Ministry, leadership, discipleship, the local church and the deep riches of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
Today's feast in the Word is in Ephesians 6:18-20.
In my praying for my brothers and sisters in Christ, help me leave no person un-prayed for. Help me leave no moment un-prayed in. Help me leave no request unshaped by Your Spirit. Help me face nothing un-prepared by prayer. Help there not be a day of my life un-bathed in this kind of prayer (18). Let most of my praying be for believers to be obedient and bold enough to open their mouths to share, and that You would speak through them when they open their mouths (19-20).
Today's time shaped by the Word is in Ephesians 6:10-17. Lord,
Suit me up for spiritual battle in Your armor today (11). Help me always recognize that the real enemy is spiritual, not the humans who oppose me (12). Enable me to fight well, equipped by the truth. Guard my heart with Your righteousness (14). Make me ready to step into the enemy's realm to share Your gospel (15). Help me trust that Jesus' ways will always satisfy me more than the devil's ways or my ways (16). Sanctify my thought-life and make me competent to defeat temptation with Your Word (17).
Today's time being reminded of truth is in Ephesians 6:1-9.
Show me how I can honor my parents today (2). And don't let me raise my kids any differently than You would raise them (4). And give me people to raise in spiritual maturity also. Let all I do be to please You, not just people (6-7). Help me see how I can be serving You in all the work I do (6). Help me work hard today with a good attitude regardless of whether anyone notices, because You notice (8). Thanks for not having favorites children (9).
Today's time being shaped by Real truth is in Ephesians 5:21-33.
Make me the husband who lives toward my wife the way Christ lives toward His bride, the church, loving her by making her holy. Make me a wife that lives toward my husband the way that Christ's bride, the church, follows her Christ. If I am not married, prepare me to be this kind of spouse and to settle for less than this kind of spouse (21-28). Help me leave all else to cleave to You today, Jesus
Today's time being shaped by the Word is in Ephesians 5:15-17.
Help me walk wisely, using every moment to fight evil in and around me (15-16). When I don't know Your will, remind me that using all my time to fight evil is Your will since Your will is the opposite of foolish (17), and foolish-walking is clearly the opposite of wise-walking, which means that Your will and walking wisely are both the opposite of foolish-walking, which means your will and wise-walking are the same. So help me display Your will and wisdom today by using every moment to kill off evil in and around me.
Today's Bible food is in Ephesians 5:6-14.
As a child of light, make my life today a stark contrast with the way I used to live when I was darkness (8). Help me discern what pleases You based on what is good, righteous, and true (9-10). Help me choose wisely those with whom I unite myself (7). Wake me up to reflect Your light today (14).
Today's time being shaped by the Word is in Ephesians 5:1-5.
If I am truly Your child, I will be growing up to be like You (1). Help me walk in love, willing to sacrifice my will to Your will as an offering that pleases You (2). Grow my body in purity (3) and my mouth in thankfulness (4). Produce this growth in my life today to confirm to my heart that I have an inheritance in Your kingdom (5).
Help my thinking be like Your thinking so I will walk like You walk (17-18). Keep my heart soft to hearing and doing Your will and always tender to Your Spirit's correction (18-19, 30). Thank You for freeing me from my old self and continuing to renew me (20-24). Don't let me sin with my mouth (25,29), in my emotions (26), or in my need (28). Help me forgive when I don't have the desire to (32).
Today's time letting the Word wash our minds is in Ephesians 4:7-16.
Thank You for gifting Your church with everything it needs to grow to maturity (11-13). Let me measure my own maturity using Christ alone as the measuring stick 13). Make me unmovable (14). Make me just like Jesus (15). Help me balance the truth that I speak with kindness (15). As a member of Your body, let me do the work You saved me to do today so that I contribute to the maturity of the whole body (16).
Today's time being reminded of God's character is in Ephesians 4:1-6.
