Thanksgiving Prayer Meeting

1.         Q: How many times did Jesus give thanks in Scripture?

a. 4

b. 23

c. 36

d. 12

A: Jesus gave thanks 4 times in Scripture

1.         Jesus Gives Thanks for Revelation (Matthew 11:25–27)

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. (And v.27 says “this Revelation comes to us through Jesus) 

Scripture says: 

First are last; last are first

Proud humbled; lowly exalted.

Wise are foolish; foolish are wise

God gives revelation to the humble and he hides revelation form the wise

Be proud in a good way; be confident

Paul said, “I can do all things in Christ who gives me strength” (Phil 4:13)

But, be humble. The tax collector comes to mind (Luke 18:9-14)

2.         Jesus Gives Thanks for the Loaves (Matthew 15:34-38)

“How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked. “Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.” He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was four thousand men, besides women and children.

Jesus gives thanks for what was provided and it multiplies into way more than was needed. If we give thanks to our Father for what He has provided, it’s blessed. Then, when we try to give what he has provided away it multiplies.

3.         Jesus Gives Thanks for Being Heard by the Father (John 11:41-43)

So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

Jesus already knows – may we pray for an increase of faith

Our Father hears our prayers.

Give thanks then Pray intercession every day.

Let’s pray intercession 

4.         Jesus Gives Thanks for the Cup and the Bread (Luke 22:14-20

 Jesus took a cup, and after giving thanks to his Father he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves.  For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, and after giving thanks, Jesus broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

The cross was before him yet Jesus gave thanks.

What do we need to be thankful for . . . 

Our community –

Beloved brothers and sisters

Paul said, “Rejoice always! Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (Thessalonians 5:16–18)

The Offseason

  • Is this the offseason? In some ways maybe…
  • In sports, the offseason is about putting in the work behind the scenes.
    • Nick Saban’s practices known to be more difficult than games.
    • The work behind the scenes, the training, the preparation becomes evident on “game day”.

Pursuing Holiness

  • What can we do during the offseason? 
    • Pursue holiness. (always… especially when God tells you to)
  • The passages from 2 weeks ago, Nov 2nd.
    • Ephesians 5:25-27 – Jesus wants a holy, spotless bride.
    • Acts 5:1-2 – Give everything to God, don’t hold anything back.
    • Romans 12:1-2 – Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
    • John 3:17-20 – Come out of darkness and live in the light of Jesus.
    • Philippians 2:3-5 – Be selfless like Jesus and serve one another.
  • Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1–2)
  • According to this passage, what does holiness look like?
    • Holiness is God-centered: Remembering God, Pleasing God, Seeking God
    • Holiness looks like a life of worship and being transformed.

Holiness Pleases God

  • We want to please the people we love. Their pleasure is a powerful motivator.
    • Christine, what would bring you pleasure? Walk, bike ride, tv show?
    • We can be joyful when we’re making sacrifices because we know what we’re doing will please the one we love.
      • We can be happy doing the dishes as a service for our family member.
  • When we make choices for holiness, it brings God pleasure.
    • Which motivations to pursue holiness do you find the most powerful?

Clean Vessels

  • Martin Luther’s story about the young man and the hermit. The young man told the hermit about his struggle with unchaste thoughts and other sins. “You cannot prohibit the birds from flying over your head, but make sure they stay in the air and do not build a nest in your hair.”
    • Since we believe God is calling us to pursue holiness, what’s one area of holiness you can pursue this week?

Our “Exile Moment” continued

1.         Two weeks ago I talked about us being in some sort of exile – Our Exile Moment. Looking back on history, I spoke about the Israelites and the Exilic period – and Babylonian capture under King Nebuchadnezzar. He moved the Israelites to Babylon – first in 597 BC; then in 587/586 BC, then in 582/581 BC. Consequently, most Jews were absorbed into the Babylonian culture. But the Remnant held fast to the covenant – the 10 commandments, especially the first 3, and the words of the 3 great prophets – and refused to be absorbed into the culture.

Communities are built by the grace and power of God. Communities are also built on loving, inspiring, and caring people who want to be disciples – people who want to live and give away the Gospel. Many prophecies given have come true.

Here is one about our mission that was given 50 years ago:

“You will reap a harvest you did not sow. You will sow, and in years to come will see the harvest. The work you have seen begun here will spread….I will bring many to you…and I will baptize them in my Holy Spirit. I will raise up spiritual sons and daughters for my work. I will send people to you from all across the nation to receive a message they will take back [with them]….”

