As A Child

Ephesians 5:1-7

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

One of the most valuable lessons I learned at Pure Life Ministries is summed up in verse 1.  “As dear children”.  I thought I really knew scripture inside and out and yet I was steeped in  sin, especially the sin of pride.  They counseled me to start looking at scripture differently.  I had read through the bible at least a dozen times, and studied all through out Old and New Testament.  But they said to try and imagine I was reading each verse for the very first time, as a child who never had heard those words before.  It was very difficult,, but I put my whole being into it.  And the words took on new meaning – they jumped off the page at me and shouted “This is the way”.  A new learning curve had begun.  I  could now walk in love, because I saw it so much more clearly.  I saw His love for me with a new understanding.  The sacrifice He gave took on greater meaning to me.

I encourage you to do the same.  Try to put aside any learning you may have had in  bible knowledge and read the word with fresh eyes, as if you’d never sen it before.  Take it in as a child takes in new truths, with amazement and awe.  Put aside any  pre-conceived ideas of what it says, and just read the words and ask God to revel it’s truth to you.  I think you will be in for a thrilling time!

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

There are certain things that Paul says should never be found in the church.  Fornication, which is sex outside of marriage basically.  This is on the rise in our society today, and should be a point of concern for all of us.  It’s not all that unusual for couples to have e=sex on the first date, and for them to have multiple partners.  It’s a scary scene to me, and totally against God’s law.

Uncleanness can deal with any part of our lives, but  want to concentrate on words.  I am amazed at the way  our language is used today.  It is atrocious in many cases.  There is no doubt our TV and Movie habits have been dumbed down when it comes to using proper language..  Words to songs can’t even be mentioned for so many “artists”.  The words are unclean, and it is permeating our society.  Make sure your words are in line with Phil. 4:8!

Covetousness – having a desire to own what is someone else’s, has also hit epic proportions.  Adultery is rampant and that is nothing but covetousness.  We hear of people breaking into homes, companies being unethical to gain an edge, even church secretaries who steal embezzle the church.  It’s a shoot out sometimes.  Filthiness, foolishness and jesting are next on his list.  Crude jokes, making fun of people, just not being serious when we should be.  So many things fit this description.

What should rule our lives?  The giving of thanks – that’s what.  Under all circumstances,, thanksgiving should rise to the top.  Thanksgiving should be our daily habit.  Thanksgiving should be what leaves our lips and goes into the atmosphere.  Thanks should be the cry of our heart.  Thank you Lord should be our song.

For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

He tells the Ephesian church that they know these people that are not thankful., but participate in all those other things, will not enter the Kingdom of Christ.  There may be some who will try and deceive them and make them believe that God will accept all into His kingdom, so Paul tells them not to be deceived by that.  There are those today who tell us grace covers it all, and you can live whatever type of life you want.  God loves you and you will go to heaven.  Well grace does cover it all, but Christ tells us to go and sin no more once we accept His forgiveness.  And we must do that to the best of our ability.  we are not to partake in those activities, but do all we can to live holy and righteously before God.  That is our calling!




Be Careful Little Mouth What You Say

29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

My words are important.  Everything I say has an affect. either on me or on the people around me.  I must be aware of how those words affect other people all the time.  In our world today, it seems people don’t think much about this.  Once the words leave our lips, it is too late – the damage is done.  So we have to think about what we are going to say before we say it.  Now there’s a novel idea!  Paul says we should not  let corrupt communication proceed out of our mouth.

The word corrupt here is translated bad or unwholesome in other places in the New Testament.  The underlying meaning is that it is rotten and of no value.  When our words are demeaning and derogatory, they fit this description.  Gossip fits this description.  Backbiting fits this description.  When we put someone down, criticize them, make others feel less about someone – all of these things would be corrupt communication.  We have no business using words that do these things.

What we should be saying are things that build people up.  Words that help them to have a good day, to see God in the midst of their day, to see the grace of God working for them.  Our job is to minister grace to those around us with our words.  We should always be gentle and caring, loving and graceful with out words.

30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Sometimes I get really dumb.  I hurt my wife more with my words than anyone else alive.  I just say stupid things sometimes, and don’t even realize I said it.  Ans she is grieved by that.  And when I hurt her, I hurt.  I just want to crawl in a hole and cry sometimes, because I hurt her.

