We have an enemy. We must be prepared to fight and do battle against him. Christianity is not for softies. Wimps need not apply. We are commanded to “put on the full armor of God” (Ephesians 6.11) and... GET READY TO RUMBLE! Our battle is not “against flesh and blood, but against… the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6.12). The best way to keep a “good conscience” is to remember people aren't the enemy. “The spiritual forces of evil” are our ultimate enemy. “…fight the good fight, holding on the faith and a good conscience,” (1st Timothy 1.18c-19a NIV).
“for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”” Ephesians 5:8-14 ESV
Listen along as Mike Gaston teaches through Ephesians. Ephesians 3:8-13 Slide 1 Fun Facts from Efesians Geography Grammar Greetings Slide 2 Map image (attached) Slide 3 Fun Facts from Efesians Geography Grammar: Indicative/Imperative Greetings: basically, none Slide 4 “Ephesians, unlike Colossians, was not devised to combat error and expose the inconsistencies of false teaching. Paul's aim was more detached and therefore more exalted. He rose above the smoke of battle and captured a vision of God's sovereign plan that transcends the bitterness of controversy and the necessity for the church militant here on earth to fight for its very existence. Paul stood aside from the conflict and contemplated God's overall design for his church and for his world. As he did so, he came to realize as never before the breathtaking scope of God's strategy in Christ for the fullness of time.” A. Skevington Wood Slide 5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. Ephesians 1:3-4 Slide 6 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Slide 7 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. Ephesians 2:11-16 Slide 8 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. 6 This mystery is, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. Ephesians 3:4-6 Slide 9 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. Ephesians 3:8-10 Slide 10 The cosmic mission of the church is to display before the hosts of heaven the manifold wisdom of God. "You are the light of the world." But not merely that. You are the light of the cosmos, with the spectacular mission of revealing the wisdom of God to supernatural beings… How are we, the church, to make this wisdom known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places? … What the church is to do is demonstrate the wisdom in God's mysterious plan. The wisdom of a plan is seen by the fact that it works. We show the wisdom of God by showing in the church that it is working. The death of Christ was not in vain: it has reconciled us to God, it has broken down the wall of hostility between Jew and Gentile and other races, it has produced one new body, and it has given us the hope of his immeasurable kindness forever. We show the wisdom of God to the cosmic powers by living this way, by being the church Christ died to create. John Piper Slide 11 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3 Slide 12 (The Ephesians are called) to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24 Slide 13 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit… Ephesians 5:17-18 Slide 14 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord… Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her… Ephesians 5:22,24 Slide 15 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Ephesians 6:13
Good morning, Church! Please turn with me in your Bibles to Colossians 4:2-6. Before we read the text, I want you to write down three names. Your name: _______________________. The name of someone within our church body: ___________________. The name of someone outside of our church. ______________________. The purpose of this exercise is to remind us that: You and I need to hear the Gospel afresh this morning. Someone else in our Church needs to hear the Gospel through you. There are those around us who are desperate for the Gospel. The hope is that we would draw each of these people with us through this sermon in prayer. That we might even move toward them later this week as we gather ideas while listening, and seek to build them up after you have been built up by the word. I will now read Colossians 4:2-6, and then we will pray together. This is our second-to-last sermon in Colossians. We are going to be focusing on verses 5-6, but we will also read and look at verses 2-4 because they are deeply connected to where we are going today. Let's hear God's word. 2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— 4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. 5 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Heavenly Father, we come before you in prayer this morning in order to express our gratitude to you. You created the heavens and earth and everything in them by the power and authority of your word. You sent Jesus as the Word so that you might be known (John 1:18), and even though we have never seen you, we love you (John 20:29) because your word has come alive in us. You breathed out the word in the Scriptures to make us wise for salvation (1 Tim. 3:14-15). All we want this morning is to gaze upon your beauty in the temple (Psalm 27:4). Thank you for giving us your word. We pray that you would make us more like Jesus through it. Use your word to accomplish your will in our hearts. We open our hearts to you now. Jesus, thank you for being the complete and perfect embodiment of this text. You are not asking us to do anything that you have not already done in your life, death, burial and resurrection. We thank you that all obedience is a Gospel call to fellowship with the living Christ, who is seated at the right hand of the throne in heaven. Jesus you are wise. Gracious. And, true. Cause us to be obedient to you out of the overflow of our nearness to you in personal joy and admiration. Jesus, we love you. Holy Spirit, we ask that you would give us the strength "...to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that we may be filled with all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:18-19). Impress upon us the weight and magnitude of knowing God. Change us from the inside out. Unite us in an ever-deepening fashion with the Person and Work of Jesus Christ. We pray this together in Jesus' name, amen. I want to begin by stating this simple point: Jesus is prayerful, wise, and seasoned by grace. Do you agree? That would be very easy to prove by a quick read of the Gospels. On the other hand, we are prayerless, graceless fools. Do you agree? It would take just a 24 hour walk through one of our days to prove this point. Do we want to be devoted to prayer, to live wisely before outsiders, and season all our speech with grace? Then, we must look to Jesus. I want to remind us of this very important truth: "...We come to know God best not by looking at God exclusively, but by looking at God and then looking at ourselves–then looking at God, and then again looking at ourselves." We must remember the Gospel: God Saves Christians into Prayerful, Wise, and Seasoned Lives to the glory of God through the Person and Work of Jesus Christ. The commands (as we will see in a moment) of the New Testament are an invitation to joyful obedience, not moralistic self-loathing. Jesus is not interested in beating you up to be better you, or in you beating anyone else up to be a better them. He is interested in saving and sanctifying sinners through the joyful experience of trusting him. This sermon is not about your improvement mainly, it's about God. God saves sinners. God saves sinners from sin. And he saves sinners from sin and into his righteousness by grace through faith. Grace and faith are a free gift, but they