NOT. MY. GIFT.
- Key Verse
- [T]hat He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. (Ephesians 3:16-17a)
- READ THE CHAPTER
Paul wanted the believers in Ephesus to experience the power of the Holy Spirit so Christ could take up residence in their hearts and impact their lives daily.
ReflectionsA true deep abiding faith -- this is not my gift. I long for it. I seek it daily. I know that along with it come great peace and reward. Paul knew this, too, when he wrote to his friends in Ephesus. He prayed that the Spirit would empower them, and they would "know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge" (Ephesians 3:19). In other words, he wanted them to believe that God's love surpasses any present understanding in this world.
Some people are born with a spiritual gift to believe God is who He says He is (1 Corinthians 12:9). I am not one of those people. As a result, I have tried for a long time to live my own way.
I've experimented with things I naturally believed in: looking good to others, living in the right place, building a savings account, vacationing well, and serving in many places.
No matter the approach, it all came down to one thing: I was looking to give myself glory, not the Lord. I was looking to control -- to hold on tightly. Though I was a Christian, I was relying on a perfect resume rather than the power of faith that comes from the Holy Spirit's presence.
If I am out to glorify myself, then how can I possibly believe God is all He claims to be (Revelation 1:8)? I have discovered that when I stop focusing on me and start focusing on Him, I can hear the Holy Spirit's voice, and I believe him.
Paul prayed for the Holy Spirit to strengthen his friends. How do we get in touch with this Spirit? It is a gift to all of us who believe (Acts 10:34-48).
How do we experience the power of the Holy Spirit? We obey His Word and trust in His promises. We look for ourselves in the truths God gives us in Scripture, and slowly we will find strength of faith (Ephesians 1:18-19).
He is willing to give anything we ask if we seek Him first (Luke 11:9-13).
Discussion Questions1. Do you believe in the power of the Holy Spirit? Why?
2. How do you depend on the Holy Spirit's guidance each day?
3. Is Christ "at home" in your attitudes and actions?
WEEKLY FAMILY ACTIVITY
August 6-10 (Ephesians 2-6)
Read Ephesians 6:10-20.
In verse 11, Paul talks about the schemes and strategies of the Devil.
• What are they?
• What does Paul say we should use to fight those schemes?
• Make a list of all the pieces of God's armor. What does each piece do?
• Go through your house and find articles of clothing to represent all the pieces of God's armor. Take time to review and memorize what each piece is and what it represents. Example: a hat to stand for the helmet that represents our salvation.
Activity: Write each of the following words on a separate piece of paper: truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, Word of God. Now put the clothing that represents each one across the room. If you have enough family members, you can make this into a competition by getting two piles of clothes that represent each thing. Now, draw one card from the pile, read it, and run down and get the item that represents that word. You can make it more difficult by pulling out more than one card.
Daily, we are to put on our armor so that we can withstand the attacks of the enemy. Talk together about what it looks like to put these things on every day (spending time in God's Word, praying, reminding yourself of your salvation, etc.).