Walking Through Ephesians

Walking Through Ephesians

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Walking Through Ephesians - Day 13

Friday, March 01, 2024

Ephesians 6:10-24

Video games like Call of Duty or Halo are not real. They mimic real battles and real enemies. The spiritual conflict that we are in is not a spiritual video game, it is heart to heart combat with the forces of evil.  

The battle in which we are engaged takes preparation. Soldiers quickly learn that any person who is going to go into military conflict must be very, very clear about three things. If these three things are not clear in his or her mind, their mission is bound to fail.  Number one, they have got to be able to identify the enemy. Number two, they’ve got to know exactly what they are supposed to do. Number three, they must be fully acquainted with their equipment and their weapons and know how to use them.  

If we don’t know the enemy, and we don’t know what we are supposed to do, and we can’t use our weapons, we’re no good as a soldier, and we will be defeated! It is an understatement to say, our adversary is formidable. We need the power and strength of the Lord to be able to stand against him. The soldier of Christ is to “Stand!”  A soldier doesn’t fight very good sitting in the middle of the battlefield. The assignment is for those who are willing to take a stand, not for those who passively sit.

Soldiers of Christ are to stand strong (Eph. 6:10). It’s not our strength. It’s not our intellect, or our moral fortitude that’s going to win the battle against the evil one. We will only win the battle when we realize that we are totally dependent upon God. Put on “the whole armor of God.” It’s His armor. He gives it to us. We are totally defenseless against the evil one without what God gives us. If we are going to stand strong, it’s in what He has done for us. Stand strong in His mighty power.  

Also, we are to stand against the wiles of the devil. We must recognize the devises of the devil and expose them for the lie that they are by shining the light of truth.  As soldiers of Christ, our task is not just to hold our ground, but to advance into the territory of the enemy and expose the lies he uses that is killing people.

Further, we stand alert in prayer. Prayer is a powerful part of our standing. It gives us the boldness to live and speak as we ought. If the battle is in the spiritual realm, if it’s a battle for the mind, then we need a spiritual answer. That’s what prayer provides.  

Finally, stand in love. We stand against the evil one, persistently to the end, dressed in the armor of God, and constant in prayer, because we are standing, first and foremost in love. “Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.” (Ephesians 6:24).  When we’re fighting an evil one who’s motive is hatred, whose method is deception, we counter that by loving the Lord Jesus Christ with all sincerity.  The only way we will win the war is if we love the One we are fighting for.  


Walking Through Ephesians - Day 12

Wednesday, February 28, 2024


It all starts at home. The home is an important place. It’s the place where the mask comes off and people see us for who we truly are. We can put on a good face in public, but at home our true colors show. At home the first impressions are made – about God, Jesus, the Bible, the church, about responsibilities, respect, honesty, authority – these truths are first taught and seen in the home.

Our homes matter to God. The Psalmist wrote: “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain” (PSALM 127:1). God has a plan for our homes. God has a plan about man and woman - what makes a man a man, what makes a woman a woman. God has a plan for marriage (roles and expectations). God has a plan for our children (how to raise them to know and love the Lord, to respect authority, to live holy lives). At times this plan is communicated through straightforward commands. At times this plan is shown through the lives of those recorded in Scripture.

There’s an excellent glimpse of God’s blueprint for the home in Ephesians 6:1-4. Here Paul lists expectations for children to their parents, and for parents toward their children.

What caught my attention this time reading was the emphasis in verse 1 - Children are told to honor their parents. One of the compelling reasons to keep this command is that it produces a number of blessings in our lives. Paul calls the 5th commandment the first commandment “with a promise” (EPH 6:1). What’s the promise/blessing associated with obeying this command?

§  When parents are honored long life is the result – “…that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” The principle application of this is to the Israelites. If they would honor their parents, they would live godly lives and the Lord would allow them to live long in the land of promise. But when they started to abuse their parents they would lose the land. Today’s application sounds like this, “As the family goes, so goes the nation.” Another application would be that if a child is attentive to the instruction of his or her parents they will avoid many of the sinful ways of the world that prematurely end one’s life

§  When parents are honored a good life is the result – quantity of days is coupled with quality of days when Moses gave the 5th commandment in DEUT 5:16. A life that begins and continues with honoring parents results in the good life, a life where things go well with you. When parents are honored a child will be able to steer clear of many of the sinful ways that bring sorrow and suffering, and will be guided in the right way – the way of peace and truth -the way that is right (EPH 6:1)

§  When parents are honored the Lord is pleased – that’s what Paul established in COL 3:20. When parents give instructions, guidelines, expectations and they are kept, children are not merely obeying their parents – they are ultimately obeying the Lord. Children are to obey their parents because they are their parents, and because the Lord expects it. Blessings and pleasing of the Lord works the same way.

