Mission Statement

The primary purpose of this blog is to help Christian women apply the counsel of God's Word to their daily lives as it relates to their relationships, circumstances, suffering and sin; and to equip them to help others do the same. "For the Word of God is living and active." Hebrews 4:12

Monday, October 31, 2011

What" Impossible" are You Trusting God For?

"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all the generations, forever and ever. Amen" (Ephesians 3:20-21). Consider this commentary from Sinclair Ferguson:

"Our prayers cannot stretch the limits of what God is able to do."

"God can do
  • All we ask
  • All we ask or think of asking
  • More than we can ask or think of asking
  • More abundantly than all we can ask or think
  • Far more abundantly than all we can ask or think"

What "impossible" do you find yourself in today? Do you have a spouse threatening divorce? Is your teenager rebelling? Do you have mounting financial woes?  Are you lonely, depressed, angry or anxious? Whatever your situation, if you are God's child, don't underestimate His love for you and his willingness to act on your behalf.  Paul prayed for the Ephesians, "...that you being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge..." It is often in times of struggle that we best experience the knowledge of God's love. God does not always remove His children from life's difficulties, but He is able and willing to help us through trials and pain to attain maturity in Christ. Keep praying about the "impossible" and watch God work-around, in and through you!

Points to Ponder:
1. Do you acknowledge and rest in God's love for you?
2. What in your life seems "impossible"? Have you given up or given it up to God?
3. Do you believe that God can change your circumstances or change you?
4. If you are struggling with unbelief, confess it to the Lord. Ask God to help you know and experience His love and to place your trust in Him and what He can accomplish in times of trial.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ephesus-The Cultural Climate and the Church

Reading the background of Ephesus, I am struck by the environment in which the Ephesian Church was birthed. I am reminded that the church of Jesus Christ has faced fierce opposition from the very start. God has been saving people to Himself and building His church smack dab in the middle of cultural chaos, today is no different. I am reminded of our Lord's prayer in John 17:

I pray not that you would take them from the world, but that you would keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world even as I am not of the world.  Sanctify them in your truth. Your word is truth.  As you sent me into the world, even so I have sent them into the world (John 17:15-18).

Ephesus was the New York City of it's day. It was a major trade city of the Roman empire: heavily populated, cultured, wealthy and accepting of new ideas; except the Truth.   "The Ephesians were marginalized in a pluralistic culture tolerant of many things but not of the Christian gospel or the church which proclaimed it" (Sinclair Ferguson, Ephesians). Sound familiar?

Ephesus was influenced largely by the magical arts and religious superstitions of the Orient. What we see today in the New Age movement and other "new" religions oftentimes can be traced back to these same roots. There is nothing new under the sun! I am reminded that man is made to worship. Everyone worships something or someone.

While Ephesus boasted of numerous temples to various gods and goddess, it was famed for it's temple and worship of the goddess Diana. She was known as the goddess of "virginity and motherhood".  Her temple was so large and magnificent it ranked among one of the Seven Wonders of the World. An image of the goddess was believed to have fallen from the heavens (Acts 19:35). This idol worship was rooted in the occult and magic.There were shameless and vile practices like prostitution and mutilation in the rituals. It was into this darkness that God brought Paul to shine the light of His Word and work!

Paul uses this letter to encourage the little band of followers in Ephesus (and surrounding areas) called the church. These early believers needed to know who they were and how they were to be set apart for God's glory, we need that message too. The church is central to Paul's message to the Ephesians because it is central to God's plan.  While often weak, small and culturally irrelevant, the church is God's means to grow His children and His family. God is still penetrating dark places with the light of Jesus Christ. And, He is pleased to use the local church to break through the darkness in order to be the light.

Questions to Ponder:
1. What opposition is the church facing today?
2. What "worship" dominates our local culture?
3. Is the local church impacting the culture? Why or why not?
4. What is the place of the local church in reaching the lost and expanding God's glory?
5. Are you committed to the local church and do you see it as the most viable means by which Christians can impact the world for Christ? Why or why not?