Felicia and I lived this. We have seen God raise up communities all across the world – 15,000 people in Sword of the Spirit and People of Praise plus millions touched by the work of covenant communities – including The Word Among Us, God’s Word Today, New Covenant magazine, hundreds of books, conferences, and all kinds of service to the churches – 10,000 priests.

Here is another message that was given about 10 years ago:

A time of darkness is coming on the world, but a time of glory is coming for my church, a time of glory is coming for my people.  I will pour out on you all the gifts of my Spirit.  I will prepare you for spiritual combat; I will prepare you for a time of evangelism that the world has never seen.

And, today, we have all seen the first part of this to be true in many forms, not just COVID. But, the second part will also come true. 

2.         With far less personal contact with each other it’s more difficult to stay focused on our way of life. This is precisely what happened to the Israelites. This is why so many lost their way. But, the remnant came home to Jerusalem and rebuilt the Temple. The Prophets Haggai and Zechariah and the leaders Ezra and Nehemiah – and many others – poured themselves out on a broken nation. Haggai said, “My house lies in ruin.” And the people were moved to re-build God’s house. Ezra began prayer meetings. 

We, in the Spirit of Christ community, have been called to join together and be the Remnant of Christ. Certainly we are not the only remnant, but, nonetheless w are a remnant. Like those in exile we have to hold the ground God has given to us and we have to expand the ground.

As the prophetic word above said, “You will reap a harvest you did not sow. You will sow, and in years to come will see the harvest. The work you have seen begun here will spread.” And,  “As this time of darkness comes, it will be a time of glory for you. I will pour out my gifts on you. I will prepare you for a time of great evangelism.”

As of today, 10 million people in the US and 50 million in world have been infected,

238,000 died; 1.25 in world – that death rate was when 60,000 affected people per day – now it is over 100,000 COVID cases per day. So, the death rate will proportionately increase. These are dark numbers.

However, we received some good news today. Pfizer has a vaccine for COVID that is 90% effective. Pfizer stock up 8% today.

I believe this is a grace-filled time for us – a time to be the Ezra’s and the Haggai’s of our day. It’s a time to be a light to others – and tell them – by word or witness – that Jesus matters.  

3.         So, how can we be the Remnant of Jacksonville?

A.        Let’s try our best to make time for Jesus each day

By setting aside time to worship & worship as a family if you can

By repenting for your sins and reading the Word every day

By coming to morning prayer if you can

By coming to PM with “expectation” – that God will bless us

By coming prepared – with Words of Knowledge, Prophecy, or words of encouragement and with personal witnessing

  • Let’s make it a point to increase our love for others

By Words of inspiration – peace, inspiration, joy, encouragement – to others

By not saying any divisive or negative words to others 

By doing acts of kindness to family, friends, and neighbors

By inviting other people to come to morning prayer

By gifts of money or supplies to those in need – 

  • Let’s make it a point to be like the remnant of Israel

Many Israelites fell into idolatry and worldly ways but the remnant remained faithful to God – even as others tried to undermine their way of life.

Like the remnant, each day, let’s wake up and say, I will hold the ground that God has shown me and given to me and to our community.

Let’s know that God is with us and he will never forget or abandon us. He is with us forever. Scripture says, “Do not fear, for I am with you for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).

Our “Exile Moment”

Under the Assyrian and Babylonian empires, the Israelites lived in exile. They were uprooted from their land and the temple; from corporate worship and community. They were separated from their friends, their community, and sometimes, even their own families. Many, if not most, struggled to maintain their devotion to God, their desire for holiness, and their conviction to live out their “way,” which was the 10 commandments. Knowingly or not, many Israelites allowed themselves to be absorbed into the culture of their day. But, some, commonly called “The Remnant,” held fast to their covenant and did not allow themselves to be absorbed in the world culture.

For our churches, our community, and for the communities in the Sword of the Spirit, today is like an “exile moment.” Specifically, communities like ours are built on relationships: loving, urging, caring, witnessing, etc. With our meeting times reduce to phone calls, Zoom meetings, and far less personal contact, it’s more difficult to stay focused on our way of life, which is grounded in the Scripture. It’s more difficult to keep the upward, the inward, and the outward dimensions of our covenant in the forefront of our minds without our communal gatherings and ministry outreach.

I suffer each day knowing that I will not be able to see you all in person. Recent meetings at Jeremy’s house were a real blessing. Saturday, our men’s group met early at Panera Bread—and we have been regularly. These meetings have also been real blessings. But, these times are far too few. Human beings are made for community and togetherness. And, in today’s pandemic, the whole world is struggling to find connection. Our lives are being uprooted. Many are suffering over sickness, job loss, and the death of a loved one.

So, what can we do as a community?

