"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Good Rules to Run By - Ephesians 5

In our small group study this week, we read through Ephesians chapter 5, verses 1-21.  What a great night of conversation and discussion around such a practical passage.  Ultimately, I think most of us found areas of our daily walk that could be challenged by these directives.  Below I have provided a few of the verses that consumed our time.  There is so much to dig into when you seriously consider the application, and implication, of what Paul is telling us.  I'm sure we will continue our dialogue next Wednesday, and we would love to hear any thoughts about this chapter from others.

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us

- It always comes back to Christ's example and His desire that we walk in love - ALWAYS. And how did He love us? Sacrificially, submissively, unconditionally, mercifully ...... 

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. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 

- Uh oh, is Paul getting all in our business here? Yep.  It's interesting that 'greed' is included in this list. Most think that it is because at the heart of these destructive actions / behaviors is SELF.  We want, so we take, whether we should or not.  We desire attention, so we use words and jokes off the bathroom walls to gain that attention.  Greed is, by it's very nature, a sin of excess.  It's a lust and a desire for the extreme.  I think if we begin to control the envy and self-centered attitude, we begin to live more as God intended for His people. Also interesting is that we are directed to replace all of these "out of place" actions with thanksgiving. Just think about that for a while ...... now imagine the next time you, or I, are tempted to engage in foolish talk or let out an obscenity. Thanksgiving. 

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery, but instead be filled with the Spirit
 
- What great counsel! Be careful, live wisely, make the most out of today, don't be foolish, be filled with the Holy Spirit in a very special way.  I know that a lot of my own bad decisions could have been prevented by heeding this counsel.

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