Blog note: I have been excited about some new projects lately that are of the writing kind. Thanks to a place that delivers encouragement and criticism alike I feel that there has been some shape-up in the skill that is the art and love of writing. And I might give a sneak peek or the whole story and debut it on this blog for the first time.
We were in Ephesians right? The book where Paul was addressing a church or a body of believers about Christ and how to live the life for God. This book is one of my favorites (I like Paul also so that makes this great as well).
He states from a prison he was kept in for sharing his faith how the people he can’t see or communicate with visually how to live for Christ
He says that they (but we should see that “we” must as well) speak the truth in love, grow spiritually mature in all things into Him who is the head.
It is so encouraging that God’s Word has been encouraging me about growth during a time things have been a little hard. Sometimes situations turn out in terrible ways not because we are bad or are being punished by Him but because of spiritual attack or that God is just trying to make us aware we should live for others and care for them.
Do you belong or used to go to a church? Now no church is perfect if you ever had a negative experience but that is part of the wonder of it. We all are not perfect but the Lord still loves us. We are being put through a process called “glorification” but we will never be complete until we are with the Lord in Heaven. For that reason I feel so blessed and humbled. I have sin and troubles but the Lord loves me and as long as I keep following His ways I can be more like Him everyday.
And this growth by the Holy Spirit is where we can learn to be more loving and tell of His wonders everyday. So encouraging that we have God’s Word and His love always by our side and we can lean on each other and help each other in the purest of the way by Jesus Christ. If you struggle with something, the church is there. If you are hurting and need spiritual council about a tough matter, a leader is there. If you feel you have lost your way, Jesus is there!
Jesus’ love is there. If it is not accessible to you at a church know that by Christ in me I know that His love is there for you. I hope that you will experience His love because it is wonderful. And if you are hurting, guess what? God is the god of all comfort!
He wants us to have a relationship with Him so that we cannot fall into the traps that we get ourselves into and be lead astray.
If you don’t know Christ know that God does not want you to be alone in your sin. He is there and that if you are seeking Jesus you will find Him because it says so in God’s Word.
If you are struggling with habitual sin (getting into situations again and again and don’t feel like there is a way out or your guilt is binding you) know that His way is great. His forgiveness from sin is available always and like a mutual relationship we should be doing things for Him because He has done so much for us.
God has unending mercy. Think about that.
From the moment you were born and wanted nothing but to fend or treat yourself to when you were a child to now, you were loved by God. Before we even knew about God’s love He first loved us.
I definitely heard of God’s love a lot but I just didn’t want to listen. Sure I was going to church a lot (my dad brought me and my brother to church when we were babies!) but that didn’t save me.
Sitting in a pew does not save anyone. It does not cause Jesus’ blood to come and wash away sin.
But guess what Christ did pay for your sin and He died on the cross as payment for it. Wow. Did he really?
Could he really know me but had to die for me? Yes.
And what He did when He was punished and hurt, bruised for iniquities and bled for our terrible sin he was paying for our sin.
Without the shedding of blood there was no forgiveness.
And then He took the ultimate sacrifice and died. Then three days later, he rose again! God had authority over death and when He gave His son He was able to rescue us all from sin.
We must believe this. And you will see how much he cares for you. You must know this and in faith you will be saved.
Now with Paul’s people in Ephesus, they had a lot of people that made up the church. They had Jewish and non-Jewish people (and the “Gentiles” in the text mean non-believers but I will get to that).
They had to tell others about the Lord testify in Him, making up the whole “body” of Christ and do what they should in His name in their individual walks. They should no longer walk as the rest of them would. That meant they were having troubles with sin that they knew was not right or honorable (it says in the text that apparently they were committing theft, lying, and being probably unreasonably angry about certain things). But then in Paul’s words for God he was telling them not to be like the world but be not like the rest of the Gentiles that walk apart from Him.
Being without God is useless. It may seem good and there is supposed “freedom” but where does it lead? If a person lived and died extremely rich and not knowing God did it matter what they had versus where they would end up? It would not be good, would it?
It talks of the world as people who walk in the “futility” of their mind. We should not be walking conformed or like the world. The understanding of the world is a dark place, blindness of the heart where people choose not to get what they are doing or what they say about the life is wrong.
Be there to tell the goodness of Christ; like a light stand out in love and shine His truth to all the world.
This text in Ephesians tells how the people should live guided by the Holy Spirit:
But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind…
That is a great chunk of verses! From 20 to 23 of the book in chapter 4 it says great truth.
Did you know if you follow Him simply He reveals knowledge to you? Yes, you can easily find it in His word and it is so encouraging the supernatural power of His will and love. I will guarantee following Him is, while sometimes trying and a little tough, both great and a wonderful journey.
In that phrase of verses he is saying that they have not learned Christ, if they have heard Him and was taught by Him as they needed to know a part that was important we should know.
He said put off the former self. The “old man,” the one you don’t want others to know about, the sin you want to shrug off with your own power but it keeps coming back again.
Yes I am talking about that one! We must in order to live for him grow in His way fully in His Spirit because living with sinful influence can be bad (and will not lead to good things).
I have said once that living with sin on your heart can be like a flower that is growing out of a pot of soil with a stone on top of it. Will it grow right? Will it reach its height and full potential? Will it be able to grow at all…?
That is why we must depend on God to search our hearts and minds and make it surrendered fully to Him.
It is sad to think how prevalent sin can be once we let it come our way at times. Sometimes we invite it, want to encourage it, or provide no way to let God guard our hearts against it. I am talking about sin that we commit purposely. The “bad” stuff.
We must be refreshed in our hearts to Christ by giving up our sins, admitting them to Him and then confessing by wanting to not come back to it again.
That takes sacrifice, that takes Godly strength that can come if we ask Him for it.
The “old man” in your life may or will come back time and time again but that is where mercy comes in again. God has endless mercy on us. What does that show with how much mercy we should have on others?
We should be renewed in the spirit of the mind by His life and put on a new one that is because of His mercy and love He has shown to us. We must let go of the old self and sing a new song!
Such wonderment of the endless mercies of the God of our lives! Be all glory to Him in yours, may you shine in His countenance, your face be shining in His love. Amen.
(Wow, I might do a third part or just a new article altogether. Such wonders to explore in His Word!)