A Worthy Life (Ephesians 4.1–6)

SCRIPTURE READING Ephesians 4.1–6 DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT In Ephesians 4.1–6, Paul writes: As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. What … Continue reading A Worthy Life (Ephesians 4.1–6)

‘Praying in the Spirit’ by Dr. George O. Wood

In this video, Dr. George O. Wood speaks on the topic, “Praying in the Spirit.” His sermon was part of the Assemblies of God’s annual Prayer & Bible Conference, held this year at Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, Texas. Continue reading ‘Praying in the Spirit’ by Dr. George O. Wood

The Divine Gratuity (Ephesians 3.20–21)

SCRIPTURE READING Ephesians 3.20–21: Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT Are you a generous tipper? When I was growing up, my family ate out at restaurants a lot. Usually, the service was adequate. Sometimes it was excellent. On a few memorable occasions it was downright awful. Regardless, we made a practice of tipping the wait staff well. Generosity in such … Continue reading The Divine Gratuity (Ephesians 3.20–21)

Review of ‘Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians’ by Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert, and Nina Shea

 Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert, and Nina Shea, Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2013). $16.99, 368 pages. Saeed Abedini is a Christian minister currently imprisoned for his faith in Iran. A native of that country, Abedini converted from Islam to Christianity in 2000 and became a leader in Iran’s house-church movement. In 2005, he moved to America with his wife, Naghmeh, and became a naturalized citizen here as well. In the summer of 2012, he returned to Iran to visit his family and to build an orphanage in the city of Rasht. He was arrested and indicted … Continue reading Review of ‘Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians’ by Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert, and Nina Shea

A Prayer for Power (Ephesians 3.14–19)

SCRIPTURE READING Ephesians 3.14–19 DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT Lord Acton famously remarked, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” If that is true, then why in Ephesians 3.14–19 does Paul pray that we might experience more power? Wouldn’t an experience of greater power be spiritually corrupting? Absolutely not! The kind of power Paul has in mind does not corrupt and debase; it purifies and ennobles. Take a close look at Paul’s prayer: For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his … Continue reading A Prayer for Power (Ephesians 3.14–19)

Grace as Salvation and Spiritual Gift (Ephesians 3.7–13)

SCRIPTURE READING Ephesians 3.7–13: Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly … Continue reading Grace as Salvation and Spiritual Gift (Ephesians 3.7–13)

Revelation or Speculation (Ephesians 3.2–6)

SCRIPTURE READING Ephesians 3.2–6: …assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ … Continue reading Revelation or Speculation (Ephesians 3.2–6)

What Price Are You Willing to Pay for Your Beliefs? (Ephesians 3.1)

SCRIPTURE READING Ephesians 3.1: For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT What price are your willing to pay for your beliefs? In Ephesians 2, Paul outlines out two foundational beliefs of the Christian faith: We are sinners saved by grace through faith apart from works (verses 1–10). And “we” — that is, the church — are an inclusive community of peace (verses 11–22). These two beliefs are logically connected. After all, if God has offered grace to everyone, then we can hardly withhold it from anyone. And if God is … Continue reading What Price Are You Willing to Pay for Your Beliefs? (Ephesians 3.1)

Internalizing the Good News (Ephesians 2.19–22)

SCRIPTURE READING Ephesians 2.19–22 DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT Many people like Jesus Christ but dislike his church. I understand their feelings. The more I read the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life, teaching, miracles, death, and resurrection, the more I want to be like him. But I have seen some of his followers behave in ways that must embarrass him and make the devil proud. Go to any church, and you’ll see the Seven Deadly Sins of pride, greed, envy, anger, lust, gluttony, and sloth on full display. Why don’t churches do a better job of destroying sin and building saints? (Real saints, … Continue reading Internalizing the Good News (Ephesians 2.19–22)