It’s meant to be tough! Ephesians 6 The

It’s meant to be tough!
Ephesians 6

The highly regarded HBO Band of Brothers follows a company of US paratroopers through the preparation and experience of invading Europe on D-Day. Based on real life interviews by survivors, the series captures both the intensity of war and the heroism of the troops.
In a moving scene Winters leads his troops into the most celebrated feat of the war, holding the Germans in the Battle of the Bulge. A soldier leaving the front line pulls Winters aside and says ominously, “Looks like you guys are going to be surrounded.”
Without hesitation Winters replies, “We’re paratroopers, Lieutenant. We’re supposed to be surrounded.”

As Christians, it is meant to be tough!
You are meant to be struggling!
Why be surprised when bad things happen?
This is the battle!
But our captain is Jesus!

Today you can still your storm, cast out the demon, heal the sick, see sinners forgiven and death be overcome.

The attacks will come to no avail. No value. No advantage. No profit. No effect. No benefit. Because you have the armour of God don’t you?

Don’t let the circumstance have the last word on you.

Be … Put on … Take your stand … Put on … Stand your ground …stand firm … Take up …

You are a soldier of Christ!
You are in the army now.

We have a Saviour! Ephesians 5 In August

We have a Saviour!
Ephesians 5

In August 1957 four climbers were climbing the 6,000 ft near-vertical North Face in the Swiss Alps. Two German climbers disappeared and were never seen again. The other 2, Italian climbers, were stuck on two narrow ledges, 1000ft below the summit. The Swiss Alpine Club did not allow rescue attempts in that area, but a small group of Swiss climbers launched a private rescue effort to save the Italians. So they lowered a climber, Alfred Helleport, down the 6,000 ft North Face. Suspended on a cable a fraction of an inch thick they lowered him into the abyss.
“As I was lowered down the summit … My comrades on top grew further and further distant, until they disappeared from sight. Then for the first time I peered down the abyss of the North Face of the Eiger. The terror of the sight robbed me of breath. The brooding blackness of the Face, falling away in almost endless expanse beneath me, made me look with awful longing to the thin cable disappearing above me in the most. I was a tiny human being dangling in space between heaven and hell. The sole relief from terror was … my mission to save the climber below.”

This is the heart of the gospel. We were trapped, but in the presence of Jesus, God lowered himself into the abyss of our sin and suffering. In Jesus God became a tiny human being dangling between heaven and hell.
This is God’s risky, costly, sacrificial rescue effort.

We needed help. We needed a Saviour to penetrate this world and pull us put. He did.
v23 He is the Saviour!

A powerful calling! Ephesians 4v1 Your c

A powerful calling!
Ephesians 4v1

Your calling is the same as that of Christ Jesus.
The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work, and so must we. (1 John 3:8)
We must not live in fear of the evil one more spend time shouting at him. We must move into our culture to have such an effect on the poor, injustice, offering grace, healing broken lives, that we destroy him!
Jesus wrapped a towel around his waist … and so must we. (John 13:3-4)
You are never too big to get small. In fact the higher you get the lower you must become. Take off the garments of recognition, letting people see you in a way that is humbling, human and honest.

Your calling is right now.
For Paul it was this prison he had been called to.
Where are you now? Are you displaying your calling?
Two years ago I had the privilege of speaking with the director of a woman’s ministry in Swaziland. A wonderful woman helping women live lives of freedom and find Christ in the midst of their HIV death sentences. The difference is she herself is a HIV patient and has 4 years expectancy, at times the doctors have said to her that she could die that day or the next, but she carries on in her calling. Her calling is right now in this body wrecked with disease. Two years on she continues in her calling.
Stop thinking of what people think of your circumstance and live the calling right now. It may not be perfect but neither is the world. Do you know how many days you have left to live? So why wait another day to begin to live your calling?
Where can God take you if you believe in the calling He has given you?
What can God do with you if you believe in His calling?

God’s grace. Ephesians 3 It is God’s g

God’s grace.
Ephesians 3
It is God’s grace.
God is not where you think He would be. Nor does He do what you think He ought to do or not do. God is in places you have never and would never dream to go in. His grace is found in prisons of failure not the palaces of achievement. It refuses to break the bruised reed that everyone wants to break or snuff out the smouldering wick that everyone sees as useless.

It is God’s gift.
Paul says he received this gift. He was saying, “It shaped my life, my thinking of life. It has shaped the way I have taught and how I have written. The day I received this grace changed me forever.”

It is God’s purpose
“This grace is not just for me but for others.” v2 for you; v8 to preach; v9 to make plain.
Paul is a steward of grace. As God gives grace to Paul then he must give grace to others. If you really want to gauge your love for God then look at your love for people.
Jesus did not spend time with the sinners who may have skipped their Bible reading that morning. But he spent time with people society called sinners. When we get to heaven we will be standing with countless people dressed in white robes. Who will these people be? Will it be those who have ticked all the right boxes of Christianity? No. It will people who needed to rely on the grace of God.

