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1.1 Devotions on the Book of Ephesians

Tug-of-war! A fun game that pits one team against another as they tug with all their might against each other. Only one team wins.

Often we may feel like we are in a game of tug-of-war as we complete with other Christians or struggle with our siblings or against our parents. Competition has its place on a field or in a game but it doesn’t work well when we are living life with each other. As Paul writes to the church at Ephesus, he is happy for them. Ephesians 1:15-16 shows his joy when he says, “For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.” Paul is happy for the church not jealous that they are growing while he is not with them.

Let’s think of ourselves a minute. What ways are we competing with our friends and fellow believers? One way I can think of is auditions at STP. They can feel like we are competing for various roles when in the true spirit of putting on a show together, directors need to choose who can best fill a particular role. Each show has different character requirements; auditions reveal abilities that fill those requirements.

In the past couple of weeks, many of you have received cast lists. Some of you have gotten roles you had hoped for and others have been sorely disappointed. The challenge comes in how you respond. Do you look at your fellow cast mates with envy? Or will you be like Paul who is rejoices for the church even though he’s not with them? It’s ok to be disappointed but the important thing is that you don’t stay there. Ask the Holy Spirit to help give you a spirit of joy so that your cast can unite to the greater purpose of sharing the gospel through the fun of storytelling on stage.

Let’s join together for a healthy challenge, let’s collect the paper devotional each week. In May, those of you who have collected all of them can put your name in a jar for a drawing for a prize.

Let’s also join together in memorizing the following scripture.

4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

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