also come with commands. The aim of this sermon is to explain how three commands (to pray, be wise, and gracious) are inextricably linked in the Christian life to God himself. Once we see the connections, we will seek to weave them into our own Christian lives. To briefly illustrate all three of these characteristics, Proverbs 24:30-34 depicts two men. One wise, the other foolish. The writer says, I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction. A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man. What a powerful image. One man is alert, awake, walking, meditating, praying, observing, thinking, and even composing riddles to make his insights memorable. He is leaning forward in his life. He has clear judgment, discernment, and he is open to reason. "He receives instruction." He has an open mind. He is wise. And, he captures his thinking for his own benefit as well as for generations to come. Well done. The other man, the sluggard, is being lulled to sleep. He's drowsy and snoring. He's dozing through life. Based on the status of his field, it seems obvious that this is a pattern. Each day he gets up to say, "I'll deal with this tomorrow, not today." Then, he watches YouTube videos until he falls asleep again. He settles into rest, hands folded. Slowly but surely, poverty climbs over his broken walls, into his unkempt field, and takes advantage of this sleeping sluggard like a robber. His life is ripped from him with ease. While this Proverb is applied to economic poverty, its principle is universal. Personal lazinessbrings about spiritual, emotional, psychological, and intellectual poverty. Because of sin, we are born into, and we perpetuate unkempt fields of unresolve, or places of poverty, all over our lives because, in our sinfulness, we would rather fold our hands than roll up our sleeves and walk with God. We are all sluggardly. Jesus, on the other hand, is the sage. He is wise. He is gracious. He is prayerful. Our lack of spiritual growth, depth with God, and connection to others is directly related to our own inability to wake up spiritually. Passing by your life and mine would be an exposition of spiritual poverty. So, God rescues sinners into prayerful, wise, and seasoned lives to the glory of God. He does this through Jesus. The sage in Proverbs 24 is open to grace. "He receives instruction" by grace. The posture of his heart is not moralistic, self-effort. It's the joyful welcoming of God's reality. He is inviting God to instruct him in a posture of humility. The sluggard is found ignoring God. The wise man sees that God is missing. One author writes, "God is of all missing persons the most missed, except that [missing him] comes not as an ally of darkness but as its adversary, not as a symptom of darkness but as its antidote." By missing him, He is searching for him and acknowledging his reality. Another author writes, "Sin is trying to succeed by ignoring reality." Doesn't that sound like all of us? We all want to coast with hands folded into an intimate relationship with God, others, and ourselves, but we are blocked by our own foolishness. We falter and fail in prayer. We slip and stumble in our relationships. We speak and say the wrong things at all the wrong times. "Who will rescue us from our bodies of death?" (Romans 7). We are limping through life in weakness and wandering. Some of us as pilgrims are sleeping along the roadside. And yet, Jesus comes to us, and he is compelled to save us for his own glory. Jesus shows us a better way. He alone is prayerful, wise, and seasoned by grace. And, he saves us into his life by commanding us to walk with him. If you read the book of Colossians in one sitting, you can see that it is saturated with prayerful, wise, and seasoned words. Paul models his prayer life by saying, "We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you…" (Col. 1:3), and "...we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding…" (Col. 1:9). Day and night, Paul is praying with a group of other people. Paul and Timothy are like the persistent widow in Luke 18, who will not let God go until he blesses the Colossians with wisdom. Paul is prayerful. Paul is wise. Paul is wise because he knows that all true wisdom comes from God, and that Jesus is the embodiment of all that is wise. He says that in Christ, "...are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col. 2:3). So, the wisest thing a person can do is to: "walk in him [Jesus], rooted and built up in him and established in the faith…" (Col. 2:6-7). The wisest thing we can do is believe Jesus. Paul commends belief in Jesus, and calls the Colossians to pray and appropriate this wisdom from God by walking the Christian life. He writes, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him" (Colossians 3:16-17). We are called to sing to each other, not in frozen isolation but in a joyful, life-giving community. The Christian life is an abundant, prayerful, wise, and seasoned life, indeed! Out of the overflow of the Christian life comes our approach to the world. And yet, sin is crouching at the door, and its desire is to have the Colossians (and us!). Sin wants to make the Colossians like the sluggard in Proverbs 24, drowsy and dumb. They have been assaulted by spiritual seduction, nearly kidnapped by false teachers (Col. 2:8-15). They are at times distracted by regulations regarding food and the liturgical calendar (Col. 2:16-23). They are being lured by sex, idolatry, anger, lying, and all manner of worldliness as their flesh claws at their new life in Christ. They are struggling to worship as families, work as unto Christ, and live a life worthy of the Gospel (Col. 3:14-25). Does this sound familiar? We are still struggling with sin, aren't we? Paul concludes this letter by offering three exhortations: Pray. Walk. Speak. Do all of this to the glory of God. Repeat. I think the main issue that this text brings up for us is this: When we are prayerless, we stop walking with God in wisdom toward others. Instead, we normally begin to walk away from God and others simultaneously and grow in our own personal protectiveness. We put our walls up. When we grow prayerless, we go inward and insular. When we go prayerless, we isolate. We stop speaking boldly, clearly, and in a gracious way. We stop looking at God. Prayerfulness, as we'll see, draws you into direct contact with the living God. When you come into contact with the living God, you realize that the Gospel is advancing in the whole world, and it is bearing fruit and increasing (Col. 1:6-7). The Gospel is the power of God (Romans 1:16), and wherever it goes, it bears fruit, both in our own personal lives and in the lives of those we speak to. God is not bound, and neither is the Gospel. This emboldens the Christian to live the Christian life. So, while Sin causes us to go prayerless, to grow foolish, and to speak unseasonably. Jesus saves us into a life of prayer, wisdom, and seasonable speech to the glory of God. This draws us to our main points: Christians are saved into prayerfulness (Col. 4:2-4). Christians are saved into wisdom (Col. 4:5) Christian are seasoned by grace (Col. 4:6). First, Christians are saved into prayerfulness. We are saying that "Christians are saved into" a Christian life of prayerfulness because of everything that comes before Colossians 4:2-4. Christians are saved from sin and into a relationship with the living God. They are transferred from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of God's beloved Son (Colossians 1:13). Every step of obedience is a step of deeper, joyful intimacy with God, a step of faith, belief, and trust in God's finished work. It's existence in a new domain. So, when Paul