Category Archives: Ephesians

Hints of sexual immorality

“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.”  Ephesians 5:3.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Ephesians 5-6, and Psalm 119:1-80.

The key word in today’s verse is “hint.”

So many believers give themselves a pass in verses such as today’s, until they are confronted with “hint.”

We aren’t visiting brothels or sleeping around.  We’re good on this one, or are we?  Minus “hint,” I suspect that most of us are.

We must be confronted with this pesky verse (Matthew 5:28): “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Add that verse and even looking means something.  I think that is where the hinting part kicks in; we often look at things that expose us as being sexually immoral.

Those of us active on the internet are deluged by sidebars trying to entice us into sexually immoral places.  We have to click on them to get there…….we must NOT.

I have limited my TV viewing to sports, Hallmark, and occasional news.  That keeps me away from profanity but I am finding that the advertisements on sports are often worth avoiding.

The temptations are all around us.  Only with God dominating our lives can we have the resistance needed.

“Lord, help me to be clean before You.  Prick my conscience when I am tempted to venture into sinful places.   Whack me a good one, if I am in places I shouldn’t be in.  I love You, Father.  Guide me.  Direct me, I beg.”

Are you committing adultery with your eyes?

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Words, words!

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”  Ephesians 4:29.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Ephesians 1-4.

I am struck again by the Word of God!

The misuse of words is where I live, unfortunately.  Too often my words bring unhappiness.

The thought that my words are the overflow of my heart is even more disheartening.

I write so often about the need to be right with God.  I write it, but oh so often am loose from Him.  I can think that I’m close to Him but my words betray me.

The words I should be using, according to today’s verse, are supposed to “benefit” those who hear them.  That is a burden, for sure!

My words are to be a gift, something nice.  Something welcomed by those who hear them.  What a way to go I have on that one!

Those in my midst would surely be the beneficiaries of my getting this verse right.  This, however, does not just require a commitment to be better.  This requires a heart right with God that produces a Godly default mode when I am about to speak.

“Lord, thank You for loving me enough to instruct me.  To reveal to me the errors of my way.  I need to use Your Words to bless those who hear me.  Forgive me for putting coal in the stockings of those within earshot.  Cleanse my heart.  Fill me with You, I pray this day.”

My words are indicators of my relationship to God.  Am I handing out word gifts?

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All occasions deserve prayer

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Song of Songs 1-4, and Ephesians 6.

Prayer is not a part-time activity for sure!  Not the way it is spelled out here by Paul.

Whatever the situation, we must pray accordingly.

A verse such as “praying without ceasing,” becomes possible within the parameters of today’s chosen verse.

One part that reached me specifically in this verse was the part about being “alert.”  I think of how often things are going on around me and no prayer possibility comes to mind.  In the praying-without-ceasing mode this can’t be the case.

The possibility of ceaseless praying is opened up by this verse’s inclusion of “on all occasions.”  No time off noted!

I can’t be a one-trick pony when I pray.  There are moments of rejoicing…”My car started.”  There are moments of need……”I am uncertain of what I will face in the lesson I’m giving.”

There are needs in which I am missing details.  A relative was taken to the hospital days ago.  Details have not been forthcoming.  That can’t keep me from a general prayer…….”Lord, You are there with my relative right now.  Care for him.  I entrust him to You.”

The frequency of prayer is spelled out clearly in today’s verse.  The word “all” shows up three times and “always” is mentioned as well.  Prayer is something we need to do “always” and in “all” situations.  Are we willing to get after it in that tempo?

“Lord, You have loved me endlessly and without ceasing.  I must relate to You in the same way.  Forgive me for slacking off in seeing You and responding to You in my midst.  Prick my conscience when I get loose from connectedness to You.  I don’t want to connect to You sporadically.  You are my God.”

All situations that we will face today deserve prayer.

+9 steady but TOO high

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Dealing with sin

“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them” Ephesians 5:11.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Ecclesiastes 10-12, Psalm 94, and Ephesians 5.

The closer I am to God the quicker I will realize when I am sinning.

Sin is not always obvious.  Sometimes it is connected to something good and thereby gains entrance.   But the Godly person is not easily fooled that way.

So much of the life of the Godly person goes better when the day starts with a commitment to God and that commitment gets repeated throughout the day.

