and gentleness - this means to remain humble in my thinking and how I portray myself to others regardless of the blessing from God I have received or the status God has allowed me to have. I am also to speak and interact with others in a very gentle manner as opposed to speaking harshly and sharply with them regardless of how irritated I may become with them. — This was a struggle this past week as I encountered someone who w
as behaving in a haughty manner because of their new position. The instant I caught myself beginning to come back with an aggressive counter argument, I stopped, thanked this person for taking the time to talk with me and explain their perspective of the situation. I realized that arguing would not resolve the issue. The best thing to do is to remove myself from the situation, document the conversation and situation and wait for the right time to continue the issue with others present. Just because a person is not willing to treat others fairly and justly does not mean I should speak to them in the same authoritative manner, but rather I should treat them with the kindness I am asking they provide to others.

Do this in your journal for each of the aspects we are to portray as a person of Christ.

Monday: Focus on Ephesians 4:1-6 “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

Read this passage and think about why we are to behave in the characteristic of humility and gentleness, patience, bearing one with another in love, and being eager to maintain the unity of the  Spirit in the bond of peace.

In your journal today write the reasons you think it is imperative to behave in the ways mentioned above.

Tuesday: Focus on Ephesians 4:7-16 “But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it says,
            ‘When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
            and he gave gifts to men.’
(In saying, ‘He ascended,’ what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”

This passage indicates that we are all given a special gift  for a certain purpose, and we are to use that gift to build up His kingdom. One point I want to make is that we must remember that we were not given our special gift to build up ourselves. Read over the passage and begin praying over the gift God has bestowed upon you. You may also want to read from Romans 12 and I Corinthians 12 to find a complete listing of the Spiritual Gifts.

Romans 12                  1 Corinthians 12
exhortation                  administration
giving                           apostle
leadership                   discernment
mercy                           faith
prophecy                     healings
service                         helps
teaching                       knowledge
                                      tongues interpretation

Write that gift in your journal and explain how you know that is your gift and how you have been using that gift.

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