says, "Continue steadfastly in prayer…" he implies that the new birth has occurred, that these Colossian believers are "saints" (Col. 1:2), and that they are like children learning to walk. They have been radically reborn by the miraculous work of God. They are spiritually alive. They have repented of sin and received the grace of God in the Gospel. They have been buried with Christ and raised from the dead to walk in open communion with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Col. 2:11-12). They know God and are known by God. As such, they have taken up their new native language: Prayer. They are calling God "Father" and their fellow Christian brothers and sisters "family." So Paul writes, 2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— 4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Benj Foreman helped us to see last week that preaching the Gospel is part and parcel of the Christian Life. It's a part of who we are. If we are not preaching the Gospel, we have to ask: do we know the Gospel? If we know the Gospel, what is standing in the way of our proclamation of it? Paul's answer: Closed doors. So, he asks for prayer so that the door might open. And, that he might make the mystery clear. We need to realize that Paul's effectiveness in ministry, his razor sharp letters, his boldness in persecution came from his prayer life and the prayers of others. Open doors and clarity of speech come from a steadfast practice of prayer. Paul says that persuasiveness, clarity, beauty, elegance are all granted to you through prayer, not a school of rhetoric. So, if you want God to throw the door of salvation open for someone, like the someone on the list you just created, pray that he does. If you want better preaching in this pulpit or the pulpit of your heart, start praying for it! Prayer begets Gospel preaching. Prayerlessness stifles Gospel preaching. There are three straightforward ways of applying this; First, Sunday Prayer Meetings. Every Sunday morning, our prayer team simply devotes itself to prayer for the preaching of God's Word and the body. If you'd like a place to put this into practice, join this group on Sunday mornings at 8am. One author provocatively states, "You can tell how popular a preacher or evangelist is by who comes on Sunday morning…but you can tell how popular Jesus is by who comes to the prayer meeting." Or, more kindly: "Our pastors are as deeply encouraged by an eager and active participation in our prayer meetings as they are by our being present on Sunday mornings." And, "If you want a better pastor, you can get one by praying for the one you already have." Ha! Take the opportunity as often as you can to learn to pray by praying every Sunday at 8am. Second, We are offering three events focused on prayer for the Women of FCBC. On Sept. 20th (Tuesday Morning), Oct. 22nd (Saturday Morning), and Nov. 12th (Saturday Morning), we are inviting the Women of FCBC to gather together to devote themselves to prayer. We believe that there is nothing better that the women of our church could devote themselves to than prayer. God is drawing us to our knees in prayer to seek God's face. Third, read books on prayer. If you want to grow in your personal devotion to prayer, and maybe you can't pray with others at a meeting like this during this season, reading a book on prayer is a great way to grow. Consider getting a few friends together to grow in this area. You can also read others' prayers. As much as we should be seeking for our church to hire well, to run effective programs, to serve each other, there is a need for us to grow in prayer. We need to go to our prayer closets, shut the door, and find deeper intimacy with God in prayer both personally and collectively. One author writes, "The true problem isn't God's absence from the world [or in the Church]. He is omnipresent. The real problem is our apathy to God's presence, which manifests itself through self-centeredness and self-concern." Prayerlessness is a sign of self-centeredness. This is an area that I'd like to personally grow as a pastor: I am personally convicted over how many times I check my email or texts compared to how many times we check-in with the living God. One author writes, "We check our smartphones about 81,500 times per year, or once every 4.3 minutes of our waking lives…" I am embarrassed how many times I seek to feed my soul with what's on my screen, over feeding my soul with the presence of God. Church, this is not a new problem. And, the solution is still the same: through the Gospel, God saves us into conversation with himself. We respond in intimate obedience through prayer. God is interested in saving you, sanctifying you, and changing you to make him more like himself. We get there by making room for him and spending time with him in prayer. Christians are saved to "...Continue steadfastly in prayer." That leads us to our second point. Second, Christians are Saved to Walk in Wisdom. Paul writes, "Now that you are all prayed up:" 5 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. If you walk with God, you become a walking, speaking repository of God's grace in the world. Prayer emboldens you to live transparently toward others. My kids and I were at the park recently, and they were compelled by these windup and go cars. You have all seen them. You pull them back to send them forward. In the same way, our prayer life is the backward motion through which we are wound and pointed toward others. No matter if you are an introvert, or extrovert, this is where your energy comes from for people: you are strengthened through consistent prayer to move toward people in wise, timely ways. So pray, and then move toward others! Paul says, this is decidedly missional. I think The Message captures the sense well as it paraphrases this passage, 5-6 Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don't miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out. Now, this phrase "Walk in wisdom toward outsiders" certainly means "among outsiders." Christians are called to live and work with lives that are open, visible, and transparent. One commentator writes, “The phrase ‘the ones outside' refers to those who are not members of the covenant community, who are predominantly Gentile, though a small group of unbelieving Jews would not be excluded” But it means more than this. Christians are called to walk toward people who are not only unlike them, but decidedly not 'one of them,' that is: to walk toward non-Christians. In other words, get on your shoes, go outside, and interact with people who don't share your central beliefs or worldview. We are to live among them and toward them. Now, in a place like Boise, ID, we might begin to grow uncomfortable with this. You might say, we just moved here to be away from 'outsiders.' Now, we get a Pastor who wants us to move back toward outsiders. That's it, we're moving to Avamore, where at least I know I'm free! This text challenges this tendency to move away. In April of this year, the pastors and each of their spouses were sent to a Conference called T4G. At this conference, David Platt argued that there are basically three possible stances that Christians can have toward one another within the local church, especially as we relate together toward those around us, toward 'outsiders': Facing inward, but disconnected. This is unwise because if you are disconnected, there is no way that you can walk wisely. No one grows in the Christian life in isolation. Maybe this is you. You are looking toward the Church, toward Christ, and toward Christian community, but you are not finding connection. You stand at an awkward distance. You are wondering if you are "in" or "out". You