Today, let’s read Ephesians 3, 4 and 5:1-14. There’s so much here! Grab your highlighter and pencil, draw some circles and stars…. read it slowly, take it in. Let’s visit!
“Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesian 3:13-19 NKJV
Paul encourages the Ephesians not to lose heart at his tribulations. He tells them not to take up offense against God or anyone else because there was a purpose. Paul knew the purpose, but he also knew that people might misinterpret and adopt an offense on his behalf. Paul was imprisoned, but he didn’t want the Ephesians to be disheartened – the mission was being accomplished.
“He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children” Ephesians 4:11-13 NKJV
“Five fold ministry” reference in 4:11-13, big words that mean we all have a place and we ought to honor each other’s gifts. No room for jealousy in the body of Christ!
“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary [h]edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, [i]clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:29-32 NKJV
Forgiveness is a decision. Anger gives the devil foothold – deal with it quickly!