If we hurt others in our church, or other Christians with our words, we grieve the Holy Spirit.  I know that is something I don’t want to do – ever.  The Holy Spirit is so precious to me.  When I am worshiping and he comes into my place  of worship, it is such a sweet time.  I never want the Holly Spirit to be grieved and not want to be around me, for any reason.  He is the one  who keeps me safe from harm, and He has sealed me until Christ returns.

31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

So Paul gives us a list of things to get rid of, and  things to keep doing.  I think this is great.  God does not eave us guessing. He spells it right out for us.  So let’s quickly look over these two lists.

Put away bitterness – this can only be done with forgiveness.  Typically, we start to allow bitterness in our lives when we harbor a grudge, or when someone has offended us.  Get over it, and make it right.  Bitterness is a bad thing, and it only hurts you.

Put away wrath and anger.  I see some people who just seem mad all the time.  They are never pleased with anything and always complaining.   Don’t be that person – put that away.

Put away clamor – being loud and obnoxious.  this kind of talk has no place in a Christian.

Put away evil speaking – you should NEVER say anything bad about anybody else.  NEVER

Put away malice – be kind, don’t talk about getting revenge or doing harm to others.

And how should we be?  Kind, tenderhearted  ad forgiving, just like God is with us.  He’s only asking us to do what he did for us.  Certainly, we can do that!

Before the Sun Goes Down

25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

The very first thing Paul wants to address now that the new man has begun forming in you is your tongue.  I find that interesting.  Of all the parts of the body that he could have mentioned here, he chose the tongue.  He has already told  us to be renewed in our mind, and now the tongue must follow.

I’m not sure about you, but my  tongue was just plain nasty before I got saved.    so I was a master at every swear word in the book, and I also had a very quick wit.  I would cut people down so quickly they would’t know what hit them.  Kind of a Don Rickles thing, I guess.  But I was nasty for that.  I was also a pretty negative person, and did not speak life much.  God needed to work on  my tongue.

II went back to attending the church where I grew up after I got saved.  I talked to the pastor about the change in my life, and we started meeting weekly for counseling.  I’ll call it more like mentoring.  He worked on my tongue, my attitude and my demeanor.  He was a tremendous help to me in my first two years as a Christian.  My tongue, for  he most part, was tamed.  Lying, swearing, backbiting, putting down – all mostly gone.  Praise the Lord!

26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

27 Neither give place to the devil.

There is nothing wrong with being angry about something  It’s a human emotion that God has put within us to help us express ourselves.  But when we hold onto anger, and don’t work on calming it down, then we sin.  Paul tells us not to sin.  Take care of that anger right away. He’s not talking about hitting a wall or throwing a dish at the object of your anger.  He’s talking about making the wrong right.  If we are angry, there is a cause for it, and we need to get to the cause and fix it.

Two different things can happen.  The first is that someone offends us, makes us angry.  Jesus said, in Matt 18:15-17, we are to go them and let them know they offended us.  That is a hard thing to  do, but that’s what He asks of us.  If they do not acknowledge the hurt, you take a couple of witnesses and go again.  If they still do not, you take it before the church.  All of these steps take courage and conviction, but it will help all involved if done correctly.

The second is that we have offended someone.  If we find out that we have offended someone, than we are asked to go to them, even before we bring an offering to the Lord, and for their forgiveness. (Matt 5:23-24). Notice in both cases it is our responsibility – my responsibility.  None of this “Well, he offended me so he should apologize.”  We give place to the devil when we don’ act on it ourselves.  Let’s not do that.

28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

I would guess most of you reading this do not steal, and may not have before you got saved  Remember that Paul is explaining steps to take once the new man has been revealed in us.  While  it may not apply right now.  The important thing to remember is that we are to work, and not live off other people.  What he is talking about is people living off other people when they should be working.  Paul calls that stealing.  All of us need to make our ow way in this world if we are able..  we should not take advantage of other people when we can  make it on our own. I hope and pray none of you are doing that.

Time For A Change!

21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:

22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

If I have heard Him, and been taught by Him, then it’s time.  I should not wait any longer. He is the truth, and He can not lie.  It’s time for me to put away the old things in my life, and all the corrupt thoughts and lust of my past.  Put it away for good.  We all know that’s easier said than done, right?  It seems just when I get my head clear f that baggage, it pops back up again.  Then I feel like I’m stuck on stupid, as my friend says.

