In Ephesians 5, the apostle Paul continues his discourse directed to the Ephesian church in which he is describe what their spiritual walk, empowered by grace, should look like. He shifts the conversation of the letter from the Christian’s position to the Christian’s practice. After spending the majority of the early part of the letter expounding the boundless nature of God’s love, Paul begins to speak to their walk as God’s children. Without forgetting this love, then, how does God’s love inform our walk?
Mark 8 is, perhaps, the lynchpin chapter of Mark’s Gospel account. In it, we have the apostle Peter’s confession of The Christ. But it also records for us one of the strangest miracles written down in Scripture. As Jesus heals the blind man from Bethsaida, he was making a specific and significant point to his apostles (and us). Through it, he was revealing who he is and who he is for.
Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. It serves as King David’s magnum opus as he eloquently describes the incredible refuge God’s Word is for him. It isn’t certain what occasion in David’s life inspired these words, but whatever it was it must have been a truly terrifying circumstance to galvanize the kind of resolve on display here to trust in God’s Word alone. But the ending of Psalm 119 is the most telling, the most intriguing part as this glorious psalm seemingly ends with a fizzle.
At the beginning of Revelation, John is instructed by Christ himself to record his marvelous visions and accompany his writings with specific missives to the “seven churches in Asia.” (Rev. 1:4, 11) What’s clear in each of the seven letters is Jesus’s inexorable determination to stir and to strengthen the faith of his children in each church body. It’s no different in the seventh of these letters to the church at Laodicea, in which the Spirit of God seeks to disrupt their leisurely lives with the urgency and currency of the gospel.
Jesus’s emphasis to the church at Laodicea, through the inspired pen of his apostle, seems to be a stern reminder about where they ought to find their true treasure, where they were to invest their lives. Not in the industry they can amass here “under the sun,” but in the inheritance of the incarnate Son of God.
King Solomon doesn’t pain a very pretty picture of life “under the sun.” In fact, his representation of the church, let alone life itself, is rather bleak. But in the midst of his commentary on what life is all about comes a good picture of what the church should be like. Namely, it should serve as a reminder, a beacon to the world, that God hasn’t abandoned us “under the sun.”
Psalm 18 is one of David’s most recognized psalms. It is a highly regarded piece of poetry, not only for its biblical weight but for its lyrical beauty. Yet, the true weight and glory of Psalm 18 is unfolded once you are taken captive by that which captivated the psalmist himself. Namely, the all-surpassing, never-stopping deliverance of his God.
Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is a comprehensive letter encompassing the entirety of the Christian life. The apostle’s adamant representation of the gospel of grace is what leads him to write about what this grace does in the life of a believer. In chapter 5, then, Paul moves and strives to show that it is this same grace of God that delivers us that also makes us different.
A sermon from Ephesians 5.
The world is inundated with the notion of making life count and leaving a legacy. Society, then, does all it can to be remembered. To do something that “matters.” But Jesus’s words in Luke 14 serve to remind us that the cost of discipleship is always worth it. That a life lived for Jesus is never a waste.
Many make the mistake in believing that meekness is a trait that is associated with weakness. If you are a meek person, you’re a doormat, a person who gets walked over by the CEOs and superstars. But such an understanding completely misses what meekness is. Furthermore, meekness isn’t merely “strength under control.” In actuality, meekness is understanding where your true strength lies.