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Ephesians chapter 6

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21

 

SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 6

AUTHOR:  Joe Ligon

 

Today we bring our journey through Ephesians to a close.  Although this book has only six chapters, it really is just full of good, important stuff.  I regret that we were only to scratch the surface.  But the reality is we all have limited time and limited space for everything including these daily devotions.  I hope our quick tour through Ephesians has been helpful.

Although this final chapter of Ephesians speaks of parent/child relationships and employer/employee relationships, it is perhaps best known for its section on the armor of God.  This begins in verse 10.

As this section opens we are encouraged to be strong and to put on the whole armor of God.  The reason for this is the spiritual battle(s) that Christ-followers face on at least a daily basis.  We are told this is necessary to stand up against the schemes or wiles of the devil.  The word translated schemes or wiles is where we get our word methods from but it refers to trickery or deceit.  In other words, the devil does not fight fair.  He is a liar who will use every trick in the book to defeat you or any other Christ-follower.

Verse 12 gives us an incredible insight to our spiritual battles.  Our battle or fight or wrestling is not with flesh and blood.  In other words, our actual enemy is not human.  Our struggle should never be with each other.  Instead, our battles are with the demons that serve Satan.  Honestly, that sometimes takes on a human form and sometimes humans are used mightily of Satan.  But we really need to remember who are real enemy really is.

As you read through the description of the armor of God, you will find that the vast majority of it is defensive in nature.  It is designed to protect our minds and hearts.  We are to be wrapped in God’s truth and to wear spiritual shoes that will keep us from slipping down or slipping backward.  We are given a shield that absorbs and extinguishes the fiery, flaming darts of the enemy.

The only offensive weapon we are given is a sword which this passage defines as the Word of God.  The only offensive weapon we have is the Bible.  The only way we can be adept at using this offensive weapon is we have to spend time with it and in it.  We just can’t carry around our Bibles and swing them at unsuspecting folks.  We have to get into the Word deep enough that the Word gets into us.

But even with all that armor and with that very sharp sword, we still need spiritual help to survive and even be victorious in the spiritual battles.  Verse 18 challenges us to pray for ourselves.  The same verse also challenges us to pray for other Christ-followers.  Prayer not only prepares our hearts but also prayer unleashes the power of God.  Remember He is able to do immeasurably more than all that we ask or think according to His power that is at work in us. (Ephesians 3:20)

When you put all of this together, you realize that the Christian life is not for sissies.  And it is not for the faint of heart.  The call to the Christian life is a call to battle that is not only real and intense but it is also often an unseen spiritual conflict.  As Christ-followers we have to be willing to stand against the enemy and to pray for our brothers and sisters to stand with us.

 

Posted by Joe Ligon with

Ephesians chapter 4 part two

DAILY DEVOTION
FOR
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

 
SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 4 part two
AUTHOR:  Jeremy Witt
 
Notice verse 12, and I encourage you to read it in a variety of translations.  Do you see that the gifts of those listed in verse 11 are for the building up of the Church.?  This is God’s plan for those offices to equip the Church to do the ministry rather than those offices to do it.  Verse 13 says “Until we all attain to the unity of the faith” which is sign that the Church must focus on these things until we are with Christ. 

This is why we must fulfill our calling.  Jesus gave it to us (every Christ-follower) in Matthew 28:18-20 and is known as the Great Commission.  We called to share the Gospel, teach it, make disciples, baptize, and reach the people groups.  These are our marching orders.  Again, let it be said that this is for every Christ-follower, not just those offices mentioned in verse 11.  If we will do these things, we will no longer be immature as it says in verse 14, and follow every fad and idea that the world throws out.

Verses 14 and following essentially are given to help us live as God calls us to live.  We will be stable and consistent.  We will speak the truth in love more and more like Christ. (15)  We will be as one body doing our specific roles in the Church. (16) 

Verses 17-32 refer to things we should avoid.  Don’t live like the Gentiles (culture counter to the Gospel).  Don’t think like the Gentile culture.  Don’t be hard-headed and unteachable with hard hearts. (18)  These people have no shame and live based on their lusts/passions, so don’t be like that. (19)  We are told some specific things not to do and told some things to do or “put on.”  Throw off the old ways (22) but instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Here is the question that immediately comes to my mind.  How?  Where do our thoughts live and our attitudes live?  It is in our minds and hearts.  So how do we change our minds and heart?  God’s Word is the key.  Read the Word.  Memorize the Word.  Practice the Word.  Pray the Word.  Call out to God for help.  It will slowly and in some cases immediately change our thoughts and attitudes. 

Stop lying (25), stop living in anger (26), control your anger to keep Satan at bay (27), quit stealing and start working (28), watch your language (29), do not do anything to bring sorrow to the Holy Spirit (30), and throw away all your bitterness, rage, foul talk and slander (31). 

Verses like these are not popular in our cancel culture today.  Avoiding sin, refraining from sin, or denying our flesh is not something that is popular today.  I could have said these things before 2020 and it would have true, but in my lifetime, I have never seen our culture so blatantly evil.  Evil is not even hiding anymore.  It is coming out and being spoken in public places by public officials.  Here is the key for us today.  If we will live out our faith as we read in Scripture, we will be beacons of lights like a city on a hill for all to see.  If we will be what Christ is calling us, our world will take notice.  When we do not participate in activities, others will notice, and when we are asked why we are not doing ______________, we can share the hope of Jesus Christ.

“Instead be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”  (verse 32)

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

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