Here’s what I see as a key way to get that old man put behind me.  Ignore him.  Every time those bad thoughts come wandering my way, just ignore them and focus on God.  If I spend my time worried that the old thoughts are back, I just give them a place in my head. So when they come rushing in, and they will, I just don’t fret or stew about it, I go about my business and praise God, focusing on the praise instead of the delusion in my mind.  Once I can master that, the thoughts will eventually fade away and become irrelevant.  I believe they will always come.   It’s how I cope with them that matters.

23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

I need to renew my mind  Romans 12:2 says “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”  This is so critical once we have been born again.  Our minds need to be put right,  We have been in the world for so many years (I got saved when I was 24) and that old worldly mindset needs to go.  The mind has such power over he rest of our body and soul.  If we can be renewed in the spirit of our mind, the  rest will follow.  And that is done through reading and studying the word, getting grounded in a good church where we can fellowship with other believers, and learning how to pray and praise.

The new man is created in righteousness and holiness.  Those that think they can get saved and just go about their merry little lives the same way they were before being saved are deceived.  It is very clear in this passage that God asks us to change.  We should not be the same person after we accept Christ, if we have taken the time to learn Him, hear Him and be taught  by Him, as our first verse says.  His desire is to bring us to the place where we take His love to a lost and dying world.  And we can only do that effectively when the old man is gone, and the new man has taken up residence.  Has he come  alive within you?

Learn Christ

17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,

Paul starts out this section by asking the people not to walk as the Gentiles walk. He describes this as walking in the vanity of their minds.

I remember walking like that. I was raised in the church. My mom was the Church secretary for the First Congregational Church in West Boylston Massachusetts for most of my formative years. She was also the board secretary. So we were at every church function that ever happened. I was in the choir, I was an acolyte, I got confirmed and everything seemed to be going the right direction. But in my senior year in high school I started to experiment with drugs. Back in those days we did LSD on sugar cubes. That’s how I started. I got in with a great bunch of guys and we were there hippies of the senior class. This was in 1969-1970. We were true flower children
During the summer of 1970 high was the only word I knew – LSD, pot, speed, booze.. My mind was so messed up.  I drugged up shortly after I started college, I got mononucleosis.  I missed five weeks of college, which meant five weeks of chemistry and physics labs. I had no desire to go back even though they offered to let me start over again on full scholarship. I was a smart kid. I turned it down and took a job in the factory where my mom was then working. But high remained the main word. It was definitely the vanity of my mind. I thought I was doing so good and I was so messed up. I was so thankful for that day that I accepted Jesus Christ in my life and got turned around. What was your experience before you knew Jesus?

18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

There’s no doubt that my understanding was darkened. I was so alienated from the life of God. I had many people try to get me to church but they had no success. I classified myself as an agnostic. I believed there was a higher power but I didn’t think it was the God they were talking about. And that was the ignorance that was in me my heart.  I was definitely blinded. I had been raised in the Bible and worked in the church, even assisting in Sunday School, but it did not follow me because I became blind to it.

I was no doubt past feeling.  My heart was cold and unyielding. I had a few girlfriends but most of them were just passing girls who satisfied my lust. I never developed any close relationships that lasted. It was all fun and games and it was for my pleasure. I was definitely greedy in that area. It was not a fun way to live when I look back on it, but it sure seemed fun then.

20 But ye have not so learned Christ;

But that’s not my Jesus. And I have learned Him over the past 40 years and He has been so good to me. Two years after I got saved, He brought me to my wife and we’ve been married for 38 years. We have had our struggles and I have had my struggles with my past but she has stuck by my side all the way through and I haven’t always deserved it. He gave me an angel and I didn’t deserve that either. He gave me three daughters and five grandchildren. He has blessed my life abundantly.
I have also learned that he wants me in Ministry and right now this blog and my Palms and my other blog are my Ministry. I am restricted at home with cancer so I can’t go out and do the evangelistic work that I love to do. My church is losing our pastor (he’s retiring), and I am usually the fill in guy.  Some would like  me to be the pastor.  At this time I can’t go to my church because there’s mold in the building and I don’t know what’s going to happen. Please pray for my church.
I have learned that Christ wants me to love all those that he puts in my path and all those that I can reach. And I have to do a better job doing that. I’ve learned of His peace and His undying love for me.
I’ve also learned to be humble, and that I must keep my pride suppressed.  Ny wife is my helper there. I have learned to praise Him in any situation at any time of day or night. I’ve learned that He is worthy of every word of Praise that I can lift up to His name. I have learned that the world will reject Him and will reject me, but that cannot keep me from lifting up His name at every opportunity. That is what I’ve learned about Christ and there is so much more. It is a much better life and I plan to live it as long as I’m on this Earth, which will be a long long time


