It has been said, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Not carrying out good intentions is not what separates us from God for eternity, but choosing not to trust in Christ is the only thing that does that. However, it is true that good intentions mean nothing without action to accompany them. There are Christians with good intentions, and there are Christians who live intentionally. Good intentions will never change the world. Good intentions will never take the gospel to relationships. Intentional living, though, is a focused and determined choice to live with eternity in mind. This perspective affects everything about us. In these vs., Paul was unsure of his fate and was aware that at any moment he could be sentenced to death. Paul, however, did not use his circumstances as an opportunity to try and win the sympathy of the church at Philippi. As Christians, we know exactly why we exist—to glorify God. When we focus on living for Christ and His glory, death doesn’t seem so intimidating. Paul did not fear the possibility of death. Instead, he used it as motivation to make the most of the time God had given him, intentionally living to proclaim the gospel and encourage churches in their pursuit of Christ. The more we focus on Christ, the more we will take advantage of the opportunities God has set before us to spread His name and build His Kingdom.
PRAYER – I hereby surrender everything that I am, and have, and ever will be. I take my hands off of my life and release every relationship to You: every habit, every goal, my health, my wealth, and everything that means anything. I surrender it ALL to You. By faith I take my place at the Cross, believing that when the Lord Jesus was crucified, according to Your Word, I was crucified with Him; when He was buried, I was buried; when He was raised from the dead, I was raised with Him. I deny myself the right to rule and reign in my own life and I take up the Cross believing that You are in my and I in You. I thank You for saving me from my sins and myself. From this moment on I am trusting You to live Your life in me and through me, instead of me, to do what I can’t do, quit what I can’t quit, start what I can’t start, and–most of all–to be what I can’t be. I am trusting you to renew my mind and heal damaged emotions in Your time. I thank You now by faith for accepting me in the Lord Jesus, for giving me Your grace, Your freedom, Your joy, Your victory and Your righteousness as my inheritance. Even if I don’t feel anything, I know that Your Word is true; I am counting on Your Spirit to do what Your Word says– to set me free from myself, that Your resurrection life may be lived out through me, and that You may receive all the glory. I thank You and praise You for victory right now in Jesus’ name, Amen.
A lot of people in today’s society have a problem with Ephesians Ch. 5 as a result of the verses that follow these verses. The reason they have a problem is because they have not read and if they have they are not living these verses first. Paul’s charge for us to live in wisdom comes on the heels of the previous verses, which help us understand what lives changed by the gospel look like. Living in wisdom means taking every opportunity to glorify God and reflect the gospel to those around us. When we resolve to live in the light, we choose to pursue Christ above all worldly pursuits. Part of the reason we do that is so our lives will testify to others about God’s grace, mercy, and love. This passage offers specific applications to seek to practice: walk in wisdom, make the most of your time, understand the Lord’s will and do it, don’t be drunk with wine, be under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Each of these examples reiterates our need for the Spirit’s help to live as imitators of God. Those who do not know God will not be able to walk in the way He asks them to live, because they lack the Holy Spirit.
PRAYER – Repent for any area of your life—in any of your relationships—where you have not been living intentional and neglecting the Lord. Invite the Holy Spirit to fill you up and empower you to follow His Kingdom principles, principles that naturally bring about God’s glory for our lives.
Whether it’s how to change a tire, how to cook on the grill, how to make cookies, or how to balance a budget, parents teach children all the time, even if they don’t know it. By our attitudes, words, and our actions we are constantly training our children. But if we are families of faith, we must not only teach our children how to live in the world; we must take an active role in teaching them the truth of God. Faithful families teach their faith to the next generation.
Families are one of the primary means God has given to us through which faith is meant to be taught.
We can’t teach what we don’t know ourselves. And we can’t help our kids love God with everything they are unless we know what that means ourselves. So, God told His people to love Him, and then as they love Him, to teach the next generation to do the same. It is all of our job to raise our children in a godly way. We must actively and intentionally do this. We can’t hope the church or the schools will take our place. Faithful families teach their faith in a consistent way to the next generation.
PRAYER – Pray and thank God that He is the perfect Father. Pray that the parents in our church would embrace their responsibility to parent their children in a godly way. Also pray for any of the specific requests from the families in the church. Seek God in how we can partner with families within the church to help them disciple their kids and families to the Lord.
“It is self and our own selfish desires that keep us from allowing Christ to live out His priorities in our lives.” These verses are my life verses. I have to be reminded what I am to daily be living for. I do attempt to think about them at least once every morning. See I typically have a plan for my day, but my plans are not necessarily His. When I have these verses on my mind, I am more apt to see how the world is attempting to squeeze me into it’s image for me. But most of all when I have these verses on my mind and living them, I can hear and feel God leading and guiding me through life. But when I don’t seek to live these verses and attempt to control life, everything goes into chaos. For me, God has shown me how to live in Him by seeking Him alone through the power of the Spirit.
PRAYER – Spend some time with God seeking to understand what things in life are we placing before Him on a daily basis. Am I daily living for Him? Am I seeking to be transformed today? Am I open to the Spirit’s leading? Or am allowing the world to conform me into it’s image. Seek Him today!
This passage really is one of the most freeing passages in all of the Bible. Most of us do not experience a daily freedom in our walk of our salvation because we do not totally comprehend what Jesus has done in our lives. However, Paul’s testimony in Galatians 2:20 can be ours as well. Below is the notes from the Life Application Study Bible that I recommend. Digest it and take it in. If you are having any trouble with this Truth, seek God and ask for the Spirit’s discernment.
“How have our old selves been crucified with Christ? Legally, God looks at us as if we had died with Christ. Because our sins died with Him, we are no longer condemned (Col_2:13-15). Relationally, we have become one with Christ, and His experiences are ours. Our Christian life began when, in unity with Him, we died to our old life (see Rom_6:5-11). In our daily life, we must regularly crucify sinful desires that keep us from following Christ. This, too, is a kind of dying with Him (Luk_9:23-25). And yet the focus of Christianity is not on dying but on living. Because we have been crucified with Christ, we have also been raised withHim (Rom_6:5). Legally, we have been reconciled with God (2Co_5:19) and are free to grow into Christ’s likeness (Rom_8:29). And in our daily life, we have Christ’s resurrection power as we continue to fight sin (Eph_1:19-20). We are no longer alone, for Christ lives in us—He is our power for living and our hope for the future (Col_1:27).” – From LASB
Freedom is found in knowing and living in the Truth of what Christ has already accomplished in our lives. Live today by acknowledging who Christ is and resting in Him by walking in the Spirit.
PRAYER – Jesus, in this situation I have nothing to offer of my own ingenuity or strength; I need your wisdom and power as badly as I need the air that I breathe. As I move forward may I do so in desperate dependence on You every second. I joyfully and unreservedly confess that I am inadequate to answer Your call, in fact, I can do absolutely nothing without You. I’m not able to handle this situation on my own and any good that results must come solely through You. I simply ask You right now to flow through me, Lord Jesus, and cause me to stay out of Your way. In Your name, Amen