Saint Lucas Lutheran

Church, School, Pre-K and Child Care in Bay View, WI

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Home Every Day With Jesus 2-24-14 to 3-2-14

2-24-14 to 3-2-14

EVERYDAY WITH JESUS
Ephesians 5

MONDAY, February 24  Ephesians 5:1,2  “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

“Dearly loved”  That’s you.  “Dearly loved” by God.  This awesome fact gets lost in the struggles of life.  For one thing, consciousness of our personal sin and the realization of our unworthiness to be loved by God may dominate our thoughts leading us to think that we aren’t loved.  Or, our life may be filled with trouble and heartache with the result that we don’t feel loved by God and therefore conclude that we aren’t.

The truth is God says that we are His “dearly loved children” in “Christ (Who) loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God”.  Take a deep breath.  Breathe in the wonderful fragrance of God’s love for you in Jesus.  Our sins are forgiven and forgotten!  Our troubles and heartaches are known to Him, He is with us in them, and He is working for our eternal good through them.  

“Dearly loved...Dearly loved...Dearly loved…”  That’s you!  Remember that awesome basic reality as you walk through your life.  Then, “Follow God’s example as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love”.

PRAYER:  LORD impress upon my heart at all times the fact that I am “dearly loved” by You.  Knowing and experiencing such love, may my daily walk be filled with love for You expressed in love toward all others in every circumstance!  AMEN

TUESDAY, February 25, Ephesians 5:3-7  “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.[a] 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.”

“HOLY”  That’s you.  Saint______, that’s you in Christ.  Really!

Our gracious status as saints through faith in Jesus, “God’s holy people”, is an awesome reality that should result in a conscious effort to live holy lives.  

We are obviously living in a contaminated toxic world.  Paul’s description of our world has never been more accurate:  “...sexually immoral...impure...greedy...obscene...foolish talk and coarse joking”.  All day long we are bombarded by wickedness. Sadly, our former self, is curious about and attracted to such ungodliness.  Such evil is continually crying out for God’s wrath - and, that wrath is coming!

That is why our true self, our new holy self, needs to make a concentrated effort to distance our lives from the cesspool in which we live.  Holy in Christ, we are to be holy for Christ.  By the power of the Spirit Who through faith has clothed us with the holiness of Christ, we can and we must live holy lives for Christ.  

PRAYER:  LORD, I am holy with Your holiness given to me in Christ.  Don’t let me partner again with the unholy world as it cries out for your wrath.  By the Spirit of Christ within make me strong to fight against the sin around me and within me. Give me great strength in the victory I have in Christ, including the assurance of complete forgiveness to the extent I fail in my heartfelt effort to live a life worthy of my status as Your child. AMEN

WEDNESDAY, February 26 Ephesians 5:8-14   “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord.11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead,   and Christ will shine on you.”
LIVING IN THE LIGHT  As we come to the end of a difficult winter, no one has to tell us how wonderful it is to experience gradually increasing light earlier in the day and later in the afternoon.  The darkness is being driven back.  The cold and snow, although it keeps on trying, cannot withstand the light and eventual warmth of the increasing sunlight.
Living in the light of approaching spring. How welcome! How wonderful!
Living in the light of Christ and walking in Christlikeness is wonderful too.  Exceedingly wonderful and full!  We’ve all been there all too often - walking in darkness and experiencing the emptiness and despair of such a life.  Ugggh.
It doesn’t have to be that way and, by the power of God, we won’t let it be that way.  We can and we shall “...have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness”.  Instead, we will pursue the delightful life of “living as children of light” with the continually delightful experience of “finding out what pleases the LORD”.  Such an effort on such a path will result in “goodness, righteousness, and truth”.
PRAYER:  LORD, since I am a “child of the light”, by Your Spirit, lead me to continually walk in the refreshing path of light, discovering what pleases You, and doing that to Your glory and my delight!   AMEN
THURSDAY, Feburary 27  Ephesians 5:15-20  “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

CAREFUL!  I have probably said that to others at least a thousand times this winter besides reminding myself of it almost continually.  It’s been slippery!  Dangerous!  If we forget that, we are sure to fall.

Much more so in our spiritual life.  Our blood-bought soul is precious.  How that soul, cleansed by Christ and claimed by His Spirit, lives is important every moment.  If we are not careful, if we forget that we are walking all the time in a spiritual minefield, we are certain to detonate soul wounding and potentially soul destroying trouble.

The Spirit of Christ within us needs to hear the call of Christ through these words:  “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery.”

We need to continually, consciously pursue God’s alternate life style! Listen to what that is like:  “Instead, be filled with the Spirit,19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

PRAYER:  O God, keep me continually careful as I live my life.  Cleanse me from my woeful past failures and keep me from present and future uncleanness.  Fill me with Your Spirit.  Keep me encouraged and encouraging others as together we thankfully live our lives in the freedom which is in Christ  AMEN

FRIDAY, February 28  Ephesians 5:21  “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

“Submit!”  It’s the one thing our former self will not do:  submit.  It’s a fact.  A fact of death.  Consider how the LORD expressed that fact in Romans 8:7:  “The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.”  My old self, “flesh”, does not - indeed, can not submit to God’s will.  It refuses to obey Him or to truly love others.

That’s my former self.  Not my current real self in Christ.  The new me, the real me, has seen my God submit Himself to the curse of death, even death on the cross (!!) for me.  His loving willing submission has saved me.  

Saved by Him I will now serve Him!  Serve Him willingly.  Serve Him by submitting myself to the godly needs of others.  The Christian life is simply this: serving the Savior by serving others.

PRAYER:  LORD, saved by Your service I want to serve You through others.  Enable me to continually do that more and better.  AMEN

SATURDAY, March 1 Ephesians 5:21  “ Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

“Submit to one another…”  This is the last weekend before the church year season of Lent.  God willing, we will soon begin another intense contemplation of the unspeakable suffering God’s Son willingly and lovingly experienced for each of us.  Jesus submitted to death on the cross to save me, a wretched sinner by nature.

I am not primarily a wretched sinner any longer.  I am a genuine saint through God-given trust in the One Who saved me.  Saved by His submission, I know willing submit to Him by learning to understand the love and service that others need from me; and, in every relationship and situation willingly submitting to the need of others for Jesus’ sake.  That’s the Christian life

Look ahead to tomorrow’s reading to see how such godly submission for the sake of Jesus looks in relationships:  in marriage, in family life, in social relationships.


PRAYER:  LORD, I submit to You because of what Your Son’s submission has done for me!  May my appreciation of Christ’s submission, which saved me, be lived out by understanding and meeting the needs of all around me for Jesus’ sake.  AMEN

SUNDAY, March 2  The Scripture reading for today describes how the Christian’s life of Christ-like willing, loving submission to all others will show itself.  From God, Paul lists some basic human relationships - wife/husband; children/parents; employee/employer.  As you read today, ask the LORD to enable you to see your relationships with others through His eyes - see your forgiven failures and strive for His success.

Ephesians 5:22-6:9  “ Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. 5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free. 9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.”

PRAYER:  LORD, empower me by Your Spirit so that all my relationships with others more and more resemble Christ’s relationship with me.  AMEN
 

 

St. Lucas Lutheran Church and School

(414) 483-9122

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