Growing Up

14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

The purpose is growth of each believer.  God never intended for us to get saved and He stay the same.  His desire is for each one of us to become the very best Christian we can become.  With that comes enormous blessing, responsibility and purpose to our lives.  If we stay still, and don’t seek to grow in knowledge and wisdom, we can easily be drawn into false doctrine and away from Christ.  That can bring all sorts of trouble to our lives as God tries to draw us back.  The best way to avoid conflict is to continually grow in Christ.  I am not saying you won’t have conflicts if you are growing,  just believe they will be greater if you are not.

Growing in Christ is fairly simple.  Seek to be under a ministry that preaches Jesus Christ crucified and risen again.  A ministry that believes in the five-fold ministry  and it’s purpose.  A ministry that is uplifting and feeds your spirit.  When you find such a ministry, be humble and teachable to learn all that God has for you.  Then seek God for the ministry that He would have you fill.  He has a plan for you!

15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ

Once you have found your place, this verse becomes vital.  First, speak the truth over your life.  Before you were saved, the world filled you with lies about yourself.  It may have told you that you were not smart, or not pretty, or not lovable, or many other things to bring you down.  Or it may have told you that you are the cat’s meow, the best thing that ever happened to this earth, or someone that is just way cool to build  you up.  Now it is time  to speak the truth to yourself.   You know have access to ALL THE PROMISES OF GOD! (caps intentional).  You also have a requirement to fulfill the commands of Jesus Christ, which are light burdens.  And he will help you all the way.  I am not gong to attempt to start listing those promises, but I will mention one.  You are a new creature in Christ – old things are passed away and all things are become new (2 Cor 5:17).  .

You also must speak the truth to others in love.  No more gossip, backbiting or having the pastor for lunch with your words.Minister into their lives with the word of God. Remember, we are here to edify one another.  Paul said we should not let any corrupt communication leave our lips, but we should speak words that edify (Eph 4:29).  Make sure you are doing your best to speak positive, uplifting things into peoples lives.  This is part of your growth process, not theirs necessarily.

As you do these things, you will grow up in Christ, and that is the goal as Christians. Regular, steady growth.

16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

As we all grow individually, we also grow as a body in our local church.  We are groomed by God to take our place in that church, whatever vocation He has out us into.  Every part is necessary to the whole body.  we then encourage one another to be our best at what we are called to do, and he body grows together to minster to those outside the body, which continues this growth cycle.  God fits the body together, not man.  He places whom He will into your body of believers, and hopefully saints are obedient to His call should hey determiner  it is time  to move to another body.  This happens both in the flesh and in the spirit.  we need to pray for, and not judge, those who leave our body for another.  All in all, we must  keep our focus on our caliing within the church, and endeavor to always do our  best to see that our  service is glorifying God.


It’s All About Jesus!

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

These are the gifts to the church.  God gave these gifts as He saw fit.  We should never question someone else’s calling unless they are obviously going against God’s will, like a prophet who is always wrong. These are men and women appointed in various offices to contribute to the vibrancy, growth and spiritual well  being of the body of Christ.  And they are still in operation today.  Let’s look at each office individually.

The apostle was a messenger sent for a specific purpose.  The twelve apostles of Jesus and Paul are prime examples.  Some say the office of apostle is no longer needed in the church, but  disagree.  I look at apostles as the church planters.  They see the need for a church in a particular area or  community, and they start the work.  Maybe in a basement, or a storefront, but they start it.  In the New Testament they were usually authenticated by signs and wonders, and they still can be today.  An apostle, unlike a pastor, would not stay a long time and pastor that church.  Rather, he would find a pastor (As Paul did), and then go on to the next town.  We knew a man who was an apostle.  He started dozens of churches in Southern Iowa and Northern Missouri before passing away in 1986, so I  know the office is still in use today, although some say it is not.

Prophets are those who speak for God.  This can be revelation or expounding on what God has already said.  This is not to be confused with the gift of prophecy, which is available to all.  This is an  office of prophet.  Prophets, like apostles, are typically not restricted to a particular church with their ministry, although they may have a church body they call home.  They minister from church to church, similar to evangelists, but having a different type of message.  I have known a few prophets in my time. The one that is dearest to my  heart is a man named  Robert Miller from Breezewood, PA.  He took me under his wing at an  annual camp meeting encouraging me as his worship leader and instructing me in things if the kingdom.  His prophecies always came true, and were very specific.  I miss him dearly.

