Eph. 6:10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power…14 Stand your ground… 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
Too often as Christians we get comfortable. We have our ticket to heaven, we have a nice family, a job, attend a nice church where we can gather with others and worship God and hear a nice message that will encourage us. Oh yes there are ups and downs in life, we don’t always get along with our spouse, he/she does not always understand us and yes even our children… well they are not perfect, but life is good. We have nice home or apartment that is comfortable, we are able to pay our bills, take a vacation, eat out at our favorites restaurants and we have one or more cars that can take us to most places we want to go. Yes Live is good, God is good and we see His blessing each and every day. Oh we may some daily challenging for we are in a hurry and everyone seems to be out on a Sunday Drive, or your spouse is not doing everything you expect your spouse to do. But these little details in life are not what Paul was writing to the Ephesian Christians about. So let’s look at this passage in another version, “The Message”
Eph. 6:10 And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. 11 So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. …13 Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. ..8 In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.
Too often we forget that our battle is not with our spouse, our children, that person who we do not know standing in front of us taking his or her time while we are in a hurry and they are not. Our Battle is with the Devil himself. The Devils plan is for you NOT to be focused on the things of God but on you. Personally, I think he has done a really good job. It seems that many Christians have taken their eyes off the really important battle that is at hand. I believe we need to rethink things a bit, to reprioritize things in our life a bit more for God tells us that “You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own”, “Be prepared”, “Pray hard and long”, “Pray for your brothers and sisters”, “Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up”, “so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet.”
I want to be found on my feet standing strong when it’s all over. How about You?
Be Imitators of God
How? How does one imitate God?
Many will say, “You can’t, no one can!” But is this true? In our passage in Ephesians Paul writes “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.” (Eph. 5:1). The Apostle Paul is saying to the Church in Ephesus that they can and he is telling that this is what they should do, they should imitate God.
So how, how can someone imitate God? When Jesus began his ministry here on earth he came to 12 individuals, 12 men who he knew desired to know more about God, know more how they could please God, know more as to how they could serve God and called to them, “‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him”. (Matt. 4:19,20). Jesus was telling them to come and follow him, live with him, listen to him, watch him, spend time learning from him so they will completely and thoroughly know Him and thus know how to imitate God. The Apostle Paul understood this concept and the importance of imitation. People understand better how to do something if they are able to follow an example. So Paul in several of his letters for them to imitate him.
“And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.” 1 Cor.11:1
To imitate someone, you must follow them, you must know them and you must spend time with them. Paul knew of the importance and need for people to see how to imitate God and they knew the best way to imitate God was to follow a man who walked with God.
Paul wrote as to the Why. Why they were to imitate God, because they were children of God. As Children, everything they did, everything they said would be a reflection of their father, God.
God is now using this passage to speak to us, to prompt us to live our life as Children of God, to live our live imitating God. Can I encourage you to find a man or woman who walks with God and follow them, to ask them if they will take some time with you and help you imitate God. Will you?
Eph 4:22 You took off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires; 23 you are being renewed in the spirit of your minds; 24 you put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth.
This idea of taking off and putting on is the same concept of taking off old clothes and putting on new clothes.
Taking off take and putting on takes intentionality. One understand what needs to be done, is in agreement and desires to shed their old clothes and longs to put on the fresh new clothes awaiting for them.
God tells us that we are a new Creation,
2 Cor. 5:17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
God petition for us is to shed our old clothes our old ways of living life, she our old ways of doing living life where “Me” was the most important thing for us, where “Me” was the most important thing in the world.
So what Paul is saying “If I say that I am God’s Child and God has His claim on my life, then I am responsible to God, to am to live as He wants me to live, I am to li
At some point in History the idea of the Church, the view of Leaders in the Church changed. Today in many Churches the 80/20 rules is in effect.
20% of the people are actively involved in serving in the Church. 80% are observers. This is in conflict with God’s design.
God tells us that He has given the Church a gift, i.e. specific leaders to the Church for the purpose of equipping the saints in the Church.
This is God gift so the Church can be God witness to the world displaying His manifold wisdom and so the world can see the true magnificence of God.
Eph. 4:11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.
God’s design for the Church does not allow for Christians to be observers. God design is that the every individual in the Church is equipped to serve to serve in the Church.
This is our conflict.
It has been said that the Church has become a spectator sport. With so many observer, one can easily see why.
God’s design of the Church and the American design of the Church are totally different, they function differently and what is being witness by those looking on has not been helpful.
So how do we change from this American style of Church to God’s design of Church?
Jesus’s plan is very basic, very simple. Jesus plan is for all Disciples to become involved, all disciples making disciples
Matthew 28:19-20 (GNT) “Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age.”
Eph. 4:1 Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.
Each believer living a life worthy of their calling. Each believer has been chosen, called of God.
Our Goal, 100% actively involved in serving. The Observers are looking on to see the "Manifold wisdom of God in the Church" Eph 3:10