§  When parents are honored you may expect to be honored yourself – one reason why children may show so little respect for their parents today is because they do not see it modeled in their parents. But, most likely, you can count on being treated in jus the same way your children saw you treat your parents.

While the command doesn’t require it – “honor your parents if they are honorable” – if we set the example for our children, they will have a better chance of following in our footsteps, of choosing the honorable path in life, than not. The righteous who walks in his integrity-- blessed are his children after him! (PV 20:7)

What kind of example should we set for our children? 

§  Deal fairly with them – they are children. Don’t demand perfection. Temper your temper with forgiveness and grace.

§  Enfold the word of God – we might think that to teach the word of God we need those formal moments around the table with the Bible opened (and those are important) - And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (DEUT 6:6-7) – through the day, along the way… I want to take this role seriously – I am a teacher of God to my children. I need to speak about God throughout the day – pointing to Him as often as I can. Through creation, through current events. In sports – life is bigger than sports – look for ways to connect with people who are disconnected with God – be a good sport, be honest, be a good neighbor – be like Jesus. I want to model God to my children – to lead and point the way with kindness and compassion – to be serious about the things that matter the most – for them to see me in the Word and in prayer – because I do them naturally everyday. To show them what it means to be a spouse, to be a worker, to be a worshipper, to be part of this local church in my actions and my words.

§  To enjoy the journey – to let them be children, to enjoy the life that God gave us – to be accessible, a listening ear, present and available to my children

§  To lay the foundation of love – they will never wonder – even in bad days – they will know through my words and actions that I love them unconditionally, always.

“Loving God, You have given us the precious gift of our families, our spouses, our children, gifts we are so indebted to You for – gifts that leave us feeling so undeserving of such incredible blessings. In all the times we feel inadequate in our roles, help us to find the comfort and strength in Your words to continue on, and to lead our families through our words and examples close to You. Please bless our homes, our spouses, and our children, that we live this life in love together, and enjoy an eternity at home with You, our wonderful Father.”

Walking Through Ephesians - Day 11

Monday, February 26, 2024

Ephesians 5:22-33 

You’re a guy going through his daily Bible reading and stumble upon Ephesians 5:22, “Wives, submit to your own husbands.” As a husband, naturally joy ensues. “I just knew I am always right! The Bible affirms it!” Alright, alright, pump the breaks for a minute. Something sounds a little out of sync.

In the following verses Paul sheds some major light on what the roles of husband and wife are. If you’re the elated guy in the previous paragraph, take note of what Paul says in verse 25 about husbands loving their wives. It would have been easier if Paul had just left it there. Love them. That’s all. Just love them. Paul could have let us decide to love our wives however we husbands saw fit. Of course, Paul isn’t that easy on us.

            Paul says that husbands need to love their wives like Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. Later Paul states husbands should cherish their wives like their own flesh and like Christ does the church. Talk about a high calling. We are talking about self-sacrificial love. Love that doesn’t do what we want, but what our wives need. Love that seeks to understand our wives, not control them. Love that seeks to help our wives, not be served. Maybe some other words from Paul would be helpful here. “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way.” Husbands can and should fill their role as the head of the family without always insisting on their own way. Husbands love like Jesus.

            Now back to the wives for a moment. The Jesus analogy cuts both ways. Wives are told to submit to their husbands as to the Lord. That’s always easy, right? I’ve never known anyone that had trouble submitting to Jesus (said no one ever). Despite all the things Christ has done for us, submission can still be difficult. Is it any surprise it is difficult submitting to a husband sometimes?  The idea of submission inherently means it’s not easy. You have your own will, but you give that up by way of submission. Submission requires humility. It requires trust. In fact, it requires just what is required of husbands, self-sacrifice.

            Perhaps it would be easier if husbands always lived up to their calling. However, they don’t. Many times, husbands don’t act like Christ at all. So, if my husband isn’t living exactly like Christ, I’m off the hook, right? Wrong. Just like Paul didn’t go easy on the guys, he didn’t go easy on the gals either. Paul didn’t write for wives be submissive if your husband is like Christ. But Paul also didn’t write for husbands to be loving if their wives respected them. Paul wrote for wives to be submissive, and Paul also wrote for husband to be like Christ. They are individual commands, and they aren’t conditional on what the other spouse does.

            Here are a few truths that permeate scripture. One, God’s plan works. Two, people seem to always make a mess of it. The relationship between husband and wife, as designed by God, is the way things were meant to be. It’s an Eden like picture. Perfect. A husband that sacrificially loves and a wife that self-sacrificially submits. But we don’t live in Eden. Husbands can be jerks and wives can be disrespectful. This doesn’t mean that God’s plan doesn’t work, it simply means people sometimes make a mess of it.