don't feel at home. So, you don't move toward 'outsiders.' You wonder if you are one. Facing inward, yet connected. Maybe this is you at FCBC or in Christian community. You are well connected. You know some people in our body well. You are finding yourself to be at home, united in Christ, and enjoying fellowship with others. The danger of this is that you may be keeping others out, rather than letting them in. United, yet facing outward. Platt gave us a third image: united yet facing outward. This, he said, is what it means to walk in wisdom toward outsiders. This is the mature, Christian posture toward the world. And, it is the posture that we are called to have toward those who are 'outsiders.' Application: Consider your relationships. If you are disconnected from Christian community, you are not able to obey these commands because these are not singular commands, but plural ones. Paul assumes that you are working as a member of the team in the body of Christ. Consider your habits. Is your default to go inward, not outward with your Christian community? To clasp the hands of others, only if they are like you? Do you consistently choose a night in, over a night toward outsiders in your Life Group or otherwise? Do your Christian friendships or families have an outward focus? Consider the posture of your friendships. How do you need to turn outward to face and walk toward 'outsiders?' How can we help each other to do this? What resources do we need to begin doing this well as a church? The next phrase is also very important: "Making the best use of the time." Literally, this means 'purchasing' or 'redeeming' time. In a corollary passage, Paul writes, 15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:15-21). We are including the full context here because this is not mainly a call for effective time management, though that is part of the equation. We might make the mistake of thinking that "making the most of the time" is talking about productivity at work, or improving our own work-life balance. However, what Paul is referring to is effectiveness in walking toward outsiders for the sake of prayerful proclamation of the Gospel. He is advocating that every human interaction become charged with prayer for the sake of the of the Gospel. He says, "Don't be dumb!" Instead, "...address one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs…" (Eph. 5:17-20). Fuel up on the Spirit, not wine. Let your life become profoundly marked by gratitude. Then, in our passage, he says: "Let that wise life spill out into your relationships with other people." This means that in Paul's view, that gathering together as believers is one of the most productive, wise, redemptive things that you can be engaged with. We 'gather' together so that we can 'scatter' together for the sake of the Gospel and the nations. Illustration: Church, you have shown me illustrations of this: Some of you walk toward outsiders through personal evangelism. Some of you are giving generously to the advance of the gospel through foreign missions. Some of you give your time, energy, and efforts to your neighbors. Some of you have adopted kids, giving us a living picture of the Gospel. Some of you are beautifully preaching the Gospel to your own children. (By the way! Next week, we are inviting all of our kids into service for our Family Worship Service.) Some of you lead, serve, and minister in countless ways that it's honestly hard to keep track. Wise living and making the most of the time means moving toward others. This is the kind life we are saved into. That leads us to our third point: Third, Christians are saved to be seasoned by grace. Because we are in direct relationship with the living God, and we are walking wisely, making the most of every interaction, Christians become the most interesting of conversationalists. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. The thrust of this text is to say that every Christian conversation is distinctively flavored and preserved by grace. Salt was used in the ancient world both as a preservative and a flavoring agent, as it is used today. Paul argues that if you understand the Gospel, and if you begin to assimilate grace into your life, your speech starts to taste good. It flavors every interaction. And, you start to see people for who they really are: unique image bearers. Rosaria Butterfield puts it this way, "The integrity of our relationships matters more than the boldness of our words." Integrity is salty. In January of this past year, I lost my sense of taste and smell as I had COVID. All my food had was a bland sense of texture. All I could taste was the slight bitterness of my coffee from time to time. This is not the way that Christians speech should taste. Rather, it should be vibrantly and graciously seasoned. This has direct application to how we approach other people's souls. Now, I am going to say something provocative. I think that gracious speech, and knowing "how you ought to answer each person," necessarily means that you get to know another person as they are. You meet them where they are. You move toward them, and not away from them. For some of us this causes fear because we are nervous about cultural assimilation. One author writes, "We in the church tend to be more fearful of the (perceived) sin in the world than of the sin in our own heart. Why is that? Here is what I think. I believe there is no greater enemy to vital life-breathing faith than cultural sameness." From this passage, if you want to really get to know another person: Pray for them. Walk toward them in wisdom. Speak graciously with them. This takes work. Time. Effort and emotional energy. In a world of instant gratification, it will be discouraging! It will also necessarily require personal friendships! I want to close by offering one quotation from J.I. Packer and then an invitation to respond to our series in Colossians by sharing your testimony: J.I. Packer writes, "...personal evangelism needs normally to be founded on friendship. You are not usually justified in choosing the subject of conversation with another till you have already begun to give yourself to him in friendship and established a relationship with him in which he feels that you respect him, and are interested in him, and are treating him as a human being, and not just as some kind of 'case'. With some people, you may establish such a relationship in five minutes, whereas others it may take months. But the principle remains the same. The right to talk intimately with another person about the Lord Jesus has to be earned, and you earn it by convincing him that you are his friend, and that you really care about him. And therefore the indiscriminate buttonholding, the intrusive barging in to the privacy of other people's souls, the thick-skinned insistence on expounding the things of God to reluctant strangers who are longing to get away–these modes of behavior, in which strong and loquacious personalities have sometimes indulged in the name of personal evangelism, should be written off as a travesty of personal evangelism. Impersonal evangelism would be a better name for them!" One great way to practice personal evangelism is by starting within the local Church. We learn to speaking the Gospel amongst our own selves. So, during 2nd & 3rd service, we are inviting you to come into my office to share a few words about how the book of Colossians has impacted you over the past 3-4 months. Our sound genius Stephen B. is over there to help you record a short clip of one way that Jesus has been enough for you as we have studied the book of Colossians. God Saves Christians into Prayerful, Wise, and Seasoned Lives to the glory of God. Let's pray.
