Good morning everyone! I hope you are all having a wonderful week. We have just finished our 8th week in our Ephesians Study!
Instruction for Christian Living
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”, do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Some things I’ve gleaned from this week’s study:
Ephesians 4:29 is a familiar rule in our home. We actually have it hanging over the top of the doorway inside our homeschool room. That is usually combined with Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Encouraging one another and being kind to one another are pretty much daily mantras in our home. The good news is if you say these verses often enough, which we do, the kids actually start remembering them! And when someone is disobeying the rules, another will kindly remind them! And I always say, if you can learn to share and get along with your siblings, you can get along with anyone!
People always want to know God’s will in their lives, me included. Well here it is. The verses from this week’s reading are powerful. They are clear and concise and there really isn’t anything left for question. We are called as Christians to put off our old familiar ways and put on our new self, one that is made in God’s true righteousness and holiness.
That’s a tall order, and one I’m sure everyone struggles with at one point or another. For me, it’s usually a daily struggle. Being a Christian doesn’t mean you’re suddenly a perfect, patient, self-less person. I still get angry, frustrated, and annoyed. But the good news is that all things are possible through Christ! And as a Christian He dwells in me, helping me to overcome my natural tendencies and walk instead in His spirit.
The part that always hits hardest for me…”And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed…” Yikes. It’s hard in the heat of the moment to realize what we are really doing is grieving the Holy Spirit. Definitely NOT something I intend to do.
My biggie is patience. As a homeschool mom, my patience is seemingly tried on a minute-by-minute basis.
When people find out I homeschool, I often get the familiar comment “Oh, I could never do that! You must have the patience of a saint!”. The truth: No. I do not have the patience of a saint, or a fly for that matter. It is truly by the grace of God that I go forward. Parenthood and homeschooling are hard, and days can be tough. But He is gracious to remind me often that there is no higher career for me then that of being a mother. Anything else is secondary for me, but the legacy I leave behind in my children is eternal.
So in order to move forward, I fill my heart and mind with scripture. I try to remember how patient God has been with me. He’s given me the Holy Spirit as my teacher, just as He’s given me as teacher to my children. And for the many years I’ve been alive, I have received discipline for sure, but loss of patience, no.
I obviously can’t be perfect as a mom, teacher, wife, or Christian, but I can keep my focus on God’s Word. I can hide it in my heart, and He is gracious to remind me of it when needed! He gave His life for me, and my life needs to be a reflection of His grace and mercy towards me!
As a homeschooler, I think we have a wonderful opportunity to show Christ to our children 24/7. We can demonstrate His love, mercy, and grace. We can show our children what it looks like to actually walk in His spirit. We can teach them to love one another, to be patient, kind, forgiving, faithful, good, and what it looks like to be filled with the fullness of His joy! (Ps. 16:11)
I saw a sign above a door leaving a building that said “You are now entering the mission field.” I absolutely love that reminder! As a family in our home we can unite as one body, in mind and spirit. By showing Christ’s love to one another in the home we are equipping our children, and ourselves, to go out and show that same love to others!
If you have fallen behind, don’t worry, it’s not too late! You’ve just read the 8th week of verses above, so start fresh this week and commit to spend time in the Word each day! You will be blessed for any time you give to the Lord, so don’t sell yourself short, or condemn yourself for not keeping up! Each day is a new opportunity to start fresh and dig into the Word to see what God has for you!
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