Monday, February 24, 2014

Ephesians 2 Session 3 Podcast

Choose Gratitude and Joy even in the midst of difficulties and trials. Because of who we are in Christ, we can stand victorious.
Do you believe?
Listen to this week's message.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What is your relationship status with Jesus?

Are You Intimate With Jesus?

The church is called the Bride of Christ

Rev 19:7- Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.

2 Cor 11:2 - I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.

    What bridegroom does not want to have sex with his new bride? Especially if she is presented to him as a virgin (and he is a"virgin", too) as is so often not the case in our culture. And let’s not forget the bride. While a woman’s sex drive usually does not match her husband’s, women nevertheless look forward to the intimacy of the wedding night as well.

    Sex is the one act that separates marriage from other relationships. When it is used as God designed it, it is the supreme act of intimacy, drawing a husband and wife together and bringing great pleasure to both partners. Humans were designed for intimacy. With men it leans to the physical, and with women it leans to the emotional, but both of us desire both kinds of intimacy. And we were made in the image of God, which means our desire for intimacy is a reflection of God’s desire for intimacy.

    We obviously are not going to literally have sex with Jesus, but the image of the church as the bride of Christ demonstrates to us that God desires the kind of intimacy from us that comes with a (healthy) sexual relationship. In Genesis, God was found walking in the Garden of Eden during the cool of the day. He came to Adam and Eve to spend time with them. Time is another factor that creates intimacy. While it’s possible to spend time with a person and never become intimate, it is impossible to become intimate without spending time together. That time does not have to be in physical proximity (it could be a long-distance relationship nurtured through letters, phone calls, email, etc.) but it does have to include opening ourselves up to the other person and receiving their openness.

    That is what our relationship to God should be like. When a man and woman meet and find themselves attracted to one another, the first thing they generally do is find a way to spend some time together. She gives him her phone number. He calls. They talk. They meet somewhere and talk some more. They do things together. The more they discover that they have in common, the more things they do together, and so they spend even more time together. Eventually they get married, move into the same house and spend oodles of time together. The only way you can truly become the bride of Christ that you were meant to be is to spend time with him. The more you spend time with him, the more you will find you have in common with him, and the more you will desire to spend time with him.

    Maybe your marriage to Christ isn't what it ought to be. If so, I assure you that in this marriage, you are the problem, not your husband. If that is the case, begin today to reconcile by spending time with him - time in fellowship with other believers, time in the Word, and time in prayer. And if you just aren't feeling it, then start by praying for the grace to desire him again. And in time you will once again find pleasure in your Groom, and He will find pleasure in you.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Ephesians Session One Podcast

Week 3 Ephesians 2

 Begin each day this week in facedown worship. Read Psalm 96 out loud .
Memory Verses: Psalm 96:1-2

Welcome to our third week of the study of the book of Ephesians. In the first chapter Paul reminded us of whom we are in Christ and that our true citizenship is in Heaven. Sweet sisters and saints, let’s dig into chapter two!

Pray each day for the Holy Spirit to guide you as you read. Ask God to speak to you.
Lord, open my eyes and let me see the treasures in your scripture. (Psalm 119:18)

  • Day 1 - Read Ephesians 2 and do a SOAP (Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer). Write down any verses that jump at you as you are reading. Make a couple of observation about them and also write down a specific application for you to follow with. Finish with a prayer.

For example I wrote down Ephesians 2:8 and made the following observations: it is my faith in God and His grace that have set me free. It is a gift and nothing that I do can ever make me earn it. My application would be: I am a child of God and nothing that I do can separate me from Him and the only striving that I need to do is to reflect Him more. Then I would pray over this.

  • Day 2 - Read Ephesians 2:1-8.

  1) We are not sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners  (Romans 3:23). Sinning becomes habitual when we follow the patterns of this world (Eph. 2:2). What are the patterns you tend to follow?

  2) What do verses 1 and 5 say about us in our trespasses? How does one become spiritually alive? Meditate on verses 4-8. What sticks out? Write down cross references that come to mind. (If none come to mind, but you would like to find some, try this cross reference source:

  3) Verse 8 tells us that His grace is FREE! How does one receive this free gift? What does this mean to you? How would your life be different if you had to earn it?

  • Day 3 - Read Ephesians 2:9-10.
1) You are God’s handiwork. Look up the definition of handiwork or workmanship in the dictionary .

  2) Read Genesis 2:7. Yo u are uniquely created. God spoke the world into existence, yet formed us with His own hands. Understanding our true identity is crucial. What do verses 9 and 10 say about that?

  3) What unique task or work has God prepared for you and given to you?

  • Day 4 - Read Ephesians 2:11-22. “Therefore” - Paul starts this passage with a transition word. Take a minute to go over your notes from the last 3 days. Read Ephesians 2:11-22 again and finish the following sentences:

  Because we have been saved and it was free…….

  Because we are God’s handiwork……..

  Because we are citizens of Heaven……….

  • Day 5 - Read Ephesians 2.

  1) What is the major theme for this chapter?

  2) What words, term, or ideas does Paul use frequently?

  3) What is something you learned or were encouraged by this week?

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22

1) Make Ephesians 2:2 come to life in your life. Resolve yourself to make note this week of the patterns of this world that you tend to follow and determine to stop doing it. Meet with your accountability partner. Be real and pray with each other about it.

2) Make your own list of life applications from Ephesians 2 and share one you applied this week with your small group.

  “He must become greater; I must become less” John 3:30