Too often a good start deteriorates into various forms of darkness.  I often have times of darkness when I am floating independently apart from God.  I lose track of Him.  My words, and sometimes my deeds, will betray my intended relationship to Him.

I need to learn where places are that lead to darkness and diligently avoid them.  I find TV and computers to be potential quagmires of darkness.  They don’t have to be but in certain areas and under certain conditions they can become pits of darkness.

I have no plans to stop watching TV or using my computer.  However, I must expose to myself a steady reminder of the potential darkness contained within each of them.

I do not hesitate to commit writing this blog to God’s guidance before each entry.  Why not commit myself to stick to the wholesome spots BEFORE I turn on the TV or computer?  Doing that will bring God intentionally into those details of my life.

“Lord, I want to rightly represent You in everything I do including what I watch.  I do not have the strength to go it alone without immersing in darkness.  I surrender to You.  Forgive me for trying ever to function apart from You.  I love You, Father.”

Commit to God before you enter known areas of darkness.

+9 steady high

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Anger management

“Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.”  Ecclesiastes 7:9.

“In your anger do not sin.” Ephesians 4:26.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: Ecclesiastes 7-9, and Ephesians 4.

I flew off this morning…..and I’m not talking about a plane ride!

And right on cue, the Scriptures I read in my scheduled reading provide counsel.

I must not read the Bible simply to acquire information.  I must find things to obey.

I am not by nature an angry person but I can get angry.  My anger comes in a bunch and usually is quickly ended.

I look at today’s verses, in a state of subsiding anger, and consider the implications for my life.

Solomon tosses around the word, “fools,” rather regularly.  Solomon was given discernment plus the ability to get right and wrong right by God so his words are to be taken seriously.

I think Solomon is talking about people who are easily upset and are “regularly” angry about things.  I need to have Godly control in my life so that my reactions are Godly.

Paul seems to be allowing anger but not sinful anger.  Anger is found in the Bible.  Jesus was angry.  It is the “sinful” part that needs addressing.  How would it get to the sinful level?  I think that something minor is not anger worthy.  I think that anger that appears to have no end is godless.

The bottom line is that I must live in a close relationship to God.  I must be willing to apologize.  I must be certain that something is anger-worthy.  I must be willing to let minor aggravations go.  I need God!

“Lord, You know me.  I am glad for that.  I want all of my life to please You.  I want to get it right.  Take me over.  Produce in me a lifestyle that honors You.  Prick my conscience when I get it wrong so that corrections and adjustments can be made.  You are my God.  I surrender to You.”

Is God in charge of your anger management?  Good luck if He isn’t.

+10 losing the battle

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Oh, Lord!

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.”  Ephesians 2:4-5.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible study: Ecclesiastes 1-3, Psalm 45, and Ephesians 2.

God sent Jesus the Messiah to rescue the world.  And believe me, the world needed rescuing.

God had used Israel to rescue the world.  He had blessed them and lived with them but they needed rescuing as much as the rest of the world.

But there were Old Testament verses about God sending an anointed King to rescue the world.  This King would have God’s Spirit in Him and would transform the world.

Jesus came to earth and died.  In His death all sin forever was condemned to death.  Sin’s power was lost because Jesus took it all with Him.

Jesus’ death took all of us out from under sin’s power.  We have a new life minus sin’s power.

Our life on earth is about taking part in rescuing the world from the grasp of sins which have lost their power.  We have new life in God and must live accordingly.  Jesus has promised to return and finish the work of restoring the world to what He intended it to be.

None of what God did for us was deserved.  He gave us what we didn’t deserve which is a life unburdened of the power of sin.

That is the Gospel, the Good News, and it happened whether you choose to believe it or not.  “My sins are gone I’ve been set free.  My God, my Savior has ransomed me.”

What Good News it is!

“Lord, thank You for Your grace.  Help me to live as You want me living.  Help me to sort out the part I should play in rescuing the world in my midst.  I love You, Father.”

God’s grace produced the Good News.

+10 foolish eating continues

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What you need in order to live a Godly life

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” Ephesians 1:17-19.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: Proverbs 30-31, Psalm 45, and Ephesians 1.

Are we getting all that God has to offer?

Paul prays that the “extras” needed to live a Godly life will become part of us.

I am not going to be able to figure things out the way I should, apart from God.

I cannot show up each day and expect to just be naturally Godly.  It takes work.