Spiritual warfare is a real thing, and the Bible teaches that Satan and demons intend to drive us away from God and his purposes for our lives. But God has given us resources to resist the devil and his schemes, and Paul calls it the armor of God: Ephesians 6:12-13 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against ... evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God's armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. The Belt of Truth The soldier's belt was the centerpiece of a Roman soldier's armor, securing the body armor and housing the sword's scabbard. For spiritual warfare, this centerpiece is truth. Remember - spiritual warfare takes place primarily in the mind, and Satan is the father of lies. Christians prepare for the fight by fixing the truth of God's word firmly in our minds and hearts (Romans 12:2). The Body Armor of Righteousness The soldier's body armor protected him from the neck to the upper thighs. For a Christian, this represents a lifestyle of righteousness that gives Satan no targets to exploit. The Shoes of Peace The soldier's footwear – clearly the most boring item in this list – enabled him to get from one battlefield to the next. In scripture, feet were often connected to sharing a message, as Paul explained to the Romans: Romans 10:15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” The Shield of Faith A Roman soldier was equipped with a large oblong shield that covered his body completely. When a row of soldiers lined up side by side, their shields created an impregnable wall. That's how faith works for Christians: it's more effective in community. The Helmet of Salvation The soldier's helmet obviously protected his head. If you're a Christian, Satan will try to get “in your head” by lying to you about your worthiness before God. That's what the helmet is for: the assurance of our salvation protects against the devil's accusations. 1 Thessalonians 5:8 But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation. The Sword of the Spirit The soldier's sword was his only purely offensive weapon. Paul connects this final piece of armor to the Word of God. The Holy Spirit uses the Bible, in our hands, to drive off the enemy. The particular word used here suggests some specific portion of the Bible particularly applied to a given situation. For example, when Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus answered with specific quotes from the Bible. Learn where to find those key verses that combat the temptations Satan normally fires at you. Memorize them so that you always have your “sword” ready at hand (Hebrews 4:12). --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/pursuegod/support
In our last episode, you hear all about the impact of broken trust in the Carter Marriage. This week, the Fields open up about knowing the real truth and how that helped them survive broken trust in their relationship. Here are some scriptures that you can look up on the topic of Truth and Trust:The Belt of Truth as a part of the Armor of God: Ephesians 6:13-20Trusting God: Proverbs 3:5, Philippians 4:6-7, Romans 8:28, Luke 6:10, Psalms 27:14, 56:3-4, 118:8, Matthew 6:33-34, Hebrews 11:1, Isaiah 12:2, 26:4, 40:10, 40:31, Exodus 14:14, Hebrews 13:6Being Honest: Proverbs 6:17, 12:17-22, 21:6, Luke 6:31, Psalms 15:2, 52:3, Ephesians 4:25, 1 John 3:18Follow us on Instagram at Marriage_Unfiltered _PodcastEmail us at Marriageunfiltered@yahoo.comThe Marriage Unfiltered Podcast is not affiliated with Stonegate Fellowship in Midland Texas
And to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19). Emmanuel, God with us. Stay blessed family.
Lyn Marshall was one of those people I would never have known if it weren't for the church. The first few times we talked, we seemed so different from each other. But, then, on a long car ride to visit her sick mother, we bonded over a mutual love of The Moody Blues. And when she told me about how she met Vincent Furnier (maybe better known to you as "Alice Cooper"), I was sold! This was one cool lady! Lyn's passing yesterday reminded me of the truth I'll try to convey in my sermon today. "So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God" (Ephesians 2:19). We have a myriad of differences that can pull us apart and keep us apart; everything from our politics to our musical preferences (some people DON'T like the Moody Blues, if you can believe that). Yet, in Christ, we become family. No longer strangers but members of the family of God.
(Presented by Lisa Bishop) I don't know about you but I think we have a love problem. In my personal experience and as I minister to hundreds of women, there is a common theme, a common underlying question that I think we are all trying to get the answer to. Does God really love me? Now I am not talking about being able to rehearse Bible verses about God's love (although that is very important). What I am referring to is experiencing and receiving God's love and affection to the degree that it seeps into the depths of your heart, soul, and mind. I am talking about being convinced to the core of your being that you are deeply loved by God. Are you absolutely convinced that God's affections for you are great? I struggle to believe and fully receive Jesus' steadfast love. I am guessing you do too. I was celebrating a friend's birthday this weekend and all of the guests went around the table and shared one thing that drew us to her. That was an easy answer for me…. My friend is absolutely convinced that Jesus loves her. She has such confidence in his affection for her, it is very endearing and inspiring. And by the way she lives her life, you can tell she receives God's love, to her very core. Why do we often fail to receive and believe in God's love? I mean, evidence of his love is all throughout the Bible. First John 3:1 says, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” As a child of God, he lavishes his love on you. And you did nothing to earn his love. God's greatest act of love towards you was sacrificing his son. Jesus' death on the cross was the grandest display of love the world has ever seen. And yet, we have a hard time receiving. One of my favorite prayers in the Bible is Paul's prayer in Ephesians 3. Receive these words as a prayer over you and open yourself up to allow them to penetrate your heart. “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:14-19). Take time to just sit and be grateful to God. Tell Jesus, “Thank you that your love for me is so extravagant, help me to fully receive your love and help me be your love to those around me.”
Do Christians have a well-rounded knowledge of God? In today's culture it seems that more and more people have less and less knowledge about God and his word, why is this the case? Why have so many believers become so biblically illiterate to the point where they rely on a few people to tell them what to believe about Christ? This is one of the most avoidable situations, yet we fail time and time again. To find more "Uncensored Christian" content including Video versions of the podcast, Social Media links, and more use the Link down below!https://lnk.bio/dantewIf you would like to support this podcast financially you can give online by clicking here https://paypal.me/uchristianpod?locale.x=en_US . Your gift helps this podcast reach more people around the world!If you have questions or would like to reach out, email email@example.comInstagram - https://www.instagram.com/dantebwill/Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/UChristianPodcast
In this episode, David and Yasmin discuss how to avert the attacks of Satan, the enemy of us all, by being fully equipped with God's armor. A great lesson on the book of Ephesians, chapter 6, and verses 13-17. Please take the poll shown in Spotify below. It will be fun to see your answers! Thanks!
