Studies in Ephesians — 2:11-22

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber to be an example of a charismatic religious leader. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Studies in Ephesians – Ephesians 2: 11-22

 

B – U – I – L – D

 

See also: Gal. 3:27, 28; I Cor. 3:11; I Peter 2:6; Rms. 12. 1, 2; I Cor. 12:14-15; Is. 28:16; Ps. 118: 22

 

Blood that bonds  – v. 13 – Ever watch an old western?  You might have seen the ceremony of two men becoming blood brothers.  When we were immersed into Christ we became brothers and sisters by a bond of blood.

 

Unity – v. 14, 18 — There is a strength in unity, and there is a unity in the body of Christ.  We are united with Christians across the world, and we are united with Christians through the ages.  The voices of Christian leaders echo over the ages.  They thrill us with their love of God.  They shame us with their absolute devotion.

 

Intertwining – v. 19 – In Christ we are a body knit together.  The aches and pains of one are those of the body.

 

Leadership – v. 20 – The church is built on one cornerstone, Christ.  Its support is the apostles and prophets.  As I rest my hand on the Bible with its New Testament I have the apostles with me.  They are no farther than arm’s reach.  These apostles – Matthew, Mark, John, James, Peter, Paul – and these prophets – Luke and the writer of Hebrews – still offer that leadership and order that the church needs.

Dwelling – v. 22 – When Jesus left, he gave a promise that he would send the Comforter.  That Holy Spirit abides in the church, since we are intended to be the dwelling place of God.  When the sick, poor, and lonely turn to the church for refuge, the church must respond in the loving spirit of Christ.

 

Exemplary story:  No doubt you have heard of how Sam pieced together the map of the world.  For her geography lesson one teacher distributed to her pupils copies of a world map from an activity book.  The teacher cut each sheet of paper into a dozen or so pieces.  She asked her class to reassemble the map. The challenge seemed formidable.

Sam completed his puzzle first. The teacher praised for his accomplishment.  Then she asked how he had finished his work so quickly.

He replied, “I just put Jesus together and then the world fell in place.”  Sam saw something the teacher had  overlooked. On the reverse side of the map was a picture of Jesus.

Scary Bible Stories — 2 Kings 6:8-19

English: Elisha at Dothan; as in 2 Kings 6:8-18

English: Elisha at Dothan; as in 2 Kings 6:8-18 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Scary Bible Stories – 2 Kings 6:8-19

See Num. 22:31; 2 Sam 24:16; Daniel 3:25; Deut. 32:20; Psalm 18:5-6

B-L-I-N-D

Betrayal v. 10 The king of Samaria was warned.

Loyalty v. 11 Who did it? Who was the snitch?

Identification through investigation v. 12 Elisha, the man who.  The man they fingered was the man who – the man who made an ax head float, the man who fed a multitude, the man who turned poison stew into edible soup, the man who saw his master leave, the man who could call down fire from heaven if he so chose.

Night v. 14 A night ambush was held. Ever notice all the mischief that is worked at night?

Divine Deliverance v. 16-17 The chariots of fire stood at hand to deliver God’s children.  They were always there. Like the servant we just need our eyes opened to see the God’s chariots of fire surrounding us.

 

Exemplary story:  One of my former students, Gloria, says something told her to drag in the trash toter before she left for work.  She was ready to leave for work, and her daughter was leaving for a very important test.  When she retrieved the trash toter, she discovered that her daughter had a flat.  What a disaster would have ensued, if she had resisted the still small voice.  God’s angels were watching over her, and I remarked that it was her obedience that made the difference.

Note: There are numerous scary Bible stories.  In many we can find inspiration to live a better, higher life for God.

Studies in Daniel – Chapter 9

The prophet Daniel

The prophet Daniel (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

Lesson 9

Daniel 9:20-27

See also: Ps. 32:5; I John 1:9; Luke 5:21; Jer. 25:11-12; Gen. 2:3

S-E-V-E-N

Shame of Sin, v. 8, 9 The righteous Daniel has a burden for his people and their sin.

Ear of God v. 18 God has heard Daniel from the moment he prayed.

Vision v. 21-23 Daniel is given a vision of renewal and restoration.

End of Sin v. 24 The awful tribulation of the people of faith will come to an end.

Numbers  7 and 62 and 1  lead to hope v. 25  When we count the number of years we are led to the beginning of the life of Christ in 26 AD.  The ministry of Christ traditionally was spread over three and a half years, that is, time-times-and-half-a-time.

Note:  From 457 BC to 26 AD there are 483 years.  We arrive at the prophetic number of 483 when we add 62 weeks and 7 weeks for a total of 69 weeks and multiply 69 by 7.

Exemplary story:  Not long ago I spotted a poster that said, “When you add three nails plus one cross you get ‘4-given’.”  What a wonderful addition forgiveness makes to our lives.