Updated: Jun 23, 2020
Great morning......a ton of Scripture! I hope the summary helps those who were not there:
In the midst of a nation in turmoil we reset ourselves this morning, back into our personal walk.....(our death to Christ’s mission, our emptying of ourselves, our yielding to His authority, and the outcome of that)..........
Ephesians 3:14-21: This is a tremendous passage to use in prayer as Paul prays for every family in heaven and earth. ONE FATHER!! This convicts me to pray more often for my family In Christ I have never met. One of you mentioned how we have potential brothers In Christ who may appear to be enemies at this point in time. Equipping in Ephesians 3:14-21: Right away it jumps out that Paul goes to his knees. This is emptying and yielding!! 1. The Spirit is in our inner being. (verse 16). True understanding of this guides everything we do as a New creation. 2. Christ dwells in our heart. (Verse 17). This is LOVE dwelling in us, Romans 5:5, not our love for Him, but His love for us. We can come to KNOW this Love on a whole new level with the spirit in us.
- It was stated that this knowing surpasses head knowledge, and it is a level of love that only comes from the manufacturer. EX: Like a marriage......Do you dwell with your wife but only have head knowledge of her, or do you have a KNOWING/DWELLING that surpasses factual knowledge?
APPLICATION- Do you try to love her (or others) in your own strength & determination, or do you pray for THE LOVE of God in you to flow through you??? Ephesians 5:25-28 helps define this love. We could spend months here. - Huge difference between our efforts and God's love..... and it’s only activated by dependent time In His Word. God's love is not worldly (See book of Hosea) **Think of the possibilities when two are One In Christ and yielding everything up to Jesus as One??!!!!! It could turn the world upside down. 3. We can be filled with the FULLNESS OF GOD (Ephesians 3:19)!!! What is fullness?? One of the guys said that this means there is no more room for anything else!! Solid and convicting thought. Don't you want to KNOW & EXPERIENCE this love of Christ that is demonstrated on the cross and grows In Us!! Ephesians 3:19-20 are a promise. Immovable and unfailing promise that is always available regardless of our circumstances. Suffering circumstances can lead to the glory of God (Ephesians 3:13). - This mention of suffering came as a result of the first part of Ephesians 3. ** This understanding of His love diminishes our care and concern for earthly things, leading to more of God's fullness and less filling of ourselves with temporary things. It SEPARATES us from fleshly things...just like we’ve previously discussed. 4. From Ephesians 3:16 to the end, Paul prays for the "riches of His glory", Strength (2 times), and power (2 times). It is not possible for our minds to ask or think about (verse 20) the unlimited equipping that The Lord can provide us if our hearts show themselves ready, See 2 Chronicles 16:9a! It was stated this morning that God has already flooded His world and His plans with an unlimited supply of riches and equipping to accomplish His Will.....we just have to walk in this! APPLICATION- does our time accounting reserve more time for worldly riches (overtime, stuff, prosperity), or Kingdom riches? What are riches of His glory? NLT - translates verse 16 “glorious unlimited resources”
**This brought us full circle to the Hebrews 11:6 word we started with a few weeks back. If we diligently seek The Lord, we will be rewarded in ways that our thoughts and words can not even think to ask! Add in Hebrews 13:20-21 and we see WHY God is so willing to equip us. The Lord wishes to make us complete, and equip us for His glory so that He can live His life for His glory through our bodies. - It was added that God equips you for His will, not ours. We can get carried away with wanting to do mighty things according to our plan and will, as we see it. Ephesians 4:17-24- This passage so boldly proclaims the death of the old man and the new life In Christ. But it's only possible In Christ. We can not put off fleshly old ways, unless we are yielding ourselves up to Christ in a steadfast way. Equipping in Ephesians 4:17-24: 1. Taught in Christ - verses 20-21, and Renewed by the Spirit- verse 23 (Let these sink in for a moment). We are taught in Christ & renewed by The Spirit. Sold!! Deal!! I'll take this any day of the week over anything the world can offer.
2. Cleansed- verses 17-20. Separated from who we were.
3. This teaching and renewing will produce a New Self (Ephesians 4:24) in God's likeness (verse 24) for His glory and for us as partakers of His glory.