Sermon by Pastor Dave Parsons on 2022-08-14 00:00:00 As believers in Jesus Christ, we have a responsibility to live in a manner worthy of our calling. God is glorified when believers walk with God in the power of the Holy Spirit. In this passage, Paul describes the characteristics of those people who truly walk with God.
In this week's episode, Ryan and Brian take a look Ephesians 6:10-6:24. In these passages, Paul discusses the whole armor of God. Ryan and Brian discuss the purpose of the armor of God in the life of the Christian. Links: Support Ryan and Brian's Bible Bistro Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/thebiblebistro Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thebiblebistro Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thebiblebistro/ Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3H7qRmg Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3I7Gw6A Website: https://www.thebiblebistro.com Ryan and Brian's Bible Bistro is a podcast all about the Bible, theology, and all things related to the Christian faith.
Hey lovelies, today's bible study is from Ephesians 2. We discuss having direct access to go and many more. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app
This message is from week 8 of our SUMMER series: "Giving Changes People"We believe our God is a generous God. He is a giver, not a taker and the ultimate proof of this is found in Jesus (2 Corinthians 8:9). Since we are called to be imitators of God (Ephesians 5:1), we must be givers, not takers so that his generous nature is seen in us. Therefore we will be a people of sacrifice and generosity believing that as we give, lives will be changed—both our lives as givers and the lives of those who receive.STAY CONNECTED: Twitter: https://bit.ly/2XTOD4rFacebook: https://bit.ly/3ja3TCqInstagram: https://bit.ly/3jeBFq2v
If you were to tell me that "your faith is a work in progress", I would agree that you have a biblical mindset. Philippians 1:6 reminds us that: "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." - Philippians 1:6I love the confidence that Paul is writing with to these Philippians Christians. While salvation from the penalty of sin happens at the moment a person accepts Christ, the process of becoming more like Christ is exactly that: a process. Paul is completely sure that this "sanctification" will continue in the lives of these believers. Since faith is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8), we can rest assured that the gift of our salvation had nothing to do with us. We didn't deserve it so therefore we can't lose it. It is this realization that frees us to share about our failures and to be thankful to be a Christian. It's what allows us to accept rebukes, criticism and advice with humility. It is also what allows the church to welcome and accept all who would seek to know God, as we who were once far off have been brought near ourselves.
This is July 24th's sermon by Matt Carpenter, starting a series on parenting. Matt Carpenter taught history for fifteen years and has served in pastoral ministry for ten years. He is married to Amanda and they have four children: Phoebe, Simeon, Emmaline, and Olivia. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, reading, hiking, and fishing. Trinity Reformed Church is a CREC church in Huntsville, AL. seeking to extend and unite the Kingdom in the Huntsville area. Check out our website, Facebook or YouTube!
Janet will discuss the final chapter of Ephesians in this episode. Paul was writing to an extremely diverse church, one that included husband, wives, parents, slaves, masters, Jews, and Gentiles. He wanted to strengthen all of them, whatever their walk in life, so that they could mature in their Christian faith. His final challenge in Chapter 6 is to “stand firm.”
Grace is one of those Bible words that are more than just a word. It is a characteristic, it is descriptive of GOD, a desired quality for us, and more.The Bible declares that we are saved by grace and why:Ephesians 2:4 - 'But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us...' Ephesians 2:7 - 'That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:8 - 'For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Ephesians 2:9 - 'Not of works, lest anyone should boast.' GOD's Grace is free.Show notes at Hopesharbor.net
Please join us as guest speaker Dr. Hoang Nguyen, a beloved elder and member of our church, shares about living a new light in the church! Passage: Ephesians 4:25-5:7 - Sermon Quick Notes - Fundamental Identity of the Church: a. We are people "marked by truth" b. We are created to "display His divinity" c. We are made to be intensely, intimately, and intentionally "united to one another" d. We are to be "strengthened by power through the Holy Spirit" e. We are to "live a new life as people marked by Him" The main characteristic of this new life is - love (Ephesians 5:2) a. Because He first loves us b. Because He gave His life for us What does a life that is marked by Him (a reflection of Him) look like? a. By the way we treat other people (Ephesians 4:25-28, 31-32) b. By giving part of oneself away (4:28-29) c. By holding to God's standards (5:3-6) What can you do as imperfect people reflecting a perfect God? a. Know that you belong to God (Ephesians 4:31) b. Recognize that God has forgiven you (4:32) c. Allow God to express His love through you (5:8-9)
Do you ever wonder about the power of God? Hi, I'm Mike Henry Sr. with Follower of One. Thanks for joining me again today on the Follower of One podcast. We spoke most of last week, maybe the last several episodes, about abundance. And I want to conclude this passage in Ephesians 3. Paul has just started this prayer, tells the Ephesians about this prayer that he's praying for them, and in verses 20 and 21, he makes some amazing claims about God. Let's look at them. I'm reading from the English Standard Version today, and this is Ephesians 3:20-21. "Now to him, who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think according to the power at work within us. To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." I've actually titled this passage, the abundant power of God. Some people think that God must not be very powerful because if He was all this stuff wouldn't be broken in the world. That if God were powerful, such and such wouldn't happen, this particular thing wouldn't happen, or that particular thing wouldn't happen. And I believe in this passage, Paul's reminding us to consider the power of God differently. What if God's powerful enough to not fix the problems, but rather to allow the problems to persist so that we can choose to follow Him. I can't imagine any way of explaining how God's power is abundant, abundant more than we can ask or think He's able to do, I'm translating that as power. Able to do means powerful. He's powerful beyond what I can ask or think. If God's powerful beyond what I can ask or think, then the brokenness of the world must contribute to the plan. I don't believe that God intended the brokenness at all. He rather gave us this choice and he protects our choice. If I saw God for who he really was, I wouldn't have a choice. "Every knee would bow," it says, "and every tongue will confess." I will fall in line, scared to death of God if I saw Him for who He was. But in this world today, because He's masked because His glory is hidden because the only version of him we see is in creation or in Jesus or in the love of others. God has given us this opportunity to reflect Him in the world, to be part of His strategy, to give people the free choice to choose to follow Him. And that's our calling. I believe as marketplace ministers, we wanna help every person that we meet. Move one notch closer to Jesus. We do that through our five daily activities - prayer, appreciating others, knowing what we believe, serving others, and speaking for ourselves. Our job as Christ followers is to live remembering that it's entirely possible that God is more powerful than I can ask or imagine, rather than He's not powerful enough to solve all the problems in the world. I'm challenged by that thought, and it calls me to want to live trusting Him even more and more. And I'm preaching to myself today. And I have been through this entire passage because I get concerned about things that are going on. I've even mentioned that we're a donor-supported ministry, and God continues to force us to work, to make things happen. He doesn't just give us everything that we ask for. He's called us into the effort with him, but He is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think. And the proof that we have of this is the power that's at work within us. We see Him change us. We see Him give us marriages that last, we see Him do things in this mess that proved that He's there. I want my life to be proof that God's there. I don't want you to be able to explain my life without factoring in Jesus Christ. Let's talk a little bit more about the last verse tomorrow. Thanks so much for being a Marketplace Minister, and thanks for considering God is more powerful than we can ask or think because that God has called us to take part in His work. Thank you for being a Marketplace Minister. Join us in https://community.followerofone.org and be part of a community that wants to live in such a way that others move one notch closer to Jesus. Thanks very much.