Make my steps today worthy of someone who has been saved by Your death (1). Don't let me be ruled by pride. Don't allow me to be harsh or impatient when others are as slow to become like You as I am (2). Instead, use me to protect the peace that Your Spirit gives to Your church (3). For I believe that there is only one true Church in which Your Spirit lives. Even though I don't deserve it, You made me a part of that church by giving me a single faith in the only Lord, Jesus Christ, who died in my place to take my punishment for my sin and give me His righteousness as a free gift so that I could stand righteous before the One God and Father of all. (4-5). Let my one purpose today be to display Your righteous love.
Today's time having our minds shaped like Christ's is in Ephesians 3:14-21.
May Your Spirit strengthen my inner resolve to know You (16). Let me trust Jesus so fully that I have the strength to grasp and share His love in its fullness (17-18). Fill me with Your "fullness" until I overflow (19) so that others see You in me and praise You. Please continue to do in and through me more than I "ask or dream of" (20). In my church, may You alone get all the glory, not me (21).
Today's time being shaped by the Word is in Eph. 3:1-
Show me those whom you have given me to help them be gripped by the working of Your grace as You have gripped me (2-7). Convince my selfish heart today that Christ's worth is beyond measure (8). Remind me that I have been given grace to give grace (8). Let Your church be a picture of Your wisdom to inhabitants of heaven (10). Thank You that I can come before you with boldness and confidence in Christ (12). Help others see how important they are to me today by how willing I am to suffer to make grace known to them (13).
Today's time in the life-altering Word is in Ephesians 2:11-22.
Thank You for the "But now" truth in verse 13. I was w/o Christ, w/o hope, and w/o You, "but now" You have drawn me near to You and Your people (11-14). I was a foreigner to You, "but now" i am a citizen in Your kingdom and a member of Your family (19). Give Your family unity around a common peace that comes from a common reconciliation by one crucified Savior (16-17). By one Spirit, build us into a holy place that Your presence makes distinct from every other group of people (21-22).
Today's time being shaped like Jesus is in Ephesians 2:1-10.
Thank You for making me alive and able to walk empowered by Your Spirit (1-2, 5). Don't let me live according to the way I used to be before You saved me. Let me not be ruled by sinful desires or sinful ways of thinking (3). Thank You that my future with Christ in heaven is as good as done (6-7). Let me not belittle Your kindness toward me by living as if You had not saved me (8). Let me boast in Your righteousness, not mine (9). Use me to do the works that You saved me to do (10).
Thank You for all those who authentically and consistently display Your love for Your body (15-16). Give Your church a deep, intimate knowledge of Jesus' heart and work (17). Let us recognize and live in: 1) the hope of Your call, 2) the wealth of Your inheritance, and 3) the power of the resurrection (18-20). Let Your church display now and forever the "fullness" of Christ who is and will always be all-powerful (21-23).
Today's time being refocused by the Word is in Ephesians 1:1-14.
Thank You for choosing me to be blameless in You sight, since I could and would never have chosen You if You had not chosen me first (3-4). Thank You for my new identity in Christ. As Your adopted child (5), let me grow up to think, want, and work like You. As Your inheritance (11), let my life produce dividends of praise to Your glory. As sealed or marked by Your Spirit as one who belongs to You (13), I long for my full inheritance of seeing You face to face so I can praise You in Your glory (14). Today, work in me to display Your glory because I can't do it at all apart from You.
Today's time being shaped by God's truth is in Galatians 6:11-18.
Don't let me live today just to look successful in the eyes of people (12). Don't let certain hardship prevent me from following Your Son (12). Let my boast not be about my outward religious acts, but about Christ's death for me and my death to this world (13-14). Let me live not as an outwardly religious person today, but as a totally new creation (15).
Today's time being conformed to the Word is in Galatians 6:1-5.
Let me be used by You to restore gently a fellow believer who has stumbled and keep me from falling into the same sin (1). When some falls, use me to help them stand up under what is weighing them down (2). Help me evaluate myself accurately and not overestimate my spiritual maturity or my impact in the kingdom (3). I am responsible for my own walk with You, but thank You that I am not alone in my walk with You (2-5).