Over the last few weeks I have been doing my morning devotions in the Book of Ephesians. I have always loved Ephesians since I started to read it nearly 30 years ago.
Ephesians to me is in two main parts. The first part talks about what we have in Christ and the second part tells us how we should live as a result. The Good News Bible has a good introduction…
Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians is concerned first of all with “God’s plan . . . to bring all creation together, everything in heaven and on earth, with Christ as head” (1:10). It is also an appeal to God’s people to live out the meaning of this great plan for the unity of the whole human race through oneness with Jesus Christ.
In the first part of Ephesians the writer develops the theme of unity by speaking of the way in which God the Father has chosen his people, how they are forgiven and set free from their sins through Jesus Christ the Son, and how God’s great promise is guaranteed by the Holy Spirit. In the second part he appeals to the readers to live in such a way that their oneness in Christ may become real in their life together.
Several figures of speech are used to show the oneness of God’s people in union with Christ: the church is like a body, with Christ as the head; or like a building, with Christ as the cornerstone; or like a wife, with Christ as the husband. This letter rises to greater heights of expression as the writer is moved by the thought of God’s grace in Christ. Everything is seen in the light of Christ’s love, sacrifice, forgiveness, grace, and purity.
Over the next few weeks I will share some of my reflections I found in my devotions. These reflections will form a basis for a series of sermons in the coming months.
Our sermon from today is now online. It was titled, “Being a servant focused Christian”.
Today we looked at the idea of being a servant focused Christian. We saw some quotes from famous Christians, we looked at what the Bible said about serving and we finished with the crowns awarded for faithful service.
- We were created for good works – Ephesians 2:10
- We need to serve God with all of our hearts – Colossians 3:23-24
- We need to see the secret to greatness is servant-hood – Mark 10:43-44
- We all rely on each other so we all have a part to play – Romans 12:4-5
- We should use our gifts and talents to serve one another – 1 Peter 4:10
We also looked at the five crowns for service – the crown of life, the incorruptible crown, the crown of righteousness, the crown of glory and the crown of exultation or rejoicing.
You can find the full text here.
“When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.” Psalms 94:19 NLT
Sometimes when things go wrong it is easy to doubt. We doubt God, doubt the future, we even doubt ourselves. In these times we can look to God. He is the one who gives us comfort. He is the one who renews our hope and joy.
If doubts fill your mind today why not pray with me…
Dear God, help me today in my doubts and fears. I pray that You will comfort me. Please renew my faith, hope and cheer. Help me to always look to You each day. Amen.
Hello all, my sermon from Sunday is now online. We looked at seven ways God helps us through suffering. The main points were as follows…
- God helps us to understand why there is suffering
- God is our refuge who promises to help
- God promises to never leave us during our suffering
- God assures us that our suffering has purpose
- God understands our suffering
- God promises to give us strength
- God promises that our suffering will not last forever
We can’t escape suffering, but God can help us make sense of it, comfort us and help us through. The red-letter words of Jesus from John 16:33 can be our comfort…
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
The full text can be found here. As there was some very personal testimonial stories, it was not recorded.