I must start each day committed to Him.  I know from personal experience, that a day can be lost in the first waking hour.  Words are exchanged or a godless course set and down the drain my Godly day descends.

I must intentionally seek Him.

I must never forget that He is all-powerful.  When I size up problems with my eyes they get size they don’t deserve.  God is bigger than any difficulty I am facing or will face.  I must approach the day knowing that with Him I can face whatever comes my way.

I must be seeking His enlightenment as I read/study His Word.  I cannot be locked into the interpretations of commentaries.

“Lord, I thank You that verses like these remind me of how large You are.  Forgive me for ever thinking I can do anything right apart from Your lead.  Prick my conscience when I am becoming independent.  I know better.  You have all that I need.  Help me to remember that in the hours ahead.  I love You, Father.”

Ask God for the tools to live a Godly life.

+9 fool’s gold

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Fix quickly

“and do not give the devil a foothold.” Ephesians 4:27

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Ephesians 1-4.

Smoldering anger. You go to bed with it and when you wake it is still around.

Paul tells us to let anger go early on. Don’t wait for the fire of anger to smolder for a while and then finally go out on its own.

Takes too painfully long to go through the smoldering stage.

Much of the anger I experience is at home. There is not enough space to escape it. There isn’t any way to ignore it. If it isn’t dealt with at once it will continue sometimes even worse than it was at the outset.

Anger about things away from home is different. You drive away from them and there is a non-confrontational cooling off time available. But if the problem is still there the next day the issue must get dealt with. Some folks grow to hate their jobs because something that angers them is unresolved. They nurse a grudge, or someone at work nurses a grudge, and an unsettling relationship continues as long as nothing is done about it. What a miserable experience this can create!

If God is in charge of my life, I will be slow to get angry. That doesn’t mean that I’m not capable of anger, because Jesus got angry, but my anger will be thought through.

If I am in close relationship with God, I will be long suffering. I will not be quickly riled up over things. I will see/hear as God sees and hears and thus be better enabled to respond in a Godly fashion.

The bottom line is simply that my life must be under God’s control full-time. There can be no moments of godlessness.

“Lord, release me from my frequent departures from Your leadership. I need You every second. Help me to be mindful of You the rest of this day. Prick my conscience when I am displeasing You. Forgive me of my waywardness. I love You, Father.”

God will enable you to control your anger if you will let Him.

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Ambassador

“for which I am an ambassador.” Ephesians 6:20

(Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading – Song of Solomon 1-4 & Ephesians 6)

Paul was in jail but that didn’t change him.

Paul didn’t care where he was. He believed that He was to represent God wherever he happened to be.

I need to have the same attitude. Wherever I am is the place where I must represent Him.

My struggle, among many, is to represent Him in the most familiar place I exist……..where I live.

Not every place I will be in will be pleasant. There may be stalled traffic or unkind folks but my task remains…..represent Him.

How do I represent God? I use His Words and think His Thoughts. I try to duplicate His actions.

I must pray for those in my midst. That will help me to stay mindful of them.

“Lord, I love You. I want to rightly represent You in everything and in every place. Help me, Lord!”

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How much?

“Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself.” Ephesians 5:33

(Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading – Ecclesiastes 10-12 & Psalm 74 & Ephesians 5)

No need for any commentaries on this one!

How much do I love myself? That’s the standard for loving my wife.

How easy it is to get complacent in a relationship. It has been going along for a long time. Things get familiar. Territory is staked out. But then some waves come along. And what happens? Complacency is inadequate to weather it.

My relationship with my wife must be similar to my relationship to God. It has to be ongoing. There’s no time to roost in the past. What have I done lately?

It must be conversational. “What do you think about…..?” No assumptions can be made. Hurts must be dealt with.

To what lengths will I go to please my wife? What makes her happy? It is just like getting to know God. What does He want me to do. I must find out.

I must be willing to be corrected by my wife. Too often I am convinced that I am right. Can I take advice? Not well!

“Lord, this one hits home. I can do so much better. If I treated my wife the way I treat God it would certainly make things better. I must elevate her in my thinking. There are so many little things that a Godly husband could do. Am I willing to trust You? Why would I want anything else? You are my God. Prick my conscience when I am messing it up with my wife so that I can make the needed changes. Help me, Father, I beg.”

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