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From Handbook to Scripture
READING: EPHESIANS 3
Ephesians as a whole, and especially the first three chapters, is full of rich imagery and thought, and it develops insights about the believer’s position in Christ that are both profound and powerful. The two prayers in this book (1:15–23; 3:14–21) are among the most significant in the Bible, and they can be used with great profit. The unification of Jew and Gentile in one body was formerly a mystery that has now become manifest (3:1–13). In his second prayer, Paul asks that his readers be strengthened with God’s power and with the knowledge of the love of Christ (3:14–21).
Paul wrote this epistle to encourage his readers to grow into spiritual maturity by laying hold of the resources they have in Christ and by building each other up through the use of spiritual gifts and through serving one another out of Christ’s love.
Prayer: Lord, I ask that You would strengthen me with power through Your indwelling Spirit so that Christ may dwell in my heart through faith, and that I would be rooted and grounded in His love.
Meditation passage: verses 16–21
From Simple Prayers
I DRAW NEAR TO YOU, GOD
O Lord, I am deeply grateful for Your wonderful acts, for Your abundant promises, and for the gift of my relationship with You through the merits of Christ.
How great is Your goodness,
Which You have stored up for those who fear You,
Which You have prepared for those who take refuge in You Before the sons of men! (Psalm 31:19)
Surely God is my helper; The Lord is the sustainer of my soul. (Psalm 54:4)
Take a moment to express your gratitude for the many blessings that you have received from the Lord.
THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE
Your merciful love is higher than the heavens, and Your truth reaches to the skies. (Psalm 108:4)
If by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one Man, Jesus Christ. Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one Man the many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:17–19)
I LISTEN TO YOUR WORDS OF TRUTH
I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my supplications. Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live. (Psalm 116:1–2)
MY RESPONSE TO YOU, LORD
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes to the very end. (Psalm 119:105, 112)
We are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. (1 Thessalonians 5:5–6)
Lord, I thank You for Your merciful love and truth and for the abundance of grace that came through Jesus Christ. I thank You for hearing my supplications, and I ask that I would walk in the light of Your word and be alert and self-controlled.
Adapted from Handbook to Spiritual Growth
The life of Christ can only be reproduced in us by the power of the Holy Spirit. As an inner work of God, it is not achieved by human effort, but by divine enabling. Apart from Christ and the power of His Spirit, we can accomplish nothing in the sight of God (John 15:4–5; Acts 1:8). Therefore it is crucial that we develop a conscious sense of dependence upon the Spirit’s power in all that we do (see Ephesians 1:19; 3:16; 5:18).
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”
“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”
The word for “walk” in the first verse is general and refers to life in its totality. The word for “walk” in the second verse is specific and refers to a step-by-step process of daily life. Just as Jesus walked in total dependence upon the life of His Father (John 6:57; 14:10), so we must rest in the same source of power. We were never meant to create life, but to receive and display Christ’s life in us.
Weekly Memory Verse
From Memory Verse Guide
Level 1 > Spiritual Warfare
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)