Did you know that the average person has around 6,000 thoughts in a single day? Most of these thoughts are minor, fleeting thoughts like: what am I going to eat for lunch and how many more minutes is this meeting going to last? But there are many thoughts that stick around and start to cause trouble in the way we view ourselves, others, and ultimately God. The enemy will often attack our minds as it relates to our security and our confidence in our relationship with Jesus through discouragement and doubt. In this message, Pastor John Hill unpacks the Helmet of Salvation as we continue in the series on the armor of God (Ephesians 6) called Battle Ready. In this message, Pastor John gives us practical ways that we can battle the enemy's attempted attacks in our minds by securing our thoughts through our relationship with Jesus and through Scripture. If you are struggling with anxiety, discouraging or doubting thoughts that are affecting your relationships and decisions, we hope you are encouraged and inspired by this message to know and believe that God has the authority to guard your heart and mind through the power of Jesus!
John 14-15 Three types of Obedience Empower by the Holy Spirit: 1. Fear of the Lord a. Pharoah after the plagues and repeated requests to let God's people God. (Exodus 12:31) b. Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar after the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. (Daniel 3:26-29) c. Ezra after returning from Babylon and teaching the Torah. (Ezra 7-10) d. Proverbs 1: Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. (Proverbs 1:1-7) 2. Duty to the Lord a. Temple Worship in the Old Testament (Exodus 25-27) b. Zerubbabel rebuilding the temple after exile in Babylon (Ezra 1-6) Weak love is still genuine love. Our love isn't just real love when it is mature. Our love is real when it begins. -Mike Bickel 3. Love of the Lord a. Four times in John 14 Jesus says, “If you love me, you will obey me.” (John 14:1-24) Obedience Rooted in Love of the Lord 1. Empowered by the Holy Spirit (John 14:25-27) a. God Promises to Empower us for Loving Him (John 14:25-31) 2. Submit to the pruning of the Holy Spirit a. Every branch gets prunes…even the ones bearing fruit (John 1:1-4) b. Take on and Take off: Your life following Jesus should look differently through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 4:17-5:20) 3. Stay sensitive (bent) towards the nudge of God (Ephesians 4:17-20) a. I love you Jesus, show me more. (John 15:5-17)
This episode is my thoughts from an article I saw on Brad Harrub's Facebook page. Here is the article: Jesus Was Not Afraid to Be a Lion By Brad Harrub, Ph.D. How does Satan win modern-day battles? One way is by successfully convincing Christians not to engage in battle—to instead focus on how we come across to others and how we “appear” to those in our culture. He has convinced Christians and many preachers/elders that being nice is the only way we can demonstrate a Christian spirit. Sure, we read about the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6)—and we may even talk about it at VBS—but we currently live in a culture where it is politically incorrect to actually suit up and go into battle. Satan has convinced Christians to focus so much attention on niceness that we have totally lost sight of righteousness. A quick look at the New Testament reveals Jesus and His disciples were a lot more concerned about righteousness, rather than making and keeping friends. Jesus was not concerned about being nice and making friends with the greedy moneychangers. Jesus was not concerned about being nice and making friends with the religious hypocrites. Jesus was concerned about doing the will of His Father. We have been silenced into thinking we should never make someone mad or else we may not be able to convert them. Obviously, as Christians we should never be mean-spirited or antagonistic. But if Jesus and His disciples couldn't convert everyone they interacted with, what makes you think you can?! There will always be people out there who have stiffened their necks against God. Don't allow those individuals to silence you! Friends hear this loud and clear—Jesus had no problem making some people mad. In fact, He made people so mad they ended up killing Him. Stop and really think about that: Jesus angered people so much they want to kill Him. Many of the apostles did the same and experienced horrendous deaths. But also notice neither Jesus nor His disciples were willing to compromise or sugar-coat the Truth. He knew there was a battle going on, and Jesus was not afraid to engage the enemy. He was not afraid to call people out. Take a minute and look at some of the phrases Jesus used in Matthew 23. But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! (v 13) Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! (v 14) Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! (v 15) Woe to you, blind guides, (v 16) Fools and blind! (v 17) Fools and blind! (v 19) Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! (v 23) Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! (v 24) Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! …inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. (v 25) Blind Pharisee (v 26) Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness (v 27) Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. (v 28) Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! (v 29) Serpents, brood of vipers! (v 33) Fast forward to our common era and social media. Imagine for just a moment if I called religious hypocrites or immoral pagans even a fraction the names Jesus used in Matthew 23. Social media would blow up as preachers and those seeking to take the moral high ground called me out as “unloving” and “hateful.” I would be “tar and feathered” in the virtual world for not loving my neighbor—and I can assert this confidently, because it has happened to me in the past. And yet, Jesus used these names—and He didn't back off. He kept calling them names. He kept piling on the insults. He kept pointing out their wicked hearts. Friends, Jesus had no problem calling people out. He did not walk on eggshells, always worrying about what people thought. Yes, Jesus was the sacrificial lamb that we all needed, but He was also the Lion of Judah. Jesus