Our Ephesians Study is coming to an end. You have probably heard more than once that there is a lot more to learn from this book than we covered in the past few weeks. We have seen that God has and still is doing a work in our lives for His glory. Daniel Barta draws a good conclusion in our study.
Conclusion: Seek to know and enjoy God through the study of His Word
If God himself is the most glorious and most satisfying, we have no greater news than the message that He can be known and experienced. We have no greater resource than the Scriptures. And we have no greater activity than sitting in His presence. Many methods of Bible study have been formulated and used by God’s people throughout the years, but a common desire to know God has driven all of those who genuinely know God. We pray God uses this resource to show you His glory as you seek to know Him through His Word.
I have been in Europe for the past two weeks due to my wife’s business trip. During this time, I was able to see the sights and spend some time talking with people in the area. What stood out most to me was the number of religious symbols found in the architecture and throughout the region along the roads and paths. You would expect the Christian presence to be much greater here. However, my experience with the people is that religious practices are something that they claim, but it is more of a tradition passed down by parents or grandparents. Given the prevalence of religion in their lives and the extra centuries they have had as a people to grow the church, why isn’t the church stronger here?
As I considered this question, I found myself thinking of the church of Ephesus in the book of Revelation. There Christ tells them that they left their first love. They had lost sight of why they were doing the things they did.
If you have ever been in love, you know that you did things that were out of your character to win the heart of your love. You did not do it to prove your love. Instead, your love drove you to find a way to express that love. You tried everything you could think of to learn more about the object of your affections. Anything that they liked became a requirement in your life.
I am also sure that we all know people who know all the right things to say and do so that they gain the favor of others. They use their skills to manipulate and use people. Their actions may appear good, but they are done for self-serving purposes.
To everyone around them, both the manipulator and the person in love appear to act the same way. Only that person and God knew which one acted out of love. I fear that what I found in Europe is the natural conclusion when the majority of the church stop acting out of love and start trying to simply look the part.
So, as we come to the conclusion of this series, let me encourage each of you to go to God with the question, “Am I acting out of love your You, Lord? Have I lost my first love?” It may also be that your conversation with God reveals that you never had that love and have only tried to act the part. Either way, it is not too late to fall madly, deeply, and wildly in love with God. Get into His Word and allow it to work in your heart.
I would also add that this is not an accusation against anyone. It is a challenge and a plea to come along side me to encourage and hold me accountable. It is far too easy to allow your works to become the focus instead of your love for Christ keeping your work focused. Let us look to one another to ensure that we have all put on the whole armor of God and use all of it for His glory.
Things to Know:
- Last week’s sermon by Micah Rains can be seen here.
- If you are not involved in a Life Group you can find a complete listing of our Life Groups by clicking HERE
- You can get a member book for the study at the Life Group table in the Worship Center or you can get one by attending a Life Group Ephesians Study