Ephesians 6:10-18

Jesus, be the Lord over ALL my life.

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(c) Kat Kreations-DoNotDownloadorCopyorOtherwiseTake/UseThisImage

(c) Kat Kreations-DoNotDownloadorCopyorOtherwiseTake/UseThisImage

Dressing to Face Each Day

Exodus 14:14 (NIV) tells me, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to stand still.”

Thanks, Lord, for what You share in Ephesians 6, a description of the armor You supply for me to put on each day:

1 – BELT of TRUTH, which affirms who I am in Christ.

Because of the death of Your Son, Jesus, on the cross, I am a new creation of infinite worth.  (2 Cor 5:17)

2 – BREASTPLATE of RIGHTEOUSNESS, which protects my heart.

Because of Jesus death, I have been justified–been made just as if I’d never sinned.  I am completely forgiven and fully pleasing to You.  I no longer have to allow my emotions to control me; they are protected and valuable in Christ.

3 – FOOTWARE with the readiness of the gospel of PEACE.

Because of Jesus sacrificial death, my life has been reconciled with You, Heavenly Father.  I am totally accepted by You.  I can know Your peace personally and live in Your will as a peacemaker.

4 – SHIELD of FAITH 

Because of Your sovereignty, God is in control of all things.  I can trust You with my whole self.

5 – HELMET of SALVATION, protecting my mind.

Because of Jesus death, burial, and resurrection, I have been made brand new, complete in Christ, and Your child.  I have the mind of Christ. I can choose on what I will or won’t think, allowing You to renew my mind.

6 – SWORD of the SPIRIT, the WORD of God.

Because of who You are, I am deeply loved by You.  I no longer have to fear the enemy.  Your Word is my weapon: defensively–to ward off the attacks of the evil one;  offensively–to speak to others regarding Jesus’ offer of salvation to us all.  Father, You provided this armor when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  In this passage, You tell me to put it on, and then four different times, You says to stand, stand, stand, stand….  For the battle belongs to You….. and You are already the Victor!

Thank You, Father!  Thanks for equipping me, for growing me up to be just like Jesus.  Keep at it.  Here am I; I want You to have all of me.  Amen.

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Ephesians 5:21-6:9

Jesus, be the Lord over ALL my life.

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“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (5:21)

The relationships we humans have with one another seem to be really important to You, Lord–how we get along, how we communicate. Well, if we’re the means You’ve chosen to spread Your gospel, to bring others to You, then no wonder You give so much direction in how to relate to one another.

Here in this portion of Your “love letter” to me (well, ok, to all Your children ;-), You first sum up Your desire for our relationships by commanding us to “submit to one another.”  Then, You break that down into various kinds of relationships: marital, parental, and vocational.  In each one of these, You refer back to Yourself in some way, how each relationship noted reflects a relationship with You. …hmmm, interesting … 🙂   e.g. “as to the Lord” (5:22), “just as Christ loved the church…” (5:25), “in the Lord” (6:1), “training and instruction of the Lord” (6:4), “just as You would obey Christ” (6:5), “like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God…” (6:6), “as if serving the Lord” (6:7), “the Lord will reward everyone” (6:7), and “He who is both their Master and yours is in heaven…” (6:9).

The verbs You use intrigue me, Lord.  For those whom You view as being under another’s authority or supervision, You call them to “submit” or “obey.”  Each can recognize that the one to whom they submit, be it husband, parent or master (employer), is under YOUR authority and supervision.  They yield to one who must yield to You.  For those who are in roles of authority (granted by You), You use the terms “love,” “bring them up,” and “treat.”  You describe a sacrificial, selfless love that is to reflect Christ’s love for the Church (525-33).  You describe a supportive training role that’s not to aggravate the ones being trained, that takes into consideration the feelings of and the effect on the one who is learning (6:4).  You describe a fairness in supervision by which the overseer realizes that You are the ultimate one in authority (6:9).  You grant the authority, but You temper it and give boundaries to it by holding accountable the one who received it.

Your statement used to open this segment, “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ,” sets the tone for those relationship actions You spell out. No human role may lord it over another; You’ve designed us differently.  You are in all, through all, and overall–including our relationships.  At least that’s Your plan.

Father, help me to follow Your plan, Your will, for my relationships.  Point out to me the actions, thoughts, or words that I allow into those interactions which are not in line with Your will.  Help me to change.  I desire for You to remain my First love.  And when I choose to give YOU preeminence in my life, my affections, my security, then the people in my life will know it; they’ll experience a different way of relating with me.  In the roles You’ve given me in which I’m called to submit, help me to do so “as to the Lord” and to obey “as if serving the Lord.”  In the roles You set me in which give me some authoritative roles, guide me in leading in love, patience, encouragement and fairness.

