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Audacious -- Week 8

Read: Ephesians 4: 17-32

 

Reflect: Today is a great day to dive into our next portion of scripture in Ephesians. Remember, Paul wrote to the Ephesians, a church that proved to be powerful in influencing the world for Jesus Christ. Paul has had so much to say to the Ephesians on a variety of topics. I believe we’ve greatly benefited from his encouragement.

 

In chapter one, Paul reminded the Ephesians of Christ’s lavish love for us that led to His redemption of our lives. In chapter one, he also prayed that beautiful prayer asking God to open the eyes of our hearts so that we can truly see. Chapter two opened with a brief illustration of who we were before Christ, and it was dark. The remainder of the chapter, though, illustrates how God called us through Jesus and led us to pursue the call He placed on our lives before the foundation of the world. Mystery was the theme in chapter 3. In my opinion, there’s no better way to end a chapter on mystery than with words like, “To Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we can think or imagine according to His power at work within us,....” Finally, chapter four opened with a call to unity in the body and has ended with Paul urging the Ephesians to live spiritually disciplined lives.

 

Respond: In your journal, attempt to make a list from this chapter of all the things Paul said we should not do. Make a separate list of things he said we need to do.

 

It’s a lot, right? And, it would be awesome if we and every other believer on the planet simply acted like we need to act. But, as Beth said on the bottom of page 90, “we mortal-sorts are compulsively resistant to what we need to do to thrive.” In other words, all of us read through the verses in Ephesians four, and we know we NEED to live exactly like Paul described. But, do we?

 

Renew: I don’t have a neat wrap up today. I don’t think there’s a way to read passages like we’ve read and tie it all up neatly. So, let’s leave it a little messy. What’s the hardest part of the Christian’s walk for you? What seems to consistently trip you up?

 

Take some time to find a verse in Ephesians 4 that you can pair with your struggle. Don’t overthink this, ladies. Just jot it down in your journal. It can be super simple like,

 

My emotions of past experiences trip me up in relationships more than I’d like….. Ephesians 4:31 says, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger be put away.”

 

Once you have a list, I want you to look at it long enough to see the difficulty in living that out daily. Then, remember Beth’s purpose in Chapter 8. She wants us to realize that we mostly do what we want to do. I’m urging you to end your time with the Lord today in a prayer asking Him to change your “want to.” Let’s storm His presence today with pleas to give us hearts that want to do, to say, to act as He desires. Need isn’t always the best motivator. But, want will be. Do you want to live the Christian’s walk as Paul outlined it in scripture? Then, let’s ask God to multiply that desire.

 

I’m looking forward to diving into more of Beth’s thoughts on this matter tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

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