"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.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Chapter Worth 1,000 Words! (Ephesians 6)

Earlier this week, we concluded one of my favorite small group studies yet; Paul's letter to the Ephesians.  A book rich in equal parts theology and practical application.  Words shared to shape our understanding of God's power and grace, and to direct our daily words, actions and attitudes.  I am sure that I have never grasped Paul's intentions, or appreciated his writing, as I do now. I am prayerful that all of our small group members have grown in a similar way. 

My closing thoughts on our fall study relate to the final chapter, Ephesians 6. As we closed our discussion, I just kept thinking how we could have easily spent two or three more nights in discussion.  Just consider the areas that Paul addresses in these 24 verses:

  • The relationship between children and parents; emphasis on the child's responsibility to respect, care for and honor the parent
  • The relationship between children and parents; emphasis on the parent's responsibility to respect, train,  and encourage the child
  • The relationship between employee and employer; emphasis on the employee's responsibility to respect authority and work as unto the Lord
  • The relationship between employer and employee; emphasis on the employer's responsibility to respect, not threaten and recall that in God's eyes there are no favorites
  • The Armor of God that allows us to stand firm on a daily basis.  To resist evil we are to call upon the power of God's truth, righteousness, salvation, peace, faith and His Word
  • In all things PRAY - I am especially struck by Paul's request for prayer.  He does not request good health, comfort or material items, but that he will have the right words to speak in testimony of the Gospel and the he might speak it "fearlessly, as I should." 

What a great passage.  Imagine if we could live out this single chapter on a daily basis .....  I have included chapter 6 below for any who want to read and perhaps share any thoughts on the scripture. Thanks again for your participation this fall as we continue to live life together.

Ephesians 6

New International Version (NIV)
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.
And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Final Greetings

21 Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing. 22 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you.
23 Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love

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