Posts Tagged With: Ephesians

Living Sacrifice

ID-10027894 (1)

Romans 12:1

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

According to Merriam-Webster, there are three definitions for the word surrender:

  • to agree to stop fighting, hiding, resisting, etc., because you know that you will not win or succeed
  • to give the control or use of (something) to someone else
  • to allow something (such as a habit or desire) to influence or control you

Part of our sanctification process, becoming more Christ-like ,requires surrender. It is a surrendering of our old ways of the flesh for the new ways of the Spirit. It is surrendering our will for His, our desires for His, our plans for His.

Ephesians 5:16

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

In looking at what we are to surrender in light of the definition, we agree to stop fighting with the Lord’s desires, will and plans for our lives because we know we cannot succeed without Him. We need the empowerment of His Spirit working in and through us if we are going to live the lives He created us to live.

Surrender means giving up control to the Lord. This may be the hardest part for us because we like to be in control. This surrendering to the Lord is so we can allow His spirit to influence our thoughts, words and actions.

Surrendering our lives to the Lord isn’t a one time thing, it is something we have to do minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. It is a choice to follow His way our our own. Will you continually surrender yourself to the Lord? Imagine the victories and success you might experience in all aspects of your life if you were ruled and empowered by the Lord rather than yourself!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Light in the Darkness



John 8:12

12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Ephesians 5:8

8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 

Jesus tells us that He is the light of the world and as His followers, we are to be light in the world. When you look at the photo above you are able to see the dark, black night sky, some clouds and the moon. However, if the moon wasn’t there lighting up the sky, the clouds would not be able to be seen at all.

Just as the moon lit up the sky and revealed the clouds, when the light of Christ shines in our lives, we are able to see things that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to see. Often we see people and circumstances from our own perspectives. However, when we rely on the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us, He reveals things from God’s perspective. Suddenly we see people and situations differently.

Instead of seeing a person who cut us off as we drove down the road, we see a person who may be on the way to the hospital to visit a loved one or someone who is desperate to get somewhere to help someone else. Our knowledge of the situation may not have changed but instead of reacting in road rage, we have the choice to simply choose to see that they clearly need to get somewhere and pray they arrive safely.

Instead of seeing the clerk at the store who is rude to us as someone who doesn’t want to help us, we see them as someone who is dealing with some difficult situations in his/her life. The clerk may be dealing with an elderly parent, or marital or financial problems. We may not know what is going on with the clerk, but we can choose to pray for him/her and whatever is going on in his/her life. 

The way we choose to react and speak and treat others shows whether or not we are walking as children of the light. We are called to walk as children of the light and in doing so we are to bring Christ to our relationships and circumstances. The Holy Spirit may reveal to us that someone is suffering and that is why they are behaving the way they are. It is a call to prayer, not a call to judgment. When we choose to pray for others rather than judging them, we speak to them differently and treat them differently. 

Think back over your past week, were you walking in judgment or light? Were you allowing the Lord to help you shine the light of Christ into your relationships and circumstances? What relationship do you need to reevaluate and try to see as a child of God rather than a child of the world? What circumstances do you find yourself facing that you need to allow the Holy Spirit to help you shine the light of Christ into? We have tremendous power as children of God to shine His light into our relationships and circumstances, but the choice is ours. Will you shine His light today? You never know what He may reveal to you and what a difference you make make in the life of someone else!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Is your Prayer Constant, Intense and Unselfish?


Today we will wrap up our study of Ephesians and look at Paul’s final words on prayer.

Ephesians 6:18-20

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

These verses immediately follow the passage on the armor of God and it is connected by the word ‘and’. William Barclay gives the best description of this passage. “Finally, Paul comes to the greatest weapon of all – and that is prayer. We must note three things that he says about prayer. (a) It must be constant. Our tendency is so often to pray only in the great crises of life; but it is from daily prayer that the Christian will find daily strength. (b) It must be intense. Limp prayer never got a man anywhere. Prayer demands the concentration of every faculty upon God. (c) It must be unselfish. The Jews had a saying, “Let a man unite himself with the community in his prayers.’ I think that often our prayers are too much for ourselves and too little for others. We must learn to pray as much for others and with others as for ourselves.”