was more than nice. We know according to Scripture that God is love (1 John 4:8). Sometimes love means rebuking someone practicing immorality. Sometimes love means reproofing things that are displeasing to the Lord (2 Timothy 4:2). Jesus loved individuals enough to say the hard things that needed to be said. Please stop allowing Satan to sit you down comfortably at the tables Jesus flipped. Do not be afraid to suit up and engage the enemy. Why would you need the whole armor of God if there was never going to be a battle? Jesus said: “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:18-19). Maybe instead of trying to always be nice and make the world love us we should ask ourselves why we covet the love of the world in the first place! ______________________________________________________ digitalbiblestudy.org now has a locals page. Go and check it out! https://digitalbiblestudy.locals.com Cogitations now has a Facebook page. If you want to contact me for show ideas or questions I can turn into a show it is now easier than ever. Please like and follow the page so we can build a community! https://www.facebook.com/tonyscogitations Be sure to check out the website for the mission work. Remember, it is still under construction: www.maritimemission.org Tony Brewer, DIGITAL SUPPORT: www.patreon.com/nearchurches www.buymeacoffee.com/cogitations PAYPAL: firstname.lastname@example.org You can also send me crypto: @tonycogitations on my Coinbase Wallet BTC: bc1qqrj8khghfsxkkna2gtgndpq9sqcxxynj4ujaum USD: 0x4d4C623187Ebc44ACF7688ee3A11141f76D02672 [ERC-20] ETH: 0x4d4C623187Ebc44ACF7688ee3A11141f76D02672 UST: 0x4d4C623187Ebc44ACF7688ee3A11141f76D02672 CHECK SUPPORT: Riverview church of Christ c/o Tony mission fund 365 Pine Glen Road Riverview N.B. Canada E1B 4J8
In the season 3 finale, Quanay discusses the FULL armor of God ( Ephesians 6:10-18) and why its important to sty in the FULL armor of God. Connect with On Q with Quanay Podcast on Instagram @onqwithquanay; and linktr.ee/Onqwithquanay2021 for other inquires by email at email@example.com Music : Encore by @ Epidemicsound.com Shop OQWQ Podcast Merch at https://my-store-bcd699.creator-spring.com --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/on-q-with-quanay/support
In this episode I speak with Army Wife, Author, Speaker, Personal Execuative Coach, and Leadership Trainer Sherry Eifler on One Powerful Prayer. Listen as she shares how you can bring God's word back to Him in prayer. This is a call to dive into the WORD, be still, and open up your heart! The Armor of God Ephesians 6:10-18 Find Sherry: @ website, Instagram, LinkedIn Other available Resourses: Healthy Nutrition for Adults and Kids Join the Abundantly Rooted Life Community Grab your Artza Subscription Box and bring home a bit of Israel. use promo code: ARTZAKRISTINARISINGER for 25% off https://linktr.ee/abundantlyrootedlife
The enemy seeks to steal, kill and destroy and that includes relationships between Christian women. In today's episode I am thrilled to welcome my good friend, author, speaker and host of the Love Offering podcast, Rachael Adams to discuss the Unexpected Weapon the Enemy Uses Against Women…assumptions. Rachael and I dive into: How the enemy can get in our head and uses assumptions to hinder relationships How to respond to our assumptions Practical steps to overcome assumptions How to encourage our children as they experience assumptions This is one of my absolute FAVORITE conversations on the Love Where You Are podcast and I can't wait for you to tune in! Connect with Rachael at rachaelkadams.com and on Instagram Connect with Somer on Facebook and Instagram and be sure to join the Ahavah Community for weekly updates and bonus resources! Register for Helping Moms Raise Confident Daughters Course by going to cpguides.org Resources mentioned in today's episode: https://somercolbert.com/2021/03/15/assumptions-taking-our-imaginations-captive/ Katie McCown episode on the Love Offering podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/she-smiles-without-fear-with-katy-mccown/id1448057435?i=1000523014758 You heard Rachel reference a previous conversation several times in today's episode. Click the link to listen to my conversation with Angie Gibbons: How Anxiety Can Hinder Us From Loving Well Check out Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer Break Bread Together by Jess Herberger The Art of Friendship by Kim Weir FAVORITE TAKEAWAYS: Assumptions = thinking something is fact when you have no proof We put people in categories and labels I feel like assumptions are almost a judgment of someone “Before we know it, even without proof, what we assume becomes our truth. Our misguided feelings lead to misguided thoughts, which cause misguided responses. The result: ruined relationships.” - Wendy Pope Insecurity has held me back for way too long Insecurity is a focus on self What if the other person is struggling with assumptions too? Is what I am thinking: true, noble, right, pure, praiseworthy? Instead of assuming, ask questions and clarify What does God's Word say? Because that is what is true! I think the enemy uses the comparison trap to build walls in our minds, discouraging and dividing our efforts. The enemy's goal is to divide us because he knows how fierce a gathering of strong, faithful Christian women can be against his efforts and against his evil plot. Go to the Lord first before you even entertain your thoughts “Few things are as fierce as a woman empowered by Christ.” - Becky Beresford SFD = sloppy first draft We're not fighting against other women, we're fighting against an enemy who wants to destroy and divide us Put on the armor of God - Ephesians 6 We can't just run away, we have to stand firm Assumptions are half truths We get a little bit of information from what we're seeing We want to control and we don't want to be hurt - so we guard ourselves Practical ways to respond to assumptions: Be mindful Transform your assumption into a question Give yourself and others the benefit of the doubt Say “We'll see” and act in faith To automatically discount someone because they are different is a mistake We are commanded to love as Christ loves whether people treat us well or not
Today's Scripture: Ephesians 3:11-12 - This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.