Thanks, Lord, for being so vitally involved in my life and my relationships.  May I bring honor and glory to You.  Keep making me just like Jesus as You use me to touch others.

Ephesians 5:1-20

Jesus, be the Lord over ALL my life.

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“BE IMITATORS OF GOD …AND LIVE A LIFE OF LOVE” (Christ’s kind of love)

“but among you there must NOT BE EVEN A HINT OF…”

(a whole list of things that He says “are IMPROPER FOR GOD’S HOLY PEOPLE” (v 11)

“LIVE AS CHILDREN OF LIGHT… AND FIND OUT WHAT PLEASES THE LORD.” (v 8-10)

“HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” (v 11)

“BE VERY CAREFUL, THEN, HOW YOU LIVE–not as unwise but as wise,

“MAKING THE MOST OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY, because the days are evil.” (v 15-16)

In light of all this “DON’T BE FOOLISH, BUT UNDERSTAND WHAT THE LORD’S WILL IS… BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT.” (v 17-18)

Father, give me a holy unsatisfaction with the quality of my life.  Never let me remain comfy where I am in my walk with You.  Keep me from seeking merely to “feel good about myself” and turn my focus on pleasing You.  It all boils down to loving You above all else and choosing to be faithful in obeying You and trusting You.

From this passage, I form this prayer: I want to be like You, Daddy.  Help me to live a life of love–the kind of love You showed me in Jesus.  Clean me up and keep me clean, so that there’s not even a hint of gunk from the world in me.

Change my desires at their root, causing me to want what You want–not what I want, nor what people around me want, not what the media or others say I want or “need.”  Show me what pleases You and help me to make the most of every opportunity.  Keep making me just like Jesus.  Amen.

Ephesians 4:25-5:2

Jesus, be the Lord over ALL my life.

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Hello, Father!  Thanks for another day to spend with You.

This passage looks like a handbook of housecleaning tips–only, in Your case, the messages are more than simply tips, but rather commands or things You expect Your children to do.  It could kind of look like one of those “house rules” posters:

**NO MORE LIES; NO MORE PRETENSE–tell others the truth. (v 25)

**BE ANGRY, BUT DON’T USE ANGER AS FUEL FOR REVENGE and don’t stay angry, giving the devil that kind of foothold. (v 26-27)

**NO MORE STEALING “get an honest job so you can help others who can’t work” (v 28)

**”WATCH THE WAY YOU TALK; SAY ONLY WHAT HELPS OTHERS” (v 29)

**NO GRIEVING GOD; DON’T BREAK HIS HEART. “His Holy Spirit moving and breathing in you, it the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for Himself.  Don’t take such a gift for granted.” (v 30 MSG)

**BE GENTLE WITH ONE ANOTHER, SENSITIVE –Throw out the garbage of all cutting, backbiting and profane talk. (v 31-32)

**FORGIVE ONE ANOTHER as quickly and THOROUGHLY as God in Christ forgave you. (v 32)

These things are the little details that form the big picture You have for my life: to be an imitator of You; to live a life of love.  Thank You for the example of Jesus, whose “love was not cautious but extravagant.  You didn’t love me in order to get something from me but to give everything of Yourself to me” (5:1-2 MSG).  Help me love like that, Daddy.  I want to keep company with You, so that I can learn to love like You do … so that You’re character will rub off on me, as You keep making me just like Jesus.  Amen.

Ephesians 4:14-24

Jesus, be the Lord over ALL my life.

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Father, thank You for Jesus!  Thanks for the reminder in a song playing this morning: “…Just be a still small voice, and let the truth be heard, that Jesus is the way, the truth…” (from “Jesus Is” by Point of Grace on Steady On).  And then we sit down to visit over this passage which holds contrasts of truth and deceit.

Jesus is Truth.  Satan is the Deceiver, the father of lies.  Realms are contrasted and the choices before me, as to how I choose to live and who I choose to listen to, are spelled out as well in this passage:

DECEIT @ WORK (v 14)

When I choose to listen to “every wind of teaching,” and to “the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming,” I’m like an infant afloat alone on the high seas, the waves just tossing me around, the wind blowing me here and there.  The “wind of teaching” may be the seemingly innocent stuff, that I could easily assume is just part of life–like the kinds of teachings or hidden curriculum that comes through ANYthing I allow in my mind through ANY kind of media.

Lord, give me discernment.  Help me to filter what comes into my mind or give me the strength so simply not let some things in.  Guard my heart from “winds of teaching” that blow in clouds to make the light of Your Truth dim.  Guide me by Your Spirit when it comes to making choices about what I submit my mind to through watching, reading, listening, or discussing.

