The PATH, July 6-12, 2020
Theme: This week we continue studying the book of Ephesians. Someone once said that the question when we approach Ephesians is not so much what we will do with this book, but the question is what will this book do with us. It is a powerful testimony of the grace and power of God. The book has a two fold focus, and it is Jesus and the church. Paul wants us to see how the grace of God changes and empowers the church to be the light of the world in the midst of a crushing darkness.
Monday – Ephesians 6:16
One of humanity’s basic needs is the need of shelter. Having shelter protects us. Paul tells us in verse 16 that we are to take up the shield of faith in every situation. This shield, much like a shelter protects us. It is a basic need that we have. We need our faith to protect us and to give us wisdom. We need our faith to help us stand strong against that attacks of the evil one. We need our faith as Paul says here in “all situations.”
The word faith means trusting that what God says is true. We are to trust what God says in all the situations of life. When discouragement comes, take up the shield of faith. When temptation rages, take up the shield of faith and know that God has told you to stay away from the things of the world. When the devil whispers in your ear and reminds you of your past sins and tries to accuse you and convince you that you are no good and that you are useless, take up the shield of faith and believe that God loves you, that Jesus died for you and that your sins are forgiven. When the devil attacks in another manner telling you how great you are, take up the shield of faith and tell him that you are nothing without Jesus.
Take up the shield of faith in all situations. In other words trust God and walk with Him at all times.
Tuesday – Ephesians 6:17
Next we are told to take the helmet of salvation. Our salvation is precious to us and it helps guard what is precious about us. This helmet of salvation enables us to make decisions with a Biblical, Gospel centered mindset. It helps us filter our thoughts through the lens of the Bible and “take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.” This helmet of salvation lets us know that we fight a battle in our minds everyday. The battle against hopeless, pride, worthlessness and temptation. Guard your mind and guard your thoughts. Realize that salvation is the most important thing in the world and keep your mind turned to Jesus.
We are also given here an offensive weapon, which is the sword of the Spirit or the word of God. When we are attacked we are able to rely on God’s word. It leads us as we go into battle, we must keep it drawn as we march forward, and it must be every before us. God’s word gives us strength to go on the offensive, even against those things in our lives that don’t need to be there. With the sword of the Spirit we can perform a little “spiritual surgery” and cut the things out of our lives that don’t need to be there. God’s Spirit working through God’s word can reshape us and remold us into what we were created and redeemed to be.
Wednesday – Ephesians 6:18-20
We are to put on the armor of God so that we will be ready to handle whatever life, and self, and the devil throws our way, but here Paul reminds us that we must undergird that armor with prayer. We are to fall on our knees and pray at all times. We may be covered in the armor of God but we are still dependent on the Father for wisdom, for leadership and for provision. We may have His armor but we still need Him so we are called to pray at all times. And as we pray we are to engage with God, we are to be alert. We are not to go on cruise control or just go through the motions but we are to be alert and pray with perseverance. We are to be devoted and determined when we pray. Talk to the Lord about your situations and don’t give up. Paul then makes a personal request “pray for me as I share the Gospel.” If Paul needed prayer, we certainly do as well. We should be passionate about praying for one another and about praying for Christian leaders. Pray for wisdom for them. They need it (I know I do) as decisions are made in the days of Covid-19. Pray that they would also have the boldness to share and to speak God’s word. After all, the word of God is especially needed in our world today.
Thursday – Ephesians 6:21-24
Paul closes the letter by reminding the readers of a very important and often neglected calling that we have and that is to encourage one another. Paul is most likely in prison as he writes these words but he is still so concerned about the believers at Ephesus that he wants to send Tychicus to them to “encourage them.” When was the last time you did something to encourage another believer. We should be willing to go out of our way to encourage one another because after all the days are hard.
We must take time to encourage one another because we need one another. We need each other’s prayers and we need those words of encouragement. The world is filled with discouragement, let us be just the opposite and be people of encouragement.
Friday – Ephesians 1:5-6
These verses form the theme of the book of Ephesians and they certainly bear repeating. The last 3 chapters of the book tell us how we should live as Christians and the first 3 chapters tell us the wonder of the Gospel that gives us the motivation for living that way. The Gospel and its beauty and splendor are summed up in these 2 verses. God has adopted you into His family. Through the blood of Jesus Christ we are now in the family of God. We were children of wrath but now we are children of God. Not through what we do but through what Jesus did on the cross. Through Jesus we are adopted into the family of God and in the ancient world when a child was adopted into a family that adoption was permanent. You could disown a biological child but you could not disown an adopted child. They would be a permanent part of the family. We have been adopted into the family of God through what Jesus did on the cross and that adoption is permanent. Take time to thank God for that today!