Monthly Archives: September 2015

Philippians 1:19-26 — That Christ may be exalted

For me, death seems kind of far away.  I still see myself as young, although I guess I’m technically classified as middle-aged. But for Paul as he wrote this letter, he really had no idea how much longer he would … Continue reading

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Philippians 1:12-18 — When we choose to rejoice

Considering all that Paul went through in his life, you would have understood if he had grumbled and complained about all that he went through for the sake of the gospel. Maybe in times of weakness he did.  But according … Continue reading

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Philippians 1:1-11 — What God is doing in us

This letter that Paul wrote to the Philippians is one that is filled with joy, despite all the trials Paul was going through.  Paul was writing this in prison, probably from Rome, and yet time and again, you see the … Continue reading

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Ephesians 6:10-24 — Standing together in prayer

As we close Ephesians, we close with the same drum we’ve been beating for the last 4 chapters:  unity. Paul has been talking about the spiritual war we are in, and after talking about the armor of God we are … Continue reading

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Ephesians 6:10-24 — The armor we fight in

I said yesterday that we do not fight our battles with human weapons, whether it’s literal ones, political ones, or weapons of mere human rhetoric. Now don’t get me wrong, there is room for the latter two.  We do need to … Continue reading

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Ephesians 6:10-24 — Standing in the face of attack…together

We are in enemy territory.  I don’t know if you know that, but we are.  Paul says, For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world … Continue reading

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Ephesians 6:5-9 — How we serve

We close up this section on family living with one more picture of our relationship with God, namely Christ. We saw how our marriage relationships are a picture of our relationship with Christ, how our parent-child relationships are a picture of our … Continue reading

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Ephesians 6:1-4 — Following our Father’s example

In this chapter, we see an extension of Paul’s teaching on our relationship with God and how it shows in our relationships with each other. In chapter 5, we see that just as the church submits to Christ as her husband, … Continue reading

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Ephesians 5:25-33 — Unity in marriage (part 2)

The very interesting thing we find in this passage is that marriage is meant to be a picture of our relationship with Christ.  In what way? Paul says, Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave … Continue reading

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Ephesians 5:21-33 — Unity in marriage

I have never really thought of this before, but as I’ve been going through Ephesians, it seems to me that this passage is merely an extension of what Paul has been saying throughout.  That is, in Christ, the church has … Continue reading

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Ephesians 5:15-21 — How we walk

One thing that strikes me is how often Paul uses the word “live” in this passage.  I like how the ESV (among other translations) translates it “walk.” “Walk in love.”  (5:2) “Walk as children of light.” (5:8) “Be careful then how … Continue reading

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Ephesians 5:3-14 — Taking sin lightly

If there is one problem in this world, it’s that it takes sin lightly, even to the point of joking about it.  But sin is not something to be taken lightly.  Especially by Christians. So Paul says, But among you … Continue reading

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Ephesians 4:25-5:2 — That we may be one (part 2)

Words are powerful.  They can build up.  And they can tear down. For this reason, Paul said, Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their … Continue reading

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Ephesians 4:25-5:2 — That we may be one

As I’ve been looking at these passages this time around, I’ve been seeing them in a whole new light.  Up until now,  I’ve always thought of these verses as merely touching my personal life.  But as we have seen, Paul … Continue reading

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Ephesians 4:17-24 — Becoming all that we were meant to be

In the Disney film “Frozen,” there comes a point when Elsa, the queen, reveals her powers with ice and snow to the people, and because of their fear is forced to flee.  All her life, she had hidden her powers … Continue reading

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Ephesians 4:7-16 — That we might know Christ’s fullness, that he might fill all things

I don’t know how you can look at the world and not think it’s a mess.  And even as we look at our own lives, we can see the mess we have made of things.  This world we live in, … Continue reading

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Ephesians 4:1-6 — Keeping our unity

Paul has spent the last three chapters talking about how we have all been made one in Christ.  That though Jews and non-Jews had been divided under the Old Covenant, in Christ, the dividing wall was smashed and we are … Continue reading

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Ephesians 3:14-21 — That we may be filled with his glory

In I Kings, it says about the completion of the temple Solomon had built, When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD. And the priests could not perform their service because of the … Continue reading

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Ephesians 3:12 — Freedom and confidence

I wonder how often we take for granted what we have in Christ. I look at this whole passage in Ephesians 3, and it talks about this mystery that even the Old Testament prophets and priests never really understood, at … Continue reading

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Ephesians 3:1-13 — Being a steward of God’s grace

I think that for many Christians, they look at my last post that says we all are called to be stewards of God’s grace to those around us, and they say, “But I’m no Paul.  I can’t do the things … Continue reading

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Ephesians 3:1-13 — Being a steward of God’s grace

I like how the ESV renders verse 2 in this passage, …you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you. A steward of God’s grace.  That’s what we are called to be.  God … Continue reading

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Ephesians 2:11-22 — Accepted

It’s really amazing thinking about the total difference Christianity brought to the Jewish mindset concerning God and non-Jews.  To the Jews, theirs was a near exclusive relationship with God.  And if anyone wanted to have a relationship with God, they basically had to … Continue reading

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Ephesians 2:10 — God’s masterpiece

I really love this verse. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. The NLT puts it, “We are God’s masterpiece.”  We’re not simply some slop … Continue reading

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Ephesians 2:1-8 — The wonder of God’s grace

Paul had just finished praying for the Ephesians that they might see all they truly had in Christ.  Now in chapter 2, he lays it all out for them. Just as a side note, I think it’s important to remember … Continue reading

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Ephesians 1:15-23 — If we could only see

I wonder sometimes if we really see how much we are truly blessed in Christ?  My guess is no.  Oh sure, many of us know the truths of God’s grace and love in our lives.  But do we truly understand them? … Continue reading

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Ephesians 1:1-14 — Chosen and blessed in love, by God’s plan and for his glory

As I look at the first two chapters of Ephesians, I can’t help but marvel all over again at all that God has given you and me who have put our faith in Jesus. Paul starts this letter to the … Continue reading

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Galatians 6:11-18 — What really counts

Paul closes this letter by basically summarizing all that he has said in it.  And here he discounts all that doesn’t really count for anything in this world. What others think of us doesn’t matter, particularly their approval (12). Our own … Continue reading

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Galatians 6:7-10 — The seeds we sow

I would have never made a good farmer.  I remember as a kid trying to plant a seed.  I can’t remember if it was from an orange or an apple, but either way, I wanted it to grow right then … Continue reading

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Galatians 6:6 — Lifting those who lift you

Pastors have a hard job.  I certainly wouldn’t want to be one unless God specifically told me to do so. Not only do they have to prepare the Sunday message, they have to constantly deal with the people within the church. … Continue reading

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