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Posts Tagged ‘pauline epistles’

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Ephesians 6:10 (KJV)

Paul was in prison. It was around AD 62 while he was in prison in Rome when he wrote to the believers in Ephesus. It is one of his Pauline Epistles. It is one of his Prison Letters. It was around the same time that he wrote to believers in Colosse (Colossians) and to an individual believer (Philemon).

He was in prison, but he was writing to these folks in Ephesus in order to encourage them.

I know. I know. It seems backwards. It’s like they should have been rallying the congregation to launch Paul’s Pen Pals as a prison outreach ministry or stirring up the community with the hashtag #FreePaulNow or something like that.

But that wasn’t the case.

Paul sought to offer these believers encouragement in their time of spiritual need.

Hindsight and Headlights

Having the Scriptures at hand offers us hindsight. It is said that hindsight is 20/20, and it is especially so with God’s people when we look back upon the figures of the Bible. People say that Aaron should’ve known better than to make that golden calf at the behest of the people. People see the acts of Judas in the Gospels and say how much they would never do such a thing if they were in the presence of the Lord in the flesh. [Oh, Really? But we all can join like a choir when we talk about how ALL have sinned and fallen short according to Romans 3:23. I just can’t with our holy hindsight at times. It makes us sound so self righteous.]

That holy hindsight has us looking down on folks in the Hall of Faith. That holy hindsight has us speculating on the saints of God of the past. That holy hindsight does not allow us to look deeper within and see where we, too, are not worthy enough to drink of the cup. It doesn’t make us keep a realistic perspective on our own status.

Headlights help us to see what’s up ahead. Hindsight is like the rearview mirror. Ot helps you see the past. Headlights help you to see what’s ahead as their light penetrates the darkness and provides a view of the upcoming pathway.

But we have these headlights shining upon the pathway ahead while we’re looking in the rearview. They shed light on our way so that we can walk. But we’ve got our necks cocked to the side, still pointing out that moment in the past where Joseph’s brothers made a mistake or even Solomon had a mishap. We can’t go too fast on the journey through the darkness if we try to look back too long or if we try to look beyond the headlights.

Help from Prison

Paul was writing to these believers in Ephesus on how to use their headlights. He wanted them to tap into “the strength of the Lord and the power of his might.” He understood that they would need those two for where they were headed.

Spiritual warfare requires spiritual weaponry.

He told the Ephesians that we are not up against flesh and blood. He warned them that the devil has his own weapons of warfare in use. He offered them some armor for their protection and to prevent them from being overtaken by what we call satanic attack.

Ten Days In (One-Third Through)

On this 10th day of our 30-Day Prayer Challenge for 2022, I realize how much the demonic forces want to prevent and prohibit us from experiencing God’s power. Don’t fall prey to the satanic attack or the demonic devices.

We’re one-third of the way through with this prayer challenge and this leg of a long journey with the Lord if we do not grow faint. And that makes us targets for such an attack.

Stand firm “in the strength of the Lord and the power of his might.”

Do not allow yourself to be defeated by these demonic devices.

Do not allow yourself to these satanic schemes.

Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might.

Stand firm.

Tap into His power through continued prayer and stand firm against all attacks coming your way.

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What would others say your words seem to be seasoned with?

Think about before you try to answer. Don’t just try to squeeze yourself into the textbook Sunday school answer. Think about what others would say about your words.

How do you come off to other folks? Is it like your words are seasoned with grace? Or, is it like you sound almost a if you forgot that you yourself have been saved by grace and forgiveness mixed and blended with the lovingkindness of God?

https://amzn.to/2WATUKG

A Goal of Graciousness

Paul’s words to the believers in Colosse seem straightforward and stern: “Let your speech always be gracious. . .”

Let’s just focus on that for a moment.

Could you imagine the number of insults that would incrementally decrease as a result of maintaining a goal of graciousness?

Can you picture how many souls would turn to us and ask about God if we as Christians just focused on our “speech always be(ing) gracious?”

The wonder is not what would happen if we did set graciousness as our goal. The wonder is why we do not set gracious speech as our goal time and time again.

To Whom Much Grace is Given…

I know that is a poor paraphrase, but walk with me for a moment on this one.

What if we just identified what we have been given much of in order to fulfill the requirement in turn? In other words, what if we looked at it deeper when we read this portion of Luke 12:48? What if it was about much LOVE or much FORGIVENESS? We cannot take Christianity as a robotic religion when He has endowed us with free will and His Spirit, the Helper, to quicken us in response to His urging and imploring us to be different and live differently. We have to accept that God desires us to meditate on His Word day and night.

If nothing else, we can set a course for change. We can determine within ourselves to make the change and seek to keep gracious speech as the gateway to offering grace to others as we go to and fro. In our various settings, whether in line at the coffee shop or at the table in the board room, we can choose to speak to others with much grace as we keep in mind that it was with much grace that God sacrificed His only begotten son for our salvation.

Speak with grace today and every day.

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