By: Daniel Torres
A Devotional on the Book of Ephesians
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All done...not so much!
Did you ever consider that getting together with other believers is an integral part of your personal growth and sanctification? That's what Paul is saying in this passage.
Last week at our gathering we spoke about how through Jesus we are all one. Regardless of race, nationality, or background, we are all united at the foot of the cross. Before God we all have one thing in common. We're sinners. And in Christ we all share another thing in common. We're forgiven.
This week we spoke about how this oneness creates a new dynamic. It's one of family and kinship. Because of this family dynamic, we all need each other. I need you. You need me. We need each other.
In what ways do we help each other grow? Glad you asked! Here are some ways we help each other grow. It's not an exhaustive list. I'm sure you can even add some other benefits. But it's a good start...
Here's the question however. If it's so beneficial for us to get together, and it's even backed up in Scripture, why are there so many "Lone Ranger Christians?" There's probably many reasons. Let me tell you a few.
Some people are just really good at creating excuses. Why is it that when it's time to do something as beneficial and necessary as gathering with God's people, all of a sudden we notice the laundry that needs to get done, or the food shopping we must do, or the tires that need to get rotated, etc.
The truth is that these are just a bunch of excuses and could easily be resolved with better time management. If gathering with each other is truly a priority and as essential as Paul says it is, then we must learn to push through those excuses and be better managers of our time.
Some are just lazy. Maybe they're good intentioned and even set the alarm, only to hit the snooze button over and over again. For the lazy person, sometimes it's just too tempting to kick off the fuzzy slippers, put down the remote, and brush their teeth.
But just like that same temptation is very real when you have to head to work, go to school, or whatever other important responsibility, you have to push through for what's important.
Some simply do not care. They believe they can live out their Christianity solo. After all, who needs other people? Nowadays, all you need is an internet connection and a smartphone and you have access to world class communicators, Grammy award winning worship, and devotionals from the Bible App.
The problem is that you have an incomplete diet. Personal worship, devotionals, and learning from great Bible teachers are all great ways grow and mature spiritually, but it's not complete. Paul says that we actually need each other grow. This means that corporately we play an important role in each others maturation and sanctification.
We are better together. We were designed for relationship. Deep down within each of us is a desire to be needed and known. From the bubbliest social butterfly, to the shyest introvert, we have a need for relationship.
So here's my challenge. Do you have a family of believers which you regularly do life with? A community that corporately worships and sits under the teaching of God's word? A place to practice the one another's of Scripture?
If you don't, I'd love to invite you to Swerve. We're not perfect in no way, shape, or form. We've just got our eyes fixed on the One who is.
By: Steven Berrios
A Devotional on the book of Ephesians
This morning I woke up the “Birthday Man”. This is what my five year old daughter has been calling me all week leading up to today, my birthday. Birthdays are a great reminder that we should often reflect on the blessings of life.
As I reflected this morning, I was literally brought to tears with the arm's of my children around me. As the day's routines picked up around the house, so did the challenges. This included homework getting done, dinner being prepared and the adventure of getting my two year old son to eat his food before getting his juice. Yet after it all I sit back and write with praise on my lips. You see our blogs are written to keep things real and apply the scriptures to our everyday lives. I'm not going to give anyone an unrealistic picture here. All of our days come with their own set of challenges.
But none of it ever changes the fact that a life made alive in Christ is a blessed life. It's blessed not because our marriages are without its challenges, our children are perfect or our jobs are stress-free. It's blessed because of the truths that we've been reading in the book of Ephesians as a church. Because of the death of Christ on the cross, we have been adopted into the family of God. Because
of Gods great love and rich mercy, we have been chosen by God and because of His power we have been made alive.
In Ephesians 2:10, we are told the remarkable truth that we are God's workmanship. But what does that mean exactly? It means that you are God's great masterpiece. Not your own masterpiece, you belong to God. You are His workmanship. That above any of the challenges, hardships and struggles should cause us to praise Him in the midst of it all. Why? Being “His workmanship” also means that He is at work in you and that the work He is doing in you has purpose. Nothing that God does is without purpose. He is working in you something beautiful. You are His beautiful work of art. You might not see that today. But reflect for a moment on all that He has blessed you with and give Him thanks.
PAUSE AND REFLECT
He has prepared just for you what He has given you to do. What is it today that He has prepared for you? How can you make much of Jesus in your family, workplace, in your parenting, in your marriages, friendships, in your neighborhood and in your church?
By: Steven Berrios
A Devotional on the book of Ephesians
But God! These two words together could be two of the most powerful words in all of Scripture. We could read the two words together in several different places throughout the Bible. Here are just a few:
In Ephesians 2:1-3, Paul hammers who we are before Christ. He reminds us all that before Christ, we are dead in our trespasses and sins. He reminds us that we are by nature children of wrath. He reminds us that we have an enemy in the world, in Satan and in ourselves.
BUT GOD! It was God, because of His rich mercy and great love, who made us alive with Christ. In ourselves we were completely hopeless. But that was forever changed with “but God”. It was His redemptive plan to display His rich mercy and great love in giving us His one and only Son to die in our place. All Praise be to God.
In reflection today, spend a few moments reading over Ephesians 2:1-5. Give Him thanks that He chose to love on you.
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