Ephesians 3:20 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,”
It is so important that we never over look or underestimate the power of God. I think it is important that we realize God is able to some great and mighty things with our lives. We get so caught up operating within our own strength that we forget about the ability of God’s power.
- God is Able – Nothing handicaps God. The question of “can God…?” should always be answered by “Yes God Can!”
- God’s Ability Reaches Further than our Imagination – The fact that this verse says that God can “do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” absolutely blows my mind. This basically means that our vast imaginations of great things actually places limits on God’s ability. Think about it like this – If you can imagine it, then God can actually do it bigger and better! WOW!!!
- God Desires to Do Work Through Us – Notice where God wants to demonstrate and display His greatness. God desires to demonstrate this ability through our lives. A life that is submissive and surrendered to the work of God can only see these kinds of things happen. God can do exceeding abundantly above all only on the grounds that we allow Him to do it.
Today’s Challenge: Don’t limit God’s ability in our lives. It is good to have dreams and set goals, but it is also important to remember that God can far exceed those things we dream about happening.
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
This is one of those verses that is exciting but at the same time humbling. In order to understand this verse we need to gain an understanding of the word “workmanship”. The word simply means “masterpiece”. Now let that soak in real good… We are God’s Masterpiece! That just absolutely blows my mind. The reason it is so mind blowing is because I know me well enough to know that I could not be anyone’s masterpiece. If God called me His “Mess” then that would be understandable. We must understand that we are a work of God that has been created to serve God. We are truly saved, so that we can serve. I think we often forget the Psalmist’s words when he said “we are fearfully and wonderfully made.” There are three things we must embrace pertaining to being God’s Masterpiece:
- We Have A Special Design: We are designed in such a way that as individuals we can bring God glory. God did not make a mistake when He made you!
- We Have A Specific Destiny: God not only designed us special, but He has a special plan for each of us. God designed used in order to fulfill a specific destiny.
- We Have A Sovereign Duty: We are created to serve. We are “created in Christ Jesus unto good works…”
Today’s Challenge: Don’t quit because of what you are not, serve because of the way you have been made.
Ephesians 1:16-17 “Cease not to give thanks for you making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:”
Two of the most important things Christians need today lies within confines of this text. Paul prayed that the Church at Ephesus operate with two vital attributes:
- The Spirit of Wisdom
- The Knowledge of God
Those that follow Christ are in constant pursuit of the “spirit of wisdom” and the “knowledge of God”. This also narrows down the ones that are truly following the Lord. I am very afraid that we live a world that truly has very little knowledge of God. The more I learn about God the more I tremble in His presence. The key to gaining wisdom is to consume ourselves in God’s Word. Some would say that wisdom comes with experience. I would have to say that much wisdom comes from experience, but also wisdom comes through knowledge. The more God reveals about Himself to us the wiser we become. The depths of God’s character are endless. I pray that the presence and the pursuit of God drive us to our knees requesting the spirit of wisdom. I can’t help but think of the old hymn “I want to know more about my Lord.” We must ask God to reveal himself to us.
Today’s Challenge: Ask God to reveal something about himself that you never knew before. Pursue the spirit of wisdom and the knowledge of God.
Galatians 6:9 “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
If we were to look up the meaning of the word “weary” we would discover that it means to “lose heart”. Then if we were to look up the phrase “well doing” we would find that it means “to act honorably” or “to do well”. So many times we become frustrated and become fainthearted while trying to do well. We become weary, or start to lose heart when we don’t see the results we believe we should expect from our honorable actions. It is amazing how all of us place demands on the kind of results we should expect from God when we don’t even deserve to be saved. I think we forget the value of a personal salvation when working for the Lord. We cannot serve God expecting results; we serve God because we are a result of His unmatchable Grace and Mercy. The reason weariness enters into our lives is because the results we expect do not come in the time frame or way God intends for us to have them. God reminds us that we need not lose heart. God reminds us that a reward will be received. Remember that the day we quit may be the day God is planning on blessing your life. There are some keys to not growing weary.
- Patience is Require: Waiting on God requires patience.
- Persistence is Required: Keep serving. Stay persistence at your calling.
- Perseverance is Required: There are going to be some days where the Devil will try to tell you God has forgotten about you. These are the days you must persevere.
Today’s Challenge: Don’t quit. The day you decide to quit may be the day before your greatest harvest.
Galatians 5:14 “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
When we think of “The Law” we could consider the 10 Commandments, the 613 Mosaic Laws, or the entire Bible. That is a lot to obey. If we were honest with ourselves we would openly admit that obeying all these individually would be overwhelming impossible. However; the Lord decided that He could take all these laws and simplify it down to one simple, yet powerful word – LOVE! When the Bible defines God, we find that God is defined in this one simple word called “Love”. God has given us the one commandment that not only covers the entire law, but it encompasses the essence of who He really is. We are to love God, as well as love others. If you and I would were to study all these laws addressed in scripture we would realize that if we simply loved God and others then it would totally keep us from breaking God’s laws. For example:
- When you love God and People then you don’t have to worry about putting anything before Him.
- When you love God and People then you don’t have to worry about using His name in vain.
- When you love God and People you don’t have to worry about other graven images
- When you love God and People you will keep the Sabbath Day holy by attending Church
- When you love God and People you don’t have to worry about murdering them.
- When you love God and People you don’t have to worry about honoring your father and mothe
- When you love God and People you don’t steal from them.
- When you love God and People you won’t commit adultery.
- When you love God and People you won’t lie against them.
- When you Love God and People you will not find yourself coveting.
You see? All we must do is operate in love and it handles all the rest. No wander it is called the Great Commandment!
Today’s Challenge: LOVE!!!!
