Friday, March 12, 2010

Ephesians 4

In Ephesians 4, Paul is writing a letter to the church. (Seems like that's all that man ever did...babysit the hard-headed, stiff-neck church.) He is talking about walking a life that is worthy of our calling to live a holy and righteous life. Some of the things that stand out to me in this chapter is:
  • Verse 2: be humble, unselfish and gentle; be patient and love people right where they are - right through all of their faults. I fail miserably at this. I'm better than I used to be, but I've still got a lot of work to do. And WHO AM I that I would lay the hammer down on someone out of anger or walk away from a relationship when they seem "jacked up"? I know there are plenty of folks that should have and sometimes still want to throw their hands up in the air on me.
  • Verse 3: shows me that peace and unity don't come easily and naturally outside of the Holy Spirit. He tells us to guard the harmony and oneness. This means that they are the very things the enemy attacks in hopes of stopping the Body of Christ. Guarding it also means that I should treasure it and understand that it is valuable. You don't guard your trash, do you? No, you guard your valuables. After all, a house (or body) divided against itself will fall. The next several verses help support this.
  • Verse 11: lists the gifts that the Lord gives. He appoints them to certain men(women). (Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) ALL of these people are needed in order for the saints to be fully equipped and perfected. Ther are all equally important. The word says that there in no honor for a prophet in his own home...why is that? Why are we so shallow that we can't give honor to the people that God has obviously given these gifts to?
  • Verse 13: is a great reminder that Christ is the standard that we are to measure ourselves against. Everything and everyone else falls short in stature. So why do I still sometimes try to measure my worth, giftings and abilities against what I see in someone else?
  • Verse 14: reminds me that I must be a woman of the Word so I will know truth (truth that can only come thru Christ, since He is the Truth) and not fall for wayward teachings. These can even come from within the Body of Christ. I've got to be a woman of the Word!
  • Verse 16: shows me that we are all part of a Body that is so intricately women together that every aspect of me (that God gave me) fits within His plan for His Body. Wow - ponder that for a second! In Him, there's no such thing as accidents or coincidence. He did not create or condone my sin, but He sure uses it to grow and mature the Body of Christ! He takes that which was intended for death and destruction and uses it for life and restoration! Can Buddah do that? Oh wait, he's dead!
  • Verse 18: shows that the world's alienation from Him and their ignorance of Him is all a choice. It is willful blindness and self-banishing. They find it far easier to live through their fleshly desires and ignore God.
  • Verse 20-22: reminds us that if we've really accepted Him as the Truth, we are to no longer live that type of life.
  • Verse 23: Constantly, let me say it again...Constantly renew your mind and put on the new holy and righteous nature of God. "Put on" tells me it doesn't come naturally. It's a choice and requires action on my part.
  • Verse 25-28: talks about sins: lying, anger, stealing - don't give the enemy a foothold into your life by participating in these sins. I use the "participating" because it is our choice to operate in these sins...
  • Verse 29: "worthless talk" stood out to me. Well, what does God consider to be "of worth"? The scripture goes on to tell us - "But only such speech as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others." Ouch! My speech is often careless and worthless...yuck!
  • Verse 30: This struck me how in this laundry list of sins, "do not grieve the Holy Spirit" shows up. Yes, these sins obviously grieve the Spirit BUT when we grieve Him by putting Him in a box and limiting His power and access in lives...when we ignore is sin as well!

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