            Paul has been writing in Ephesians about living the way God intended. Paul has given us the intention for marriages. It is a beautiful one. Submission is not something for men to enjoy and women to hate. Sacrificial love is not something for men to loath and women to take advantage of. God’s way isn’t always the easy way, but there is no doubt it is the right way. When husbands and wives live as God intended, it’s not out of sync, it brings beautiful harmony.

Walking Through Ephesians - Day 10

Friday, February 23, 2024

Ephesians 5:1-21

In the first part of Ephesians 5, Paul addresses God’s plan for our lifestyles.  God did not simply send Jesus to save us from our past sins, but to save us for a present way of life.  That way of life, that lifestyle, becomes abundantly clear. Because three times the apostle Paul uses the word “walk.”

As we walk, we need to be aware of the presence of light and darkness (Eph. 5:8). The concept of “light” in the Scripture has two aspects, a mental and a moral.  Since light reveals things as they are, light describes that which is true, genuine, transparent, and sincere. To live like light then, means to have a mind guided by the truth and a lifestyle rooted in holiness.  Conversely, to live in darkness is to live in the ignorance of the mind, deceived about the truth (4:18) and the sinfulness of the body (4:19).

Second, we need to be aware of the product of light and darkness. Darkness is unfruitful (Eph. 5:11). Nothing good comes from walking in darkness.  As the light of Christ begins to shine upon us, Paul says these fruits will become increasingly more evident in our lives. He writes, “the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth.”  We are to bear the fruit of goodness. Goodness describes a moral excellence that finds its full expression in the person of God.  “The Lord is good,” writes the Psalmists (Psalm 100:5).  Therefore, all that God does is good.  All that God says is good.  All that God wills is good.  When we are doing what God does, doing what God says, doing what God wills, we are bearing the fruit of goodness.

Third, we need to be aware of the practice of light and darkness. Light is not just something we are, but something we do—we “walk as children of light”.  It’s a lifestyle.  So, Paul says, “If you are a child of light you are going to do a couple of things that people in darkness will never do.”  First, we will learn what pleases the Lord. Then we will learn what displeases the Lord. Light seeks to please the Lord (Eph. 5;10). But light also exposes what displeases the Lord (Eph. 5;11).  Unmask the lie, the deception of sin. In fact, uncover sin so well that you don’t even take pleasure in talking about it. 

If we have a lifestyle based upon the love of God, we will be imitators of the Father’s love.  And if we have a lifestyle based upon the wrath of God, we will be those who carefully avoid that which merits His judgment.  And if we are those who are aware of the light of God, we will be those who seek to live transparently in the light of His truth.  And that leads to the fact that God’s plan for our lifestyle is that we will be wise to the will of God (Eph. 5:15-21). 

Walking Through Ephesians - Day 9

Wednesday, February 21, 2024


What does Christ look like? Do you think you could pick Him out in a crowd? How would you recognize Him? What would you look for?

 As we continue our walk through Ephesians, Paul ends the fourth chapter pointing to the image of Christ – not a picture of Jesus like the blue sash, long-haired Jesus we often see in children’s pictures. Here Paul is pointing to Christ through His people, those saved by the gospel, who are in the “likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (v. 23). The goal of God for His people is that we become more and more transformed into the image of Christ.

 The image of Christ we are called to imitate is very different from the example the world has set for us. That example took us down a dark and destructive path in life. But notice what Paul says in v. 20 – “You did not learn Christ in this way, if in deed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him just as truth is in Jesus.” To become more like Jesus, we don’t look to the world for that instruction and guidance. The “Jesus” they would suggest would be far different from the true Christ. If we want to become more like Jesus then we need to go to the school of Christ – to look to His words and example and imitate them.

 Paul describes what that looks like through this chapter. One walking in the example of Jesus:

§  Speaks the truth, not lies (v. 25)

§  Is in control of their anger, refusing to hold grudges (v. 26)

§  Doesn’t take from others but works hard – not just for themselves but for others (v. 28)

§  Doesn’t speak unwholesome words, but speaks words that give grace to the listener (v. 29)

§  Listens to and follows the wisdom of the Holy Spirit found in Scripture (v. 30)

§  Sets aside feelings of bitterness and wrath, controlling the angry tongue (v. 31)

§  Responds to pain and injury with kindness, a soft-heart that is willing to extend forgiveness (v. 32)

 Do you see Jesus when you look in the mirror? Do you see Him in your habits? In your thoughts? In your words? In your relationships? Perhaps the greater question is, “Do others see Jesus in you?” It doesn’t come overnight. And it doesn’t happen naturally. It takes work. It takes instruction. So take up the Word of God and let’s go back daily to the school of Christ!

 “Gracious Savior I thank You for the perfect example of Your wonderful Son. Help me to come to Your words daily and learn more of Him. Stamp His image on my heart and help me to daily strive to become, in word, deed, thought and heart more like my blessed Redeemer.”

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