1. A call to for increased personal responsibility.

  • To get in our prayer and Scripture
  • To do our best to live out our prayer, faithfully and honorably
  • To connect with people in our small groups
  • To make it a point to share at our Zoom meetings
  • To do what we can with those in need
  • To pray intercession daily
  • To do soaking prayer!

2. To attend as many meetings as possible.

  • To realize that this is the way it will be for a while with COVID
  • To come to Zoom morning prayer – if schedule allows – because it is a real blessing. We will likely continue these meetings after COVID
  • To invite people to the Zoom morning prayer – people are open
  • To come to the Zoom prayer meeting on Monday
  • BTW, we will try meeting at Blessed Trinity on Nov 2—in a week
  • To come ready to build up your small group when you meet
  • To do as much as you can do for others . . . (Matt 7:12; 25:40)

3. This is a moment for our community to shine brightly

  • Let’s try our best to make time for Jesus each day
    • By setting aside time to worship & worship as a family if you can
    • By repenting for your sins and reading the Word every day
    • By coming to morning prayer if you can
    • By coming to PM with “expectation” – that God will bless us
    • By coming prepared – with Words of Knowledge, Prophecy, or words of encouragement and with personal witnessing
  • Let’s make it a point to increase our love for others
    • By Words of inspiration – peace, inspiration, joy, encouragement – to others
    • By not saying any divisive or negative words to others 
    • By doing acts of kindness to family, friends, and neighbors
    • By inviting other people to come to morning prayer
    • By gifts of money or supplies to those in need
  • Let’s make it a point to be like the remnant of Israel
    • Many Israelites fell into idolatry and worldly ways but the remnant remained faithful to God – even as others tried to undermine their way of life.
    • Like the remnant, each day, let’s wake up and say, I will hold the ground that God has shown me and given to me and to our community.
    • Let’s know that God is with us and he will never forget or abandon us. He is with us forever. Scripture says, “Do not fear, for I am with you for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).
    • Let’s hold fast to Paul’s final words to the Ephesians “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the Church, which Jesus purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28).

Filled with the Spirit; Full of the Spirit; Baptized in the Spirit 

(John 1:33; Acts 1:5, 8)

To the Ephesians

Paul said, “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything” (Eph 5:18-20). 

This is what we do at PM.

The importance of Baptism in the Spirit in the early Church and for us.

We must preach, not serve food at tables so we need to pick 7 men. Criteria for selection: “Select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom” (Acts 6:3).

Stephen was “a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit,” (Acts 6:5).

Barnabas was selected because he was “a good man full of the Holy Spirit and of faith,” (Acts 11:24).

Then Peter, filled with the Spirit, began to teach the Sanhedrin (Acts 4:8).

Then when Peter and John returned from that meeting w/ the Sanhedrin they all prayed and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 4:31).

Ananias prayed over Paul – God sent me to help you regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 9:17).

After they watched people accept Jesus and be filled – “The disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 13:52).

Being filled with the Spirit is being immersed in the joy that flows within the Trinity, with the very love that they love each other.

May we be filled; may we give away.

A.        Noah (Genesis 9)

You go and fill the earth with your kind. 

I will give you everything you need to fill the earth with your kind.

B.        Abraham (Genesis 17)

I will bless you and make you great. 

You remain faithful to me. You must travel to a new land. You must be a channel through which my blessings will flow to the rest of the world

C.        Moses (Exodus 19ff)

You keep my commands 

I will make you “a treasured possession,” “a kingdom of priests,” and “a holy nation.

D.        Jesus

Jeremiah: Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people”

Ezekiel: For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees. Then, you will be my people, and I will be your God. 

The New Covenant

God will forgive us; God will be with us and in us.

If we believe in Jesus and turn our hearts toward him.

E.         The Spirit of Christ Community

All the covenants say the same thing – Leave the old land (the world) and go live in the new land (the church). And for me, there is no better way to do that then covenant community.

Fr Raniero – Preacher to the Pope: The church is full of the Spirit but its people can sometimes be bound up. The Spirit needs to be unbound – released, fed, watered, nurtured

Baptism in the Spirit – Jesus urged us to receive (Acts 1:5; 8). This experience released the Holy Spirit in my life – and yours. Paul said, You fools, do not go back to human ways now that you know the Spirit (Gal 3)

God is calling us to be true disciples – to have a New Testament Mindset

1 – to give Jesus the first affections of our hearts – and to seek him – The UPWARD

2 – to live a life worthy of the call – with one another – The INWARD

3 — To give away what we have received – The OUTWARD

In closing, I believe covenant community is a movement of grace from the Lord. I embrace the covenant community because I want to live a holy life and having brothers and sisters help me do that better than I can on my own.