Especially give me Your discernment to recognize the “deceitful scheming” in the world today and protect my mind.  You’ve told me:  “Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith…” (1 Peter 5:8-9)

{Side Note: So, it says, “LIKE a roaring lion,” not really a lion.  The enemy just makes a lot of noise.  You, Jesus, are the true Lion of Judah! And “the daughter of a Lion is a lion!” [Kathryn Boone, Heritage Keepers ’98]  You and me, strong are we, Jesus!  RRRROARRRRRR!!} 🙂

TRUTH @ WORK (v 15-16)

Truth and Love work hand in hand.  The goal of their work is that the whole Body of Christ might grow up, be joined together, parts supporting parts, each part doing its work.  In John 14:6, Jesus, You say YOU are Truth.  1 John 4:8 tells me “God is Love.”  So, here in this Ephesians passage, Father and Son are at work in and through the object of their greatest affection and passion: people!

Truth + Love = growth toward Christ-likeness and wholeness as His Body.

DECEIT @ WORK (v 17-19)

In these verses, You give a pretty thorough and grim description of a life that’s led by Deceit: futile thinking, darkened understanding, separate from the life of God, ignorance inside from a hardened heart, loss of all sensitivity, giving self over to sensuality (“because I can”), indulging in every kind of impurity with a continual lust for more (“if it feels good, do it”).  Oh my!  Quite extreme attitudes and behaviors!

Yet, I recognize that the road to an extreme begins with little trips in that direction.  And that’s where Deceit does its work.  When I choose to drive the car of my life down Route D, often the clearest radio frequency along that route is WLIE.  The more I tune in, the more I allow Deceit to work on my mind than Truth.  When I pull over, give the keys to You, Jesus, and allow You to drive, the reception on that other radio station fuzzes out and the clear tones of YOUR station resound because You steer me along paths of righteousness.  You still allow me to navigate, by getting to make choices (through the gift of free will) along the way.  But, having You in control brings a peace that I don’t have any other way.

TRUTH @ WORK (v 20-24)

Thank You, Father, for seeing to it that I have been exposed to, taught from and led by Your Truth–Your Word.  You have made me a new creature.  You desire that I leave my old self in the trash pile–my “former way of life…corrupted by its deceitful desires.”  You call me to “be made new” in my mind’s attitude.  You tell me to “put on the new self”–it’s a new me that You’ve “created to be like You in true righteousness and holiness.”

Do it, Father! And renew it each day!  Make me just like Jesus–no matter what it takes!  Thank You for Your work in me!

Many in this world are groping around, thinking, “The Truth is out there.”  Use my life–the one You’re at work in–to vividly, realistically, genuinely show those seekers, “The Truth is Jesus.”

Let’s do today, Lord.  Make me a blessing, Amen.

Ephesians 4:4

Jesus, be the Lord over ALL my life.

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How wonderful You are, Father!  You only are God OF all, OVER all, THROUGH all, and IN all (v 6).  You only could ascend “higher than all the heavens,” in order to “fill the whole universe.”  WOW!  Now THAT’s BIG! … But the really cool thing about this is that You, in Your vastness, have chosen to be concerned with all that concerns me–even in my smallness.  Thanks for being SO interested in me, in every minute detail of my life.

Thanks too for Your grace that Your Son has given out.  Thanks for the gifts You’ve given me by that grace.  May You find me willing, pliable, and useful as a part of Your body, functioning in sync with the rest of Your Body.  Help me to do the part that You wrote for me in the effort to build up Your Body, “until we all REACH UNITY in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and BECOME MATURE, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (v. 12-13).

Keep my mind focused on You this day as You make me just like Jesus.  Amen.

Ephesians 4:1-3

Jesus, be the Lord over ALL my life.

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Father, these are the things You tell me to be and do as I choose to “live a life worthy of the calling” I have received:

BE COMPLETELY HUMBLE (v 2):

Ah! humility–just when I think I have it, I’m way off.  How easy it is for pride to choke out humility, even in little ways:  like, just happening to mention some little something about myself so another will notice or be impressed.  Lord, teach me what You mean by true humility.  Show me in Your Word the kind of humility that You lived when You were here.  Teach me to keep my mouth shut, to be faithful and to allow You to bring whatever honor or recognition You desire for me.  Make me just like Jesus.  (Philippians 2:5-11)

BE COMPLETELY GENTLE (v 2)

“free from harshness, sternness, or violence; kind, amiable–having a friendly, sociable, disposition; good-natured” says Mr. Webster.  “fair, moderate, forbearing, not insisting on the letter of the law” says Mr. Vines or “sweet reasonableness.”  Lord, this is definitely a trait YOU’ve got to mold into me continually … just like the next two…

BE PATIENT (v 2) &

BEAR WITH ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE (v 2)

Every one of these requires me to set my desires aside and entrust each relationship, each situation to Your sovereign will.  You call me to not do what I might feel like doing, but to do what YOU’D like me doing, Lord.

Help me to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (v 3).  Make me a blessing as I go and as You keep transforming me to be just like Jesus.  Amen.