APPLICATION- Do you feel like a new creature? If no, why not? If yes, why? **This next passage in Colossians flows off this previous application, providing us specific answers to why we do, or don’t, feel like a NEW SELF or NEW CREATION. Colossians 3:9-17: once again speaks to the truth that we can NOT put off the old man in our own strength & determination. We must, with great zeal & THANKFULNESS, renew the new self by nearness & intimacy with our Creator. - Pretty cool how Colossians 3:10 is almost a repeat of Ephesians 4:17-24, all in one sentence. - Paul provides a nice description of what our life should look like in Colossians 3:11, "Christ is all, in all". Not "All in All", but "ALL, and in ALL". We didn't spend a long time here, but the point was made as to what this is actually saying. That comma is so important. His pre-eminence is unlimited!! He is All or Everything AND He is......IN All or Everything. Nothing is outside His loving touch!!! Colossians 3:12-17 are all built off of verse 11. Equipping in Colossians 3:9-17: (I added some of my study thoughts that were not discussed this morning, due to time)
1. We belong in this Incredible plan because we are chosen and called (Colossians 3:12)!! Being chosen is a high level of motivation!!
2. Colossians 3:13- we are One. The body of Christ bears (forebears) (takes on) (suffers) the burdens of others In Christ. God gives us these brothers, and also uses us as bearers of others sin and burdens. Christ In us bears or suffers for others, just as He did in the garden and on the cross!
3. His Love fills us (Colossians 3:14)!! Perhaps the most important equipping of all! We are not the manufacturer of this Love. It comes from Him. Pray for more of it. - This love is out of our control because it is a level of love we can not process in our minds. When we can't love in our fleshly limitations, this Christ driven love goes beyond. It's a love explained further in 2 Corinthians 5:14-16. Our view of mankind should be a view that desires to see them saved.
4. The PEACE of Christ fills us (Colossians 3:15)!! How do we live with anxiety when our moments and circumstances are in the hands of The Creator?
5. He desires for His Word to dwell fully in us (Colossians 3:16)! We should never ever ever again be allowed to say we are incapable of understanding God's Word, when such a statement opposes His desire seen in this verse.
APPLICATION- we shared practical ways we fit The Word of God into our schedules (personally, with wife, with kids, with men in fellowship under The Word’s authority). - A prayer role call was discussed. - A good point made was to pray for receptivity ALL the time!! - For the very young, jump on every opportunity to present. - Equipping ourselves in the scripture to be prepared to answer questions or to go into the scriptures to find the answers. ** Colossians 3:16 makes this crystal clear.....IF we let The Word dwell richly, we can be taught and admonished IN ALL WISDOM!! LETTING The Word dwell richly in us is NOT limited to only knowing His Word, but it's being able to understand and comprehend His will and His desires, which leads to effective prayer and obedience! **This word “LET” could be described as the absolute foundation of walking victoriously in Jesus Christ. He has manufactured and supplied EVERYTHING we need. We only have to obey the “LET”.
LET Jesus have His way as we talk with Him in nearness & prayer!
LET Jesus have His way by abiding in, and dependently receiving, His Truth in The Word! - SO.....dwelling and abiding with The Word (Jesus Christ) will ALLOW us to LET or YIELD to The Lord's will and desires.
**That's what makes the life of Christ so exciting!! We abide and dwell in His presence and we get to watch God Almighty bend and manipulate circumstances in our life so that the outcome is His Will for His Glory. In fellowship In Jesus, we are sustained, completed and equipped for His glory. See also Philippians 1:6, Romans 8:28-30, 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 Colossians 1:9-14- We closed by praying these words back to The Lord.
- Every verse of this passage speaks of the Incredible equipping that comes from The Lord as we live In Christ!! - Again...It was suggested that we role call for prayer. Why would we not be praying for each other like this? Pray this passage by plugging in a name (Yours, wife, kids, friend). It is extremely powerful! If you read this summary, please do your best to pray this exact passage for as many of the men as you can. Don’t forget your wife & kids. NEXT STUDY (July 3)- We finally get back into John!!!!!!!! I'm sure you all remember that we are on John 1:29 (He he). We will look at one question, with many possible answers... "How did John the Baptist know?" So, do your reading and it should be a fun discussion..