Evangelists are itinerant preachers who bear the good news to various places. Phillip  is a real good example in the bible.  Each of us probably have our own favorite evangelists.  This is one that is familiar to us because this office is one of the most prevalent today.  I have friends who are tent evangelists across the country, Bob Newton and Sean Strong.  If you ever have an opportunity  to go to one of their tent crusades, tell them I said hi!  These are men who  are on the road most of the year and are working hard for Jesus.  They need our prayers!  Tent evangelism is rare today, and these two  are carrying the mantle to he word.  I love them dearly!

We are all familiar with the office of Pastor, and some who read this blog are wither in that office now or have served in that office.  I have never been a pastor, but in most of the churches I have attended,  was the closets thing to an assistant pastor.  I am familiar with, but have never experienced first hand, the weight that is on the pastor.  I know that burden can be heavy, and he has few he can really share it with.  My church is currently looking for a pastor, and some think I should put my name in  the hat.  But with my health situation, it would be extremely risky to do that.  I am praying about it, and would appreciate your prayers as well.  My wife she would not make a good pastors wife, but I believe she would be a real blessing in that role.

The teachers are the grass roots of all of the gifts to the church.  Sunday school teachers instruct by age group.  And they are truly gifted at what they do.  Putting together a lesson plan that will reach inside a 5 year old’s heart and mind in an hour a week is something that would be foreign to me.   I applaud all the teachers.  They deserve our utmost respect.  The office of teacher can also be similar to an evangelist, going to various churches and instructing in he ways of the kingdom.  I believe this is my calling at this time.

I also believe God can move us from one of these offices to another as it suits His purpose.  We need to be open to where God is leading us on a regular basis, and not get so stuck in our ways that He can’t move us to the next office.  Only our pride can keep us from accepting that call, and we all know how bad that is!  Be ready to hear the call of God and obey.

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

The offices listed above had a specific purpose, which is outlined in verse 12.  I am going to look at each of these three statements separaelty, then bring them together.

For the perfecting of saints.  How many of you will raise your hands and say you are perfect?  Christ told us to be perfect (Matt 5:48), so why aren’t we all raising our hands right now?  I believe it’s because the art of perfection in God’s kingdom is  an ongoing journey.  2 Cor 3:18 puts it this way: “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  If we are open and maintain a teachable, humble spirit ,then God will bring us closer and closer to the perfection He ordained in us through Christ.  Each of the offices are involved n bringing people closer to that perfection

For the work of the ministry involves revealing to us the ministry that God has for each one of us as individuals.  You do have a work of ministry hat is specifically d signed for you.  It might be one of the five-fold ministries above, or it might not.  The work of the ministry tales on all different tasks.  Worship leaders,  band members, deacons, elders, ushers are all in a specific ministry.  But so are custodians, grounds keepers, cooks, and play ground monitors.  One I left specifically for last,  because I believe they are the  most critical ministry i any church  is the prayer warrior.  I know several who have this role, and I admire their dedication to prayer.  They are unsung heroes, except in God’s eyes.  Whatever your ministry is, it’s no less important than anyone else’s.  You are vital in His kingdom, and in the church.

For the Edifying of the body of Christ.  Now we bring the other two together and see the whole purpose.  The five-fold  ministry is given so that the saints will be perfected, that they might do the work of their ministry and edify the body of Christ.  It is all one thought.  There is no other purpose for these gifts.  They are not given to raise me up and bring me gory.  They are not given for entertainment.  They are not given so that their ministry can become large and famous.  They are given to build up (edify) the body of Christ through the work of the ministry that is  being perfected.

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

I realize this has been a long post, so I will try to be brief on this last verse.  The whole purpose is unity of our faith, and knowledge of Jesus Christ,  It’s all about Jesus.  If you ever have a person supposedly fulfilling one of the offices listed, and they are not exalting  Jesus, get away from them.  The sole purpose of these five offices is to bring us into a measure of the fullness of Christ.  His desire is for us to come to perfection.  That should be our goal as well.


If you have friends that might enjoy this type of Bible Study, please recommend this blog or reblog this post.  I believe it can minister to many in the church.  I hope you feel that same way.


