I have been reading through Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians repeatedly in The Passion Translation Bible since I shared this with you in my mid-January post. I want to share with you what the Spirit hi-lighted in Ephesians chapter 5 in TPT:
Ephesians 5:1 Be imitators of God in everything you do, for then you will represent your Father as his beloved sons and daughters. 2 And continue to walk surrendered to the extravagant love of Christ, for he surrendered his life as a sacrifice for us. His great love for us was pleasing to God, like an aroma of adoration—a sweet healing fragrance.
We must live in the surrender to extravagant love shown in Christ’s sacrifice. In Experiencing Jesus Through Communion by Beni Johnson, I’m on Day 27. Jesus took all the punishment meant for me to give me life, peace, complete healing and restoration to the Father. He has paid this price for each person in my life, even the ones who have hurt me or caused me pain, and remember that He sacrificed for each person, even the ones that offend you. Let us walk in Christ and display that “sweet healing fragrance” in all our relationships.
11 And don’t even associate with the servants of darkness because they have no fruit in them; instead, reveal truth to them. 12 The very things they do in secret are too vile and filthy to even mention. 13 Whatever the revelation-light exposes, it will also correct, and everything that reveals truth is light to the soul. 14 This is why the Scripture says,
“Arise, you sleeper! Rise up from your coffin and the Anointed One will shine his light into you!”
Rise up, oh sleeper! Reveal truth to those who are in the death coffin of darkness and evil! Let the revelation-light of Jesus expose the darkness so it can end.
15–16 So be very careful how you live, not being like those with no understanding, but live honorably with true wisdom, for we are living in evil times. Take full advantage of every day as you spend your life for his purposes. 17 And don’t live foolishly for then you will have discernment to fully understand God’s will.
Let us live in true wisdom, honorably submitted to the will of God in Christ Jesus as Simeon and Anna were. We must seek Him and learn discernment of God’s will. We are not to be side-tracked by the surrounding evil, but keep our focus on Him.
18… be filled continually with the Holy Spirit.19 And your hearts will overflow with a joyful song to the Lord. Keep speaking to each other with words of Scripture, singing the Psalms with praises and spontaneous songs given by the Spirit!
We are vessels for the Holy Spirit, meant to be so full of the Spirit that we overflow. When is the last time you let a joyful song to the Lord bubble out of your heart? Can you remember the last time you spoke to others in words of Scripture, Psalms, praise, or spontaneous song?
20 Always give thanks to Father God for every person he brings into your life in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Are you thankful for the people coming into your life? Did you realize Father God is bringing about these connections? All for His glory! I have been so blessed through those the Lord has connected me with on Mighty Networks with Leslie Leyland Fields’ writing course. Also by those I’m frequently connecting with on LinkedIn and Facebook. Not to mention those people the Lord is bringing into our congregation these days! Having always been shy, I’m now known as an introvert. It was hard when I first came to Jesus to reach out. I didn’t know how to handle my friend that was always coming to give me a hug. Now I’m the one giving out hugs! The Spirit prompted me to walk up to people I don’t know in church and say, “Hi. I’m Heidi. What’s your name?” I also made myself an info card from the Publisher program on my computer because people kept asking for my information, which is a good way to start. I’ve come a long way from where I started thirty-some years ago, and what a blessing all these connections are bringing to my life!
Our church has a Missions Task Force that decides how to spend a tenth of our church budget. One group we sponsor is DavidskidZ International. You can find their website here:
I bring this up because I am the newest sponsor of a student in their school program. I already sponsor a Bridge Of Hope student in India through Gospel For Asia and when they gave us an option to sponsor a child through DavidskidZ on a laptop at church, I told them I’d love to, but my husband’s already wondering why I spend money on a student and why would I spend it on another one? That worked to settle my conscience for almost a month, until I finished reading Imagine Heaven by John Burke, a book I shared last week. Considering heaven and eternity, what should I be investing in?
I actually have accrued a good sum of money in my savings over the last year (thanks in part to the Stimulus check) and it keeps building. Contemplating what to do with my money in light of heaven, Davidskidz came to mind immediately! As I clicked on the “Sponsor” page, the bunch of smiling faces were overwhelming. Where do I even start? Finally, I looked for a girl, since I sponsor a boy in India. Then I looked for one the age of one of my granddaughters. I found the last girl on the page is 15, the same age as my eldest granddaughter. There is an option to pay quarterly, $90.00 instead of monthly $30.00. This helped me to go forth in faith, knowing I could take the lump sum out of savings four times a year and not figure how to free it up each month. Grace! I eagerly await getting to know my newly sponsored child begins with my first quarterly payment, February 15.
As Ephesians 5:20 says in TPT, I rejoice and give thanks to my heavenly Father for every new person He brings into my life. All for His kingdom, here on earth as it is in heaven. Amen!