Taking the Read Through The Bible Challenge?

If you are taking the challenge to read the Bible in a year, stop by my other blog:


Weekly posts and an opportunity to ask questions or give your perspective. Let's study the Bible TOGETHER!

13 February 2012

Walking the Talk - 13 February

Do you know people (maybe even yourself) who talk their Christianity but don’t really walk it? Have you ever said “well, THAT wasn’t very Christian!”? Or have you found yourself wondering how we are supposed to behave in uncomfortable situations? If we’re honest, we know that we’ve said and done these things on occasion. This study will give us insights to the way God expects us to walk.

As we go through this study, you may have questions or prayer requests. Feel free to post your questions on the blog – you can do so anonymously – or email me. I will reply quickly! If you have prayer requests, you can post them on the blog, or you can email them to me. I would be honored to pray for you.

Take a few minutes to think about (and possibly write your answers) these questions.

How should we walk in relationship to our family members? Our friends? Our enemies?

What standards should we uphold? What moral values should we hold dear? Are there absolute moral values?

How should we act toward the Bible? Toward God?

These questions form the basis of our Christian worldview. It’s the outward signs of our Christian faith that others see. These signs can turn people toward or away from God. It’s important that we understand how God wants us to walk, not the way our society says we should behave. Frequently, those behaviors are at odds with one another.

Let’s start by looking at what God thinks about us. To really understand what God wants us to do, we need to slow down as we read His Word. We need to observe through inductive study – discovering  the “five Ws and an H” – who, what, when, where, why and how. Only then will we begin to deeply understand the riches of His Word, and that Word will seep into our very souls, changing our lives and behavior forever.

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, to the saints that are at Ephesus, and the faithful in Christ Jesus. Eph 1:1 (ASV)

Let’s really look at this verse! Who is writing? Who is he? How did he get to be who he is?

To whom is he writing? What are they called? How are they described?

This verse is one that is easy to gloss over when going through your devotions. It doesn’t seem to have a lot of bearing on us – it was written a couple thousand years ago. But look closer.

Paul is an apostle of Christ. He is an ambassador and messenger for Christ. This gives his position in the body of Christ, and shows we need to pay attention.

…through the will of God. Paul is who he is because God ordained it. Paul did not choose his position. He was not elected, nor did he earn his position by birth. He was made an apostle by God Himself. If that isn’t authority, I don’t know what is!

He writes to the saints at Ephesus. Before Christ’s first coming, the Jews were called saints, because they were separated from other nations and consecrated to God. After Christ’s death, the word is applied to believers, because we are reconciled to God and purified through Him. The Greek word from which the word 'saint' is derived signifies 'to cleanse,' and also to consecrate. So, Paul is writing to the  saints – which includes you and me, if we are saved and cleansed by the blood of Christ, and by the renewing of the Holy Spirit. When we are saved, we are separated from the world and consecrated to God.

Paul describes the saints as faithful in Christ Jesus. Our outward expression of God’s free gift of salvation is our faithfulness in Christ and to His teachings.

Read the verse one more time:

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, to the saints that are at Ephesus, and the faithful in Christ Jesus. Eph 1:1 (ASV)

Does this verse say anything more to you now than it did the first time you read it? God, through Paul, has reached through the very fabric of time and included us in this instructive letter to a long-ago church. What an amazing book!

Many of you are involved in the Read Through The Bible Challenge. I challenge you to take one verse from tomorrow’s reading of  Exodus 37-40 and apply the 5 Ws and an H. Let me know which verse you choose and what you’ve found! We can all gain new insights from slowing down and really examining God’s Word.

See you Wednesday!

No comments:

Post a Comment