“Finally, Paul asks for the prayers of his friends for himself. And he asks not for comfort or for peace but that he may yet be allowed to proclaim God’s secret, that his love is for all men. We do well to remember that every Christian leader and every Christian preacher needs his people to uphold his hands in prayer.”

Ephesians 6:21-24

21 Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing. 22 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you.

23 Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.

Paul tells the people He is sending someone else who will encourage them in their faith. He leaves them with the peace, love and undying love of Christ.

Which area do you need to bolster your prayer – its constancy, intensity or selflessness? Are you upholding you church leaders and pastors in prayer? As we approach the weekend, spend some time in prayer for your church community and its leaders. As we leave our study of Ephesians, I pray you have grown in your faith and pray you experience God’s peace, grace and undying love in your life and show it to those around you!


Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Armor of God


Let’s take a look at the armor of God.

Ephesians 6:14-15

14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 

The first piece of the armor of God is the belt of truth. “The belt tied tightly around the waist indicated at the soldier was prepared for action.”1 The truth we are to tie around our waists is the truth of the gospel. We cannot be ready for battle until we know and understand the truth of the gospel. Who well do you know the truth of the gospel?

The second piece of armor is the breastplate of righteousness. It “covered the body from the neck to the thighs. It was known as a heart protector. In this context righteousness stands for uprightness and integrity of character. Our righteousness comes from Christ, it is not because of what we do but because of what He has done for us. Our hearts are to be protected by knowing where our righteousness comes from and wanting to live lives of integrity because of it.

The next piece of armor is the readiness of our feet. We are to be ready to share the gospel of piece and take it out to the world. When we understand the peace that comes form Christ, we can’t help but want to share it with others. Who have you shared the gospel with lately?

Ephesians 6:16-17

16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

When we face temptations from the enemy, it is our shield of faith that will extinguish them. We have to be firmly rooted in our faith and know how God wants us to live our lives and choose to follow His plans not our own or those we may be tempted to follow. When temptations come we can rely on our faith to help us withstand the temptations. The next piece of armor is the helmet of salvation. “‘Take’ is really receive or accept (dexasthe). The previous items were laid out for the soldier to pick up. The helmet and sword would be handed him by an attendant or by his armorbearer. The verb is appropriate to the ‘giveness’ of salvation.”

The final piece of armor is also the only offensive weapon. The word of God is the only offensive weapon we need. When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert, He responded to each temptation with a word from God. He did not argue or try to explain his position, He simply stated the word of God. When we face temptations and challenges, being able to recall Scripture is what will help us overcome and persevere. This is why it is so important for us to know the word of God for ourselves and even memorize it. Our sword won’t be very effective if we can’t recall any of God’s word in our times of trouble.

Paul calls for us to put on the full armor of God. Which part of the armor are you lacking today? What do you use as an offensive weapon? How sharp is your sword; how well do you know the word of God?



Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Stand Firm


Today we look at what Paul says we are to do in battle with the enemy.

Ephesians 6:10-13

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  

Paul starts off this passage reminding us of where our strength comes from. Our strength comes from the Lord. When it comes to the devil, we must stand firm and rely on the strength the Lord provides us. Paul is speaking about struggles we have with the enemy. He says these struggles are not with people, but with the powers of evil. In order to battle evil, we must arm ourselves with the armor of God.

Paul talked earlier in Ephesians about these evil powers that we have to deal with on earth. It is hard for us to understand evil and the battles that take place outside of our sight and experience. However, Paul makes it clear that they exist. The focus of this passage is not us seeking out evil in order to battle it. Our job is to stand firm and rely on God’s power working in and through us.

In order for us to stand firm, we must know what God’s Word says, have an intimate relationship with Him and be connected to a body of believers. I think a lot of people put the focus of this passage on evil rather than the Lord and our job to be able to stand firm. To stand firm, we must know what God’s Word says for ourselves so we cannot be deceived by false teaching. Knowing what God says about how we are to live our lives and what is important to HIm will help us not be easily swayed by what others say and do. We need to spend time in prayer to know what God has to say about our lives. Being connected to a body of believers will help encourage, teach, convict and hold us accountable.

How well are you able to stand firm? Do you need to read, study and meditate on God’s Word more to be able to hold your ground? Would you benefit from being part of a body of believers? Being part of a body of believers means more than attending church on Sunday, it means really plugging in and serving. Are you plugged in to a community of faith and are you serving?

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Create a free website or blog at