Welcome back to Week 2 in the Book of Ephesians!
The daily reflections you have shared out on Instagram and Facebook have been wonderful! They are such an encouragement! If you missed those discussions – I hope you will join us this week. They are so helpful!
Here are the links to last week’s posts on the blog, in case you missed any of them:
If you are looking for guidance for the color coding and daily insight into the reading – please visit me on Instagram and visit the hashtag #WomenLivingWell – there are lots of women posting their pictures of their color coded Bibles and their reflections on our reading. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to do this and not all of our Bibles will look alike.
Here’s what mine looked like last week:
If you are new here – jump in with our reading this week and catch up on the weekends.
All are welcome to join anytime – there are no enrollments or sign-ups!
This Week’s Bible Reading Plan:
(Facebook Leaders: You can use this as your Facebook Header this week. Just right click and “save as” or screen shot it.)
This week’s Reflection & Discussion Questions
(Leaders: Copy and paste these into your groups. If you do not have a group, use these for a personal time of reflection.)
God not only reconciles us to him through Christ, but he brings unity in the body of Christ, across cultural divides and racial divides. The Gentiles had no hope and God broke the dividing wall of hostility between the Jews and Gentiles and reconciled us all to him, through Christ. Those who were once far from Christ were made near, not through their works or their daily reading of God’s word but through the blood of Christ and his work on the cross.
Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross is the only reason we are able to be brought near to God. It is not because we do good works, go to church, give money, read our Bibles or are born of a certain nationality, that we can be near to God. It is Jesus’ deep, sacrificial and saving love for you, that has brought you near to him. Do you feel near to God today? Why or why not? Remember that our nearness is not based on the good and bad things we do but on the blood of Christ. God is near even when he does not feel nearby.
Paul suffered as a prisoner for sharing the gospel with the Gentiles. He knew that though it was the Roman Government who put him in prison, it was the Lord’s will for his life. God gave him the gospel to steward. He calls the gospel a mystery three times in this passage. A mystery is something that is inexplainable or hard to understand. But through the revealing of God’s grace to the church, the gospel is made known and it is not just made known to man, but also to the spirit world, the rulers and authorities in heavenly places. And so, Paul does not want them to be discouraged by his suffering because God is being glorified.
The wisdom of God is displayed through the church, to the angels. God doesn’t use the angels to reveal himself to us but instead he uses us to reveal himself to the angels. Have you considered that God has called you to something far greater than just your own salvation? God is not only teaching the universe a beautiful lesson through the blood of Jesus and the unifying of the church across divides – but also through YOU! There is an unseen world watching. What do they learn from your walk with God and your local church? In what ways are they seeing the wisdom of God displayed in your church? (for further study about the angels watching the church, read these passages: 1 Peter 1:12, 1 Timothy 5:21, Hebrews 13:1-3, Matthew 13:39-43)
The Jews normally prayed standing with their hands in the air but here, Paul is now kneeling in prayer. This is a position of humility. As Paul considers God’s amazing eternal plan, he cannot help but to fall to his knees and direct his prayers to the heavenly father. Down through the ages, the advancement of the gospel has been unstoppable even when those in the church have been imprisoned like Paul. Just as he prayed for the church at the start of his letter, he is praying that the church would be strengthened and would know the breadth, length, height and depth of Christ’s love.
Do you have a favorite place and posture for prayer? The Bible shows us that there are many different ways to pray but we see in scripture, Solomon, Ezra, David, Daniel, Stephen, Peter, Paul, Jesus and many more kneeled in prayer. Let’s follow their example today and change our posture for prayer. Would you join me in humbling yourself by kneeling in prayer? While you are on your knees, pray for whatever God has laid on your heart along with praying for the both the universal church (Christians around the world) and your local church that you attend. After you finish praying answer this question: Did changing your posture change your prayer? In what ways?
Here we have a doxology. A doxology is a short song of praise at the end of a prayer or song. As Paul finishes the first three chapters of Ephesians, he cannot help but to pause and simply give God glory because God can do more than we can even ask or imagine. He uses the words “exceedingly abundantly” to express that it’s beyond what the human mind can even measure or describe. And so, through all generations, may the redeemed glorify him forever and ever. Amen.
God can do more than we ask or think. Think of all you have ever asked God for – he can do MORE than that! Think of all that you have imagined God could do – he can do MORE than that! Our human minds cannot imagine or comprehend all God can do and is doing in the world right now. How does knowing and thinking about how beyond comprehension our God is, bring you peace as you go through hard times? How can you trust him more today and how can you pass this on to the next generation?
After looking at all God has done for us, Paul calls us to live right with humility, gentleness, patience and love for one another. When we live this way, we will be maintaining unity and peace in the family of God. This unity comes because of all we share as one body, one spirit, one hope of our calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism and one God and Father. All of this should surpass any differences we have in the church.
You see we don’t live right to receive God’s love, instead because we have received God’s love — we live right. Our character matters! Evaluate yourself right now and write below which areas you need to work on. In what areas are you tempted to be prideful and how can you be humbler? Would others describe you as gentle? Why or why not? Is anyone trying your patience right now? Pray for strength. Who do you need to love more? Is there anything you can do more to bring greater unity and peace in the body of Christ?
To print the 20 Reflection and Discussion Questions for Ephesians –> Click Here.
This Week’s Verses of the Day:
(Leaders: You can use these images in your groups by using right click and “save as” or screen shoting them.)
Here’s the Printable Bible Bookmark for Ephesians.
Here’s another explanation of the SOAK Bible Study Method and Bible Coloring Chart if you need more guidance:https://www.youtube.com/embed/ugLUHdPpUMg?feature=oembed
Here is the SOAK method I refer to in the video:
And the Bible Coloring Bookmark:
Click HERE to Print the full page Coloring Chart
or Click HERE for the Bookmark Coloring Chart
Here are the highlighters, pens and pencils I refer to in the video:
Highlighters – Acid Free – Bible Hi-Glider
Fine Line Non-bleeding Pens – Micron Archival Ink and Multi-Colored Gel Pens
Colored Pencils – Crayola Twistables and Crayola Colored Pencils
I use the ESV Inductive Study Bible as my personal study Bible.
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Remember to leave at least 20 minutes for your reading each day. I am in prayer for you all and asking God to help us understand his word clearly.
Have a wonderful week in God’s Word – I’ll see you back here on the blog this Friday as we go deeper into God’s Word together! (Don’t forget to visit me Monday through Friday over on Facebook and Instagram. )
Keep walking with the King,
Did you miss last week’s video? Here it is again!
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