The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson came out in the year 2000 as I was getting ready to begin high school. It was on the New York Times bestseller list and sold millions of copies. If my memory is accurate, the book was designed around the devotional practice of praying
In verse 32, we find a particular word that we first saw in the third chapter of Ephesians. Again, Paul refers to a “profound mystery” that has now been revealed. Last week, Pastor Shea said this about the “mystery” of the Gospel.
I’m convinced that passages like Ephesians 5:22-33 are some of the most easily misunderstood and misinterpreted passages in the Bible. We are looking at half of that passage today. We will read the second half tomorrow.
I am sure that you are aware that parents tend to repeat themselves. Often times that is driven by a child’s inability to listen, but that’s not always the reason for a parent’s repetition. Sometimes it’s simply something that is really important, an expression of love or a reminder to a child of their value to their parent.
I love Ephesians 5:14. We actually used this as a corporate prayer, which we read together, during the series we shared in the month of February focused on the Roots of our faith and our heritage as Methodists.
In the first chapter of John’s Gospel, he says this about Jesus: No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
Perhaps you have heard the phrase before, Honesty is always the best policy. If you take a moment to Google that, you will find a variety of articles affirming and denying this idea. Is the honest response always the appropriate response? What if being honest hurts another’s feelings?
Allen Iverson once famously used poor grammar to say, “We talking about practice!” He was a great point guard who played for the Philadelphia 76ers throughout the 1990’s and early 2000’s. He was getting questioned by reporters on why he missed a practice. He took offense to the questions in the press conference saying the game is all that matters and y’all got me here talking about practice!
Unity and maturity go hand in hand as the church is built up and attains the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. As a kid, I always thought growing up, which to me meant getting older, corresponded with becoming more mature. As an adult, I’ve learned that growing up doesn’t mean getting older. Growing up is about maturity.
Notice how Paul says he is a prisoner for the Lord. It is believed Paul is in prison in Rome when he writes this letter to the church in Ephesus. What puts Paul in prison is living the life he describes. Living a life worthy of the calling he received. Does your life resemble the loving Word of God that called you to administer God’s grace in the world?
As a staff, we met to pray for every young man and woman going through confirmation by name at the start of their journey. Then, we all picked names at random whom we each individually prayed for throughout their 10-week discipleship experience. Our prayer for the confirmands was a modified version of this prayer that Paul prays for the church in Ephesus.
Do you enjoy reading a good mystery book? Or watching a mystery show or movie? I remember growing up watching Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! In the show, Scooby, a Great Dane, Fred, Shaggy, Daphne, and Velma, all team up to investigate a mystery. Usually what appears to be a ghost or another kind of paranormal activity causes enough fear or harm in a town that warrants the investigation of the aforementioned team.
As a consequence of the cross of Christ, a new humanity is created. Every barrier is broken. There are no human conditions or limitations that can keep us from entering into fellowship with God as He has made a way for us all to be united with Him.
Today’s text is dense. If you find yourself confused, I promise you are not alone. We will be unpacking this text in great detail in our message this weekend. There is a great deal here that addresses the unique challenges and needs of the Christian community that is still in its formative stage in the first century.
I decided to look up the word intervention today. I don’t think I need one and I’m not planning at this time to participate in one. I looked it up because according to Ephesians 2:4, we have received one.