Unity and Grace

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Paul wants to make sure that the Ephesians understand there’s only one God. Ephesus was where the temple of Diana was, and she was the God that most of them worshiped. Now Paul is telling them that his God is the one true God.  This was a very big change for them that is why Paul emphasizes the singularity of God.

He then says there is one body. By this he is talking about the church. Today we see the church split into hundreds of denominations, but it is still one body in God’s eyes. You might not know it by all the different doctrines that are running around. And you might not recognize it because the church unfortunately it’s not that much different than the world in many cases. Many churches have taken stances on social issues that contradict the Bible. A church based on Christ would never contradict the Bible. But that doesn’t change the fact that it is one body, one Church. We always have to remember that we have brothers and sisters in Christ. I would love to see the church unite and then start talking about moral issues.
There is one spirit.  The Holy Spirit is sent from God to come into each one of our lives when we get saved. There is one Lord – that is Jesus Christ Our Lord. It is one faith. We are all Christians. We call ourselves by the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. There is one baptism. We are all baptized into Christ. When the old man goes do into the water he dies, and the new man comes out. And there is one God who we call Father. He is above all and He is in us all and He works through each and every one of us. The Ephesians have to come to grips with the fact that there is only one God and he is above all the others.

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

I put verse seven by itself because it fits better that way and because  verse 7 gives us a whole lot of information. We are all given grace. By now, after our study of Philippians and this far through Ephesians, you should know that everything you’ve been given by God you’re supposed to give away. God does not give us his grace so that we can hold on to it and not do anything with it. He wants us to experience His grace in our lives and apply it to the areas where it needs to be applied, but then He wants us to give grace to those around us.
So how do I give grace? Well it starts by loving your neighbor as yourself. It starts by forgiving those that have wronged you. It begins when you take interest in those that are less fortunate than you are. It begins when it doesn’t matter to you if your favorite NFL team is playing in the afternoon and you also know that somebody need your help – you pick the helping part. The grace that He gives us is in high demand!  We must give it to other people. Now keep in mind that He talks says according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Some people may receive a larger portion of this grace to give away and you should never ever be jealous of that person.  Just because he’s helping other people faster than you are doesn’t mean you’re any less important to the kingdom of God.

Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

This is a very interesting scripture and I am not goiing spend a whole lot of time on it. It says He ascended up on high and led captivity captive and then gave gifts to men.  Verse 9 and 10 clarify that statement He led captivity captive a little bit because they mention that He descended into the lower parts of the Earth before He ascended to heaven. There are many who believe that Christ went down to Hell to get the keys of death and hell. This was not the time to open the gates, but it will be coming. I kind of like that interpretation of these verses.  One day we will rise to meet Him in the air but until that day we have to carry on do our best to bring others to Him.


Walk Worthy

Ephesians 4:1-3

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

When I first read this verse quickly, I have to ask myself how can I possibly walk worthy of all that God has done for me? When I was a young Christian I thought this would be impossible. But as I grow in the Lord I realized that nothing God tells us to do is impossible. Therefore there must be a way to walk worthy in God’s eyes. So we have to try to see ourselves through God’s eyes, and figure out what it would take for us individually to walk worthy in the vocation where we’re called.

The important thing to remember in this is he is talking about walking in your vocation. Do you attribute your job situation as a blessing from God? Do you thank God for the job that you have, which is the vocation that you have? The first thing we have to do is acknowledge that God has put us where He wants us. The vocation that you are called into is the job that you currently have. If God opens up a door for a different vocation, than that is where you’re called. So now we can put this in a little more perspective. He wants us to walk worthy in a job situation, or in a ministry.
What exactly does that mean? There are many admonitions in the Bible to obey those in authority over you. Are you praying for your bosses and not talking about them behind their back?  Are you doing the tasks that they give you as good as you possibly can? If you are then you’re walking worthy. Do you always get there on time and not take extra time for breaks or lunch?  Do you respect your time when you’re using the computer? If you are then you’re walking worthy. Do you do the task your given without grumbling or complaining and do you do them to the very best of your ability each and every time? If you do then you’re walking worthy.
You see it is a testimony to the world when we work hard and do it with joy. People notice and they will ask, especially if you have a difficult boss and difficult coworkers. Now if you happen to be the boss, walking worthy entails being respectful to your employees, treating them as you would want to be treated, and supplying them tasks that they can accomplish. The work that we do, the vocation we have, should be a testimony to the Lord and should bring him glory. Remember we are a light on a hill, and God says we should  do our good works and glorify our Father which is in heaven. When we do that we’re walking worthy

