Sept. 4 – (Eph. 4:7-16) Eph. 4:7-16 ~ Some diversity exists with the unity Paul emphasizes in the previous verses. What is this diversity (vv. 7, 11)?
Why does God give some believers the leadership gifts mentioned in verses 11-12?
The list is not exhaustive. Elsewhere Paul adds others. But these five were crucial to the establishment of the first generation of the church. It’s not the specific gift that matters; it’s using the gift that’s important. What are the results of using the ministry gifts God gives us (vv. 13-16)?
Based on the images Paul uses in verse 14, what seems to have been the main obstacles to his readers’ faith in Jesus? How can our church grow toward maturity? How can you use the gifts God has given you to enable this to take place?
Sept. 5 – (Eph. 4:17-31) How does Paul describe the pagan mind and heart (vv. 17-18)? What behavior resulted from that thinking (v.19)? How is that thinking and behavior like our culture today?
In contrast, what teaching did the believers receive (vv. 20-24)? How can we be “renewed in the spirit of our mind” (v.23)?
I think 4:25-32 is Christian living 101. I want to list what I see in these verses and what they mean to me, to remind myself these are some basics I need to remember:
- Speak the truth with your neighbor. (I think it is referring to fellow Christians. Gossip will not be a part of this.)
- Be angry, and do not sin. (Do not go to a place of lethargy about sin in a person’s life just to prevent anger. Anger is pointed at the sin in my and others’ life, not at the person.)
- Don’t steal. (Not even a pen at work or when a cashier gives you the wrong change. How about stealing someone’s integrity by gossip and slander?)
- Work. (So you have enough, plus some to give to others in need.)
- Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth. (All we say should be building someone up…period. It shows grace!)
- Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit. (Saying God said…when He didn’t...)
- Put away bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking (with all malice)
“BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER, TENDERHEARTED, FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER, EVEN AS GOD IN CHRIST FORGAVE YOU!”
Okay, this is a list we will be working on not just today, but for our life time. But let’s get started! Remember… How do you eat an elephant? ONE BITE AT A TIME!!!
Sept. 6 – (Eph. 5:1-10) One of the best ways to keep weeds out of your garden is to keep sturdy plants (whether vegetables, flowers, or shrubs) growing. If you don’t want your mind and heart to go wandering off in the realms of darkness, one of the best ways is to keep it well stocked with wise and thankful themes (in song or scripture). Then as your day progresses and situations arise, your mind and emotions will bring forth His Mind and Will and not the worlds! Selah
Sept. 7 – (Eph. 5:11-21) What should our attitude be toward “the works of darkness” (v. 11)? What are some works of darkness we encounter on a regular basis? How can we expose those works of darkness to the light, or truth (vv. 12-14)? What commands does Paul give for how believers are to conduct themselves (vv. 15-20)? What is one practical way you can live out each of Paul’s commands?
Sept. 8 – (Eph. 5:22-33) Verses 22-24 are only for wives…. or is it? We are all the bride of Christ so…. yes, it applies to EVERY Christian! This is a high calling for all Christians but …” We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! As we see things through Western eyes, how does the word “submission” become distorted? Continue to ask the Lord for His ways.
Sept. 9 – (Eph. 6:1-9) What does it mean for children to obey and honor their parents? How do fathers provoke their children to wrath? Is it only through abuse (emotional or physical)? Is it possible that lack of discipline (God’s kind) could provoke wrath just as much? Selah!
Paul could no more envision a world without slavery than you or I could envision a world without electricity to run all our electronics and lights. (This is an example of what we see, is so limited by our time and space but shows how limitless God is!) I think if Paul were writing today he might be talking about employers and employees. See if you can understand his heart on this subject through those definitions.
Sept. 10 – (Eph. 6:10-24) Put on the whole armor of Christ! As you name the different pieces of armor, apply them to the needs you have (or had) today and thank God for the specific use of each piece!
Who was Tychicus “in the Lord”? Why was it important for Paul to send him?
Why do you think Paul emphasizes peace in his closing greeting? Can you have peace without love and faith in our one true God? I don’t think so!!!