Galatians 4:16 “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
This is a very good question that must be asked among American Culture. We live in a world that despises the truth. People today hate to hear the truth, because many times, the truth can be painful. We must remember that those that are true friends are the ones that speak the truth, even when they know we don’t want to hear it. The generation we see growing up before our eyes are falling into a snare of lies. They would rather attach themselves to a lie than accept the truth. It does not seem logical that the truth would cause us to create enemies, however; it is a reality. We must remember that the truth was designed to help us, not hurt us. God says the truth will make us free. It is essential that we make sure we don’t get angry when we hear someone speak the truth to us out of a heart of love. If you get mad at the truth, then ask yourself whether you would rather appreciate the truth, or enjoy someone telling you a lie.
Today’s Challenge: Pay attention the truth today. Remember when your boss, parent, or pastor speaks to you in truth that it was not meant to hurt you, but rather help you.
Galatians 3:11 “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.”
If we are to really live, we must live out our lives by faith. It is evident that God emphasizes the importance of walking by faith. I think it is good to highlight the fact that faith is not walking day by day, but it is walking step by step. The evidence of those that have been justified (those that have been declared righteous by God) are to walk by faith. Faith is the one thing that honors God. Faith is the thing that gains God’s attention. Faith is the foundation by which everything in Christianity rest upon. Without faith we will never be able to please God. Now the purpose of Christianity is to live a life that pleases and glorifies God. Walking by faith is the best way we can bring glory to God.
Most people today are justifying themselves by what they are doing, rather than being justified on what has already been done. We are not declared righteous by our works, we are declared righteous through our faith. Just like with Abraham, he believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Simply believing God is enough. Wow!!! That is incredible to think that in order to really please the Lord all we have to do is believe Him. In a world that wants to question Him, God just wants us to believe Him.
When there is an argument between my children, I find that both of them just want to be believed. The same goes for God. Satan is telling his story and God is proclaiming his truths. The question remains: Are we going to believe the lies of Satan, or are we going to believe the truths of God?
Today’s Challenge: Just believe God. Remember the only way to truly live, is to live completely by faith.
Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
This is one of the most power pieces of Scripture in the Bible. The victories we experience in life our products of our obedience to the principles found in this verse. This verse teaches us the source of a Christian living out the Life of Christ. We see that there is an importance in being dependent up on the Savior. The verse teaches us of how we are identified with Christ. We are crucified with Him, but live by Him. We identify with His death, but at the same time we can also identify with His resurrection. The ability to experience victory over sin is not controlling situations yourself, but it is learning to allow Christ to live out His purpose through you. We also see that we are indwelt by Christ. Christ lives in us! Christ also lives through us! The Christ-life is essentially a complete life of faith. Most of the time we refuse to allow Christ to live through us. We compartmentalize Him and refuse to die to our self. We must understand that in order to completely surrender to Christ we must operate on the basis of faith.
Today’s Challenge: Remember that God can do more with you on accident that you can do with you on purpose. Let Him live through you!
Galatians 1:6 “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:”
I, like Paul, find it amazing how Christians have been swayed by the message of other gospels. It is important that we realize that if we can get a lot of things wrong and still be okay. However; if we get the Gospel of Jesus Christ wrong it ruins everything. The Gospel is the most important message in the entire Bible. If we preach the wrong gospel then, according to verse nine we are preaching a curse upon ourselves. We must be very mindful of how we preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I want to look for a moment at some of the gospels that we normally encounter. That way when we hear them we can mark them and then avoid them.
- There is the Wrong Gospel: Any message that avoids the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the wrong message. Anyone that teaches that there is another way to Heaven outside of Jesus Christ is teaching the wrong gospel. An example would be if you hear someone that says “It does not matter what you believe, as long as you are sincere.” Danger! Sincere people will end up in the Lake of Fire.
- There is the Water Downed Gospel: It is the message that accepts Jesus Christ, but does not stress it. The watered down gospel is the idea of easy believism that is being preached from many American pulpits. It is a message that avoids teaching on changed lives, repentance, and other controversial events that are suppose to take place at the moment a person is saved. It avoids the controversial issues involved in salvation and never reveals a person’s sinful condition.
- There is the Works-based Gospel: This gospel emphasizes works over faith. It believes that as long as you are performing your religious duties such as attending church, tithing, and serving then you are automatically destined for Heaven. Nothing could farther from the truth. Works never produce faith, but faith will always produce a work.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches a person places their faith and trust into the Lord Jesus Christ by Repenting of their Sins, and turning their lives over to the Lord. Salvation involves repentance, and faith. Without either of these, we are living by the wrong message.
Today’s Challenge: Examine the message that you are preaching and the message that you have received. Have you been removed from the real Gospel message?
2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves, Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
The Bible is clear that we are to examine ourselves. Typically, we are more out to judge or examine others before we are to examine ourselves. The Lord gives us to simple instructions:
- Examine Yourselves
- Prove Yourselves
There are some principles that would be good to highlight in order to learn to do a self examination.
- Make Jesus Christ Your Mark: We have a habit of comparing ourselves to others, when we are to make Jesus Christ our standard. Remember, if you don’t look like Jesus then you don’t have any business judging others.
- Make The Bible Your Mirror: The Bible is not just a composition of stories and fairy tales, but it is a mirror that reveals to us all our impurities. Reading the Bible requires us to align and adjust to it, rather than making it adjust to us. Allow the Bible to be the device that shows us our imperfections.
- Make The Holy Spirit Your Mentor: There is no greater accountability partner than the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to work in your life by giving Him complete access to your heart. Trust me; the Holy Spirit will definitely be a truthful physician in the examination process.
Today’s Challenge: Do a Self Examination using these tools and see what happens.