Blog, spiritual disciplines

Hitting Reset: What I Have Learned While Studying Ephesians

It’s no secret that 2020 has been quite the year. Global pandemics, cultural unrest, political insanity all leaving each one of us feeling less than stable.

Back in December I spent some time evaluating the direction I wanted my life to go in. Usually I take time to focus on a word of the year, however, with the changes and upheaval that was happening in my life I made the choice to focus on something a little bit different: Tea and Cake.

Tea and Cake. I wanted to focus on slowing down and savoring the moments. I wanted to remember that there is always time for tea and cake. However, this year has called for anything but that. I think I have run the entire spectrum of emotions and feelings when it comes to all the things happening in and around the world these days. Let’s be honest, I think everyone has really.

A few weeks ago as I was scrolling Facebook I came across a post made by a friend of mine stating that their church would be starting up a women’s Bible study group going through the book of Ephesians. The best part is that, due to current restrictions, this group, like many others, would be taking part online via Zoom. I immediately texted her and asked if I could participate in this study even though I wasn’t a member of her church let alone in the same state she is in. Her response was a very prompt yes.

While I have to admit I have never been sorry when I made the conscious choice to read the Bible, this time I am beyond grateful for the prompting of the Holy Spirit that I received to text and ask to join this study. It was the rest button I believe I truly needed in my life at that moment.

This week we are down to only 2 chapters left of this particular book of the Bible but let me tell you, Paul has so much to say to the church. He did back then when he wrote these words and he still does even now. Isn’t it beautiful how God knows exactly what needs to be heard spanning all the changes and the challenges this world has and continues to see with each coming day, year, decade, and generation of people.

Sometimes it is hard to get into the meat of what Paul is wanting to get at because it gets bogged down in the introductions and big heavy words but when you really focus in the point of the message, especially when we are talking about Ephesians is this: Unity in the body. Unity in the church. Paul reminds the church at Ephesus that first of all, no matter how bad things may be looking He, God, has the ultimate control. In this current time of political upheaval Ephesians 1:20-23 reminds me that no matter who sits in power or authority God is still in control because it is God who raised up Christ Jesus and set everything else under His feet.

20 He exercised this power in Christ by raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavens— 21 far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he subjected everything under his feet and appointed him as head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.

Ephesians 1:20-23 (CSB)

Chapter 2 continues on in this when Paul reminds the church that we are to be unified in our mission to share the Gospel with the world. Ephesians 2:14 reminds us that hostility has been put to death. Man I wish that more people would read and remember that in the world today. Christ has drawn us all to him. Those of us who, from the beginning of it all, we not part of the chosen nation, have been chosen by God to live in the fullness of the inheritance right along with the Israelite people, God’s chosen nation. And yet we continue to be divisive and forgetful of the gifts we have been granted.

14 For he is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility.

EPHESIANS 2:14

Isn’t amazing that God would go to such great lengths just to ensure that his creation is rescued from a very terrible future and fate? I remember the one time in my life I was able to visit the Grand Canyon. I was massive. In general, I don’t have a fear of heights but there on that day I truly felt how small I really am. And still in Ephesians 3: 17b-19 Paul prays that we, those who choose to believe, would come to comprehend the vastness of the God’s love. Even a natural wonder like the Grand Canyon can’t contain the depth, width, height, or length of God’s love for us. No matter what mistakes we may make, and there will be many, God’s love is enough. And all we need to be doing is loving one another, building one another up. Putting away the lying, speaking the truth in LOVE. Learning to be angry but choosing not to sin in that anger. Striving to no longer give the devil his footholds.

17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, 19 and to know Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

EPHESIANS 3: 17B-19

None of that is easy. It is a daily struggle to 

Let all bitterness, anger, wrath, shouting and slander be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another Just as God also forgave you in Christ.” Ephesians 4:31-32 (CSB)

So yeah, its time to hit reset. It’s time to slow down and remember, as we move into a new season that is traditionally filled with excitement for new and exciting things to come, but this year just seems a bit off kilter and confusing, that at the end of the day God is in control. He has this all covered, While we are questioning each day wondering what is going to come next He is not surprised in the slightest. And at the end of the day, all things are going to work out for His glory, and his glory alone. Not ours, not the politicians making decisions we may or may not agree with, not the athlete or the celebrity who is being the loudest on social media these days, and not the one who orchestrates chaos. God, and God alone will and already has come out on top.

So today, take a minute to hit reset. Make yourself a cup of your favorite tea or coffee, pour yourself a glass of wine (yep I said it), or grab a big glass of your favorite soda. Then find your favorite place to just sit back, relax, and rest in the unity of the Gospel of Christ.

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