Ephesians

True Blue

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Ending Gossip in Our Life-follow up to, “Not Sometimes, But Always”, May 16, 2017.

Spreading rumors about other people exposes little about their true nature but reveals quite a lot about the speaker’s own character.  Such behavior shows a willingness to sin against the Lord by causing harm to someone else.  Until a gossiping believer confronts his sin, he can’t progress toward becoming the person God wants him to be.

Confession is the first step in dealing with sinful speech.  This should be followed by repentance-the pledge to turn away from opportunities to talk about others.  A useful scripture for a redeemed gossip to pray daily is Psalm 141:3:  “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.”

Next, be on guard against temptation.  Believers have a responsibility to set themselves apart from gossip in order to keep their thoughts and words pleasing to God.  Being in the presence of one who spreads stories can tempt us to participate.  In a situation where rumors are being shared, the best course of action is to speak out against the practice and then leave.

Finally, instead of talking about someone, it’s wise to pray for that person.  Getting into this habit will help train the mind to replace sinful patterns with God-pleasing ways.  The Bible teaches us to encourage and comfort each other, and prayer is a good way to obey that instruction 1 Thess. 5:11, 14).

A gossiping Christian dishonors God’s name-and his own.  Instead of using words that disparage and injure, choose to speak well of everyone.  In so doing, you will bring glory to the Lord.

Commentary from the In Touch Devotional by Charles Stanley, May 9, 2017.

Photo credit:  T. Link

Stop Giving Up On People

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Consider the command in Ephesians 4:32 to be kind to one another, tenderhearted, and forgiving.  When we carry resentment in our hearts, it’s like a little pocket of poison that pulls down our personalities and sours our spirits.  But when we’re kind and pleasant, it lightens our burdens and brightens our days-not to mention what it does for others.

God knows how we best function-He created us-and He’s an expert on the care of the soul.  Obedience not only glorifies Him, it blesses our lives.

Commentary from David Jeremiah’s Pathways Devotional, May 10.

For All

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The parable of the Good Samaritan helping the injured Jew is widely accepted as an illustration of how we are to treat others who are in need (Luke 10:25-37).  There is another side to it, however, a side which becomes clear when you learn that Jews and Samaritans were taught to despise each other and that Jesus was telling this parable to a Jewish audience.  Hearing their teacher tell them to “Go and do likewise,” regardless of cultural differences, was overwhelming for them.  In effect, Jesus was trying to open the eyes of their hearts so they could see all human beings as He saw them: in need of a Savior.

Throughout history, the good news of the Gospel has broken down the walls of separation between races and religions because of the one thing we all have in common:  the need for salvation.  The Bible tells us that “there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:22b-23).

Everyone, regardless of race, religion, or creed shares the same title of sinner; and because of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, everyone who believes in Him can share the same glorious title of forgiven.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…U.S. Declaration of Independence.

But now in Christ Jesus

you who once were far off

have been brought near

by the blood of Christ.

Ephesians 2:13

Commentary from Pathways Devotional, April 30, by David Jeremiah.

The Last Enemy

He demonstrated [this power] in the

Messiah by raising Him from the dead

and seating Him at His right hand

in the heavens-

far above every ruler and authority,

power and dominion,

and every title given,

not only in this age

but also in the one to come.

Ephesians 1:20-21

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Everything exposed by the light is made clear,

for what makes everything clear

is light.

Therefore it is said:

Get up, sleeper,

and rise up from the dead,

and the Messiah will shine on you.

Ephesians 5:14

Eliminate

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I like to use the word believer when talking about God’s children, as it specifically refers to those who have trusted Jesus Christ as Savior.  That is a much smaller population than those who label themselves as “Christian.”  But did you know that even fewer people could rightly be called “followers”?  These are the people who passionately pursue the Lord’s will in all things.

Are you a believer or a follower?  Trusting in Jesus Christ is fundamental, but doing so is the first step, not the culmination, of a person’s faith.  Our primary purpose is to take a life-long journey following in the Lord’s footsteps, honoring Him with our actions and speech, and always increasing in biblical wisdom.

A follower’s life is summed up in the phrase complete obedience.  In fact, Jesus defined true Christians as those who prove their love for Him by keeping His word (John 14:23).  Followers know, eternity begins now.

Commentary from Charles Stanley, In Touch devotional, October 14, 2016.