Church Members – Ephesians 4

My message on church membership.



1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it says, 

“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men.”

9 (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. 

The New Life

17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. 

25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

https://www.bible.com/bible/59/EPH.4.ESV

Independence Day Blues

I feel a bit like a hypocrite during Fourth of July celebrations.

Americans have collectively been giving away their liberties for the past 60 years or more. In 2019 we have actual socialists running for president.

And a large portion of blame is on my fellow citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven for abdicating their worldly civil duties to the shame of our eternal King.

“Sadly, it seems that far too many Americans have come to take the blessings of liberty and proper government for granted and have become more like the proverbial boiled frog than most would ever dare to suppose.”

“Liberty Rising: One Cowboy’s Ascent” the murder of LaVoy Finicum as told by his daughter, Thara Tenney http://onecowboystandforfreedom.com

“I am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet, through all the gloom, I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means, and that posterity will triumph in that day’s transaction, even although we should rue it, which I trust in God we shall not.”
– John Adams to his wife, Abigail, dated July 3, 1776

“It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”
 George Washington, October 3, 1789

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance.”
– Psalm 33:12

Education – Sacred Enthusiasm

Teach to make God known, so our children might grasp their “divine purpose” and “sacred enthusiasm.”

“The divine purpose… the ancient method by which from age to age mighty nations… have comprehended their heaven-appointed missions… and rendered themselves illustrious in human annals.”

“Let a man grasp, in honest conviction, a real thought of God, and spend his days in striving to realize it, and he is on the highway to glory, honor, and immortality.”

“The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States” by Benjamin F. Morris, 1864, American Vision, Inc. americanvision.org

Devotional Thoughts June 29, 2019

Socialism…

“By justice a king builds up the land, but he who exacts gifts tears it down.”

As the wicked schemes increase we know God wins…

”When the wicked increase, transgression increases, but the righteous will look upon their downfall.”

Do not fear the wicked laws and accusations of men, trust in the Lord…

”The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.”

Socialism is rooted in idolatry, looking to human rulers as if they were gods…

“Many seek the face of a ruler, but it is from the Lord that a man gets justice.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭29:4, 16, 25-26‬ ‭ESV‬‬

https://www.bible.com/59/pro.29.4,16,25-26.esv

The HOLY ONE!

“Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name? Surely you know! Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”

Be honest and content…

“Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.”

Proverbs 30:4-5, 8-9 ESV

https://www.bible.com/59/pro.30.4-5,8-9.esv

Find an excellent wife…

“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.”

Don’t judge based on charm or looks, but on her love for the Lord…

“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

Proverbs 31:10-11, 30 ESV

https://www.bible.com/59/pro.31.10-11,30.esv

Call 2 Fall Prayer Day 2019

“Jesus said, “My house will be called a house of prayer…” (Matthew 21:13). Our response to Christ’s declaration, coupled with the promises of 2 Chronicles 7:14, give hope to our nation. A massive interdenominational prayer movement is underway, standing in the gap for America.

“Repent, pray, and seek God’s face for our nation on Sunday, June 30th.

http://www.call2fall.com/

“Lead your family in repentant prayer for our nation. The only thing we ask is that you take at least five minutes (those who are able) to fall on your knees in humble prayer before the Lord.

“The Call2Fall Declaration: “I will answer God’s call to fall on my knees in humility and seek His face in repentance so that He might forgive my sins and heal our land.”

“Watch Tony Perkins’ short video about the First Prayer in the Continental Congress. At another desperate time in our nation’s history, pastor-led prayer moved many of our Founding Fathers to their knees and even tears. Eventually, they declared their independence from Great Britain, but at the same time, declared their dependence on the Providence of God. Like these Founders, my prayer is that we will do the same!

Repent of coveting and jealousy.

“Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah”
Psalms 32:1-5 ESV

Shout for joy, praise, and give thanks.

“Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright. Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts. For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness.”
Psalms 33:1-4 ESV

God is mighty!

“Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!”
Psalms 95:1-6 ESV

Work hard, don’t be like the lazy sluggard.

“Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.”
Proverbs 6:6-11 ESV

Shout for joy to God!

“Shout for joy to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise!”
Psalms 66:1-2 ESV

Repent!

“If a man does not repent, 

God will whet his sword;
he has bent and readied his bow;
he has prepared for him his deadly weapons, making his arrows fiery shafts. 

Behold, the wicked man conceives evil and is pregnant with mischief and gives birth to lies.

His mischief returns upon his own head, and on his own skull his violence descends.”
Psalms 7:12-14, 16 ESV

Love the Lord and hate evil!

“O you who love the Lord, hate evil! 

He preserves the lives of his saints; he delivers them from the hand of the wicked.

Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!”
Psalms 97:10, 12 ESV

Justice will come to unjust leaders of the nations.

“The nations have sunk in the pit that they made; in the net that they hid, their own foot has been caught. The Lord has made himself known; he has executed judgment; the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands. Higgaion. Selah 

The wicked shall return to Sheol, all the nations that forget God. 

For the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever. 

Arise, O Lord! Let not man prevail; let the nations be judged before you! Put them in fear, O Lord! 

Let the nations know that they are but men! Selah”

Psalms 9:15-20 ESV

There is hope in God because He forgives sins and redeems us.

“If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;

O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption.”

Psalms 130:3-5, 7 ESV