I started reading the book of Ephesians a couple weeks ago. It’s probably the most highlighted/noted book I have in my Bible and I felt led to read it once again. It really amazes me how we can go back to a book in the Bible time and time again and gain new insight into Scripture. God is constantly speaking to us through His Word, and I continue to realize that sometimes we learn new things by revisiting old things.
I haven’t really been able to say that a specific book of the Bible is my favorite. I’ve been asked the question before and always fail to choose just one. But there are two that are the most visited, I would say by the evidence of my highlighter: 1 John and Ephesians.
There a couple key themes of Ephesians, and I’ve seen different ones each time I’ve read it. This time, what was clearest to me was the calling we have as Christians to live to bring God praise! There are so many instructions in Ephesians for what to do. Sometimes it can feel like Scripture has a lot of don’t do’s, but I love Ephesians for its clear instructions on what to do. Paul tells the churches in Ephesus that as believers they have many spiritual resources and exhorts them to use those resources to live their best for Christ.
I started to make note of the verses where Paul instructs the believers to whom he writes; there are so many! Here are five of my favorite instructions Paul gives in Ephesians:
- Be completely humble and gentle, bearing with one another in love. (4:2)
- Completely humble and gentle. This is definitely not an easy feat, but fruit of the Spirit within us.
- Speak the truth in love (4:15)
- I think we either forget to speak the truth to the people we love, or we forget to speak it in love. We are called to speak the truth, even when it hurts, but to do it in love and out of love.
- Be kind and compassionate, forgive each other (4:32)
- Another hard one, but also fruit of the Spirit. We are called to be kind, have compassion, and forgive those around us. This verse also says “as God forgave us”. When forgiveness is hard to do, I remind myself that everyday I am forgiven by God and am called to extend that forgiveness to others.
- Follow God’s example and walk in the way of love (5:1-2)
- Sometimes it can be hard to know exactly what we should do in a situation; follow God’s example through Jesus and His word, and walk in love.
- Make the most of every opportunity (5:16)
- I am guilty of not doing this very often. We are called to accept every opportunity and make the most of it. Let’s look for those opportunities.
There were so many more that I could’ve mentioned, but I encourage you to spend time reading through Ephesians and finding all the ways that Paul instructs us in our faith. When it can be hard to know what to do and easy to know what not to do, we can look to Scripture for these subtle, but important instructions.
To be honest, I consider myself to be very compassionate, to the point of often taking things on that I am not meant to. But I still find myself struggling to be humble and gentle. Gentleness was a word the Lord gave me at the beginning of this year, and I haven’t been faithful to pursue it. Which one of these is your strong point? Is there one of these 5 that you find yourself struggling with the most? Leave a comment or email us, we’d love to pray for you!