With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

Now here’s the hard part.  You might be doing all those things above, but are you doing them with loneliness, which is humility? Are you not being prideful about them, but doing them in a total sense of servitude, not looking for any Glory or any praise.  You are just making sure you’re getting the job done. Are you doing your job or your vocation with meekness. I define meekness as having the power but knowing where it comes from. The power comes from God and it is not ours. When we are meek we are not showing off and being boastful because it is God that supplies our strength and not us.
The next one is longsuffering, or patience. Do you have patience with your coworkers when they might not get a piece of work done that needs to get done before you can proceed? Do you have patience to carry out a task,  or maybe a machine is broken down, or your computer doesn’t want to work right? Do you have patience with you boss?  Or if you’re the boss, with your employees?  Can have patience with their imperfections, because we all have them. And forbearing one another in love.  Do you see others as more important than yourself?  Do you try to solve disagreements instead of causing disagreements?  Do you put up with all the other people’s imperfections?  Remember that they have to put up with yours! And all of these things should be done in love. Remember it’s a testimony to the lost.

Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

And why do we have to do all these things? To keep Unity. Whether it’s in the church or in the workplace, we have to do everything we can to bring peace to that atmosphere. Remember as Christians we have been given a peace that passes all understanding. We should carry that with us wherever we go. If it’s in the church then we must make sure that we are an element of Peace, not partition.  We must make sure that we are not causing conflict in our church, or in our home, or n our workplace. When Paul talks about walking worthy of the vocation that we’re called, this is relevant to the church and the workplace and the family. In each one we have a different calling, a different vocation, and we have a responsibility to carry it out. The way that we carry it out will either bring unity or division. Let’s make sure that we’re bringing unity in all of our situations. That will be a much better testimony for God.


Power Within

Ephesians 3:20-21

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

To me, This is one of the most empowering verses in the whole New Testament.  If you get excited when you read this verse, you must be missing something.  God has placed within you somethiing supernatural, and I can only try to explain what it is. it.  I split these two verses because verse 20 is so important for us to understand

The first thing we have to realize is that the “him” that is talked about here is Jesus Christ. He is the one Paul is referring to when he says He’s able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all. Jesus Christ can do more for us than we can possibly imagine with our finite minds. We put God in a box sometimes and think He can only do so much. We also seem to have a formula to get Gpd t do something i.e pray, worship, get others praying etc.But He can do so much more, and He doesn’t care about our formulas.  In fact, He can do above all that we can ask or even think. You know, when I think about, that I get excited beyond measure.

 As I’ve mentioned many times I’ve been diagnosed with cancer. Now listen to what God did. I had pneumonia twice last year – once in December of 2015 and once in February of 2016. Because it was so close together my doctor decided to do a CT scan. When the radiologist looked at the results he noticed lesions all over my bones. He called my doctor and told him that those lesions with multiple myeloma. My doctor said radiologists never say things like that. I have talked to many people that have been diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Most of the time they have suffered terribly from bone pain, trouble with their back, kidney failure or extreme anemia – or a combination of all those things. In me it was caught way before any of those things settled in. I was at stage two out of three stages, so it was serious and we needed to start treatment immediately. Do you see what God did? He spared me the pain and the suffering that so many other people went through with the same disease. He can do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think. When I got that diagnosis I just had to praise the Lord that it was caught before it got too bad.
But we have to look at the last part of this to really get it. It’s according to the power that works in US. The power that works in US. You see he does these things through the spirit of God that’s within us. It’s not that these healings and miracles and the exceeding, abundant thing that he does come from the outside in.  NO. They come from the inside out. And we forget that we have that power within us. We have the faith inside of us to accomplish moving a mountain if we need to. It’s the power that works within us which we summon through Jesus Christ our Lord.

21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Christ must be the glory of the church. No one else in the church should get any glory,.  That doesn’t mean we don’t say thank you to the person who sings that Sunday special we don’t say thank you Pastor for a wonderful sermon. These things bring encouragement to other people. We’re not glorifying them as we do Christ. Let’s make sure that we’re not glorifying them.  Make sure that we’re not idolizing that TV preacher or that evangelist to a higher elevation than Jesus. It’s much more important that Christ be glorified in the church now and forevemore in the future