God hasn’t finished with you yet! Ephes

God hasn’t finished with you yet!
Ephesians 2
God is at work in you, right now.
The frustration you are experiencing may be simply God working to move you out of the Egypt experience and into His promises.
God isn’t at work producing the circumstances you want; God is at work in bad circumstances producing the YOU HE wants!

a. You are His workmanship, v10
The word is where we get our word ‘poem’ from. It means ‘that which is made’.
God has to make you before He uses you.
God has to work in you before He works through you.

b. You are created in Christ Jesus, v10
He is still Creator God. He can still speak things into existence. He can still shape and form life. He can still create something from nothing. He can still move things from chaos to creation.

c. To do good works, v10
To speak a healing word, to pick someone up, to make someone laugh, to put your arms around someone, to sit quietly as someone cries out their story, to read the Bible to someone. What can you do today?

d. Prepared in advance, v10
Wow! God will not change His plans for you because you decide you won’t want Him anymore or because circumstances mean things are impossible. You may have changed your plans for God but His plans are still the same and He is waiting. His plans contain promises. Promises not for your disaster but for your abundance. Plans and promises that bring a future and a hope.

Where are you? The beginning of a New Ye

Where are you?

The beginning of a New Year!
Ephesians 1
The year is around AD62, Paul is under house arrest with a Roman guard. He is contained, limited and not free to travel like he has been. He is restricted to reach the many churches he still wants to visit.
Do you know this kind of place? A place of containment?
This is where Paul was.
But he disagrees.
He says, v3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ”.
“I am not sitting in this prison, I am living my life in the heavenly realms!”
The heavenly realms is the unseen world of spiritual reality where we are one in Christ.
a. I am under arrest but I am at the horizon. The point of the physical and spiritual, the visible and the invisible.
v1 I am a servant, called, an apostle (sent!), set apart. How is this possible?
Because the physical circumstances will not define me. I will find a way because I live at the horizon.
The horizon is a sitting place, v20 and in the next chapter 2:6. It means you are not moving forward. We are so used to hearing messages of breakthrough, advancement, growth and it is all good. But here is a New Years message: sit down!
Stop trying to make things happen. Stop getting tired from your own efforts. Learn how to relax in God. Learn how not to carry the weight of your problems, but give Jesus your burdens.
Let God work for you not you work for Him.
You are seated with Christ.
b. v18 I am under arrest but I have hope. This is not hope so. This is a real, tangible, guaranteed hope in Jesus. You have not been put on this earth to go under and stay under, to be overwhelmed and eaten away at the predicament you have found yourself to be in. You were created for something much better! Our hope is in His resurrection, v20.

The reason for your life part 6 Coming t

The reason for your life part 6
Coming to the end of this year we have examined how Paul defends his purpose for living. 10 points:
1. Living with purpose keeps the important issues important.
2. Living with purpose leaves no concern for popularity.
3. Living with purpose can be taught but also caught from God.
4. Living with purpose is caught in the desert places.
5. Living with purpose builds your testimony.
6. Living with purpose brings confidence.
7. Living with purpose will have to be defended.
8. Living with purpose is a solid foundation.
Galatians 6
9. Living with purpose holds to personal values.
v1 forgiveness and restoration, not judgement and rejection.
Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.

v2 carry problems of others
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

v3 get rid of pride
If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

v4 continually self-assess.
Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else

v5 be personally responsible
for each one should carry his own load.

v6 support someone else
v7-9 Don’t give up – sow well reap well.
v10 Use every opportunity to bless.

10. Living with purpose will be attacked, v17, you will be branded for Christ.

So often we shy aware from self-examination and instead we analyse the circumstances of our life or people in our lives.
However if we become people who simply follow our purpose in life we will be led less by circumstance and people and driven by purpose.
Now is the time to put these principles in place. If we do, we will rise again and again over every opposition that comes our way.
Lets all sign up to be people of purpose.

The reason for your life part 5 Galatian

The reason for your life part 5
Galatians 5

8. Living with purpose is a solid foundation, v10

The Message translation says “Deep down the Master has given me confidence that you will not defect”.
He’s been to God before and for all this.
The purpose for your life is found by digging deep down into God. It is Him and His presence with you that forms His teaching, plans and desires within you.

The reason for your life part 4 Galatian

The reason for your life part 4
Galatians 4
Continuing point 7.
7. Living with purpose will have to be defended

e. Win the argument lose the war is often what happens. But we need to do all we can to win hearts, finish the war and our argument be heard.
v11-12 To beg doesn’t make you a beggar.
v13 Show your own humanity, your weakness.
v14-15 Build bridges through praise of others.

f. Face to face is always better than any other communication, v20.


The reason for your life part 3 Galatian

The reason for your life part 3
Galatians 3

7. Living with purpose will have to be defended.

We all know the examples of leaders who seem to like to fight. I have just watched a nature programme and it was basically a wonderful film on tigers who seemed to spend most of their life fighting to be the King. If life is only about fighting till you’re the last one standing then life is going to be lonely. We do find ourselves in disputes but few possess the ability to present clearly opposing reasons in a dispute. How did Paul do it?

a. He wasn’t afraid to use words to catch the attention, v1. The amplified version says of the word foolish that Paul was saying ‘you poor + silly + thoughtless + unreflecting + senseless Galatians’.

b. He knew that finding the right questions to ask is better than simply finding the answers, v1-5, six questions in total! Questions disempower your accusers from their secure position.

c. He had found his position in Scripture, v6, his gospel of grace was there.

d. He spoke to his accusers as though they were his friends. In v15 he used the term ‘brothers’ in effect saying ‘you are my friends and colleagues in the faith, let’s not forget that fact within this dispute.’

We all have to fight at times but it is easy to spot those who are defending their position from a life of purpose rather than those who attack for ulterior motives.