Our Calling

  • 1st minute of the Bible Project video on Ephesians 
  • Want to begin by focusing on the “therefore” verse
    • “As a prisoner for the Lord, therefore, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”
  • For the Ephesians – God called them out of darkness into light, reconciled Jew and Gentile through the cross of Jesus Christ, in order to live for the praise of God’s glory.
    • That’s true for us too
  • For us, we’re a part of a worldwide movement of the Holy Spirit – ecumenical, charismatic communities. The Sword of the Spirit (also including Amy Coney Barrett’s community, the People of Praise + many others)
    • We believe we’ve received a calling to form communities of disciples on mission
      • To witness to the power of the Spirit
      • To model Christian unity
      • To help build and serve the church (which in the West is facing a very powerful culture increasingly opposed to Jesus)
    • Who are we? We are a community of disciples on mission to witness to the power of the Spirit, model Christian unity, and serve the church.
    • We can’t form a cohesive, strong community without a common way of life, expressed in our covenant (not going to go into detail but broad strokes…)

Our Covenant

  • Upward dimension
    • Eph 3:16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
    • Christ dwelling in our hearts through prayer, Scripture, seeking the gifts, coming to prayer meeting
    • Note the communal description: together with all the Lord’s holy people
  • Inward dimension
    • Eph 3:15 Speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
    • Growing in maturity, repenting, loving one another
    • Again, note the body imagery
  • Outward dimension
    • Eph 3:8 Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,
    • Manifesting God’s wisdom to the world
    • Created to do good works (Eph 2:10) (evangelism, serving the poor)

Our Clarity

  • What was Jesus’ new command?
    • As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 
  • What’s an adjective that can describe how Jesus loves us?
    • Joyfully (Julian of Norwich)
  • Jesus gave himself to us (Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her)
    • CS Lewis said “Nothing you have not given away will ever really be yours”
      • As disciples, we know that to be true don’t we?
      • Let’s give ourselves away, first to Jesus, and to each other. 
  • This is the clarity of community life. Giving ourselves to God and to one another. I think that manifests God’s wisdom to the world.
  • I encourage you to seek God about the clarity of your calling to this community.
  • We’re going to read most of Ephesians 6 together. It’s a famous passage about putting on the armor of God.
  • Want to give some background, then read it, then share what resonates with you—how can this speak to us as a community? How can this speak to you?
  • Invokes Isaiah 59:17, where God is described as a warrior who put on righteousness as his breastplate and the helmet of salvation, the garments of vengeance, and the cloak of zeal.
    • Different pieces of armor, most scholars say Paul not looking to be very specific and symbolic with what virtue is guarding what, so we should be cautious to not read too much into each piece of armor. Major on the majors.
    • Have some pictures of Roman gear on your sheet. My favorite – the turtle formation.
    • The image of a Roman soldier. More heavily armored in the front (the armor here doesn’t cover the back)
      • Roman soldiers were to stand their ground and not retreat.
  • Some commentators compare this section to the “exhortations that generals gave to their armies before battle.”
    • There’s a spiritual battle going on, but victory is in hand. It has been won by Jesus. But you play a role.
  • You can be victorious no matter your personal circumstances—Paul was in prison when he wrote this. Not a worldly image of victory.

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Why this way of life?

  • Every day, we find ourselves in a battle. Do you see that? Feel it?
  • Over the course of many centuries, this battle has had many skirmishes, twists, and turns. 
  • In one sense, it’s the same as it was when Paul wrote these words. 
    • And the ultimate victory of the church is assured. Satan has been dealt a fatal blow on the cross.
  • In another sense, it’s different. For every generation, the war is renewed. The weapons of war are passed down from generation to generation. 

What are the weapons of community? What are we fighting with?

  • Love, faithfulness, encouragement, testimony, spiritual gifts, unity

I believe the SOS is fighting at a specific front. 

  • Frontlines of: Unity. Treasuring the Holy Spirit. Building strong families.
  • The turtle formation! Communities all over the world…

I want to encourage you to ask the Lord to give you clarity on your calling to community. To renew it.

  • For me, I believe my place is at your side.


  • Covenant in Ephesians
    • Bring this before the Lord – sometimes we need a renewal of our calling
  • Paul’s letters often contain two broad sections, same here in Ephesians
    • First he builds his theology: All about what God has done. Redemption through the cross. The power of the Spirit to grasp the love of Christ.
    • Then he moves from “theory” to practice with a “therefore”. If this is who God is and this is what he has done for us, this then is how we should live. 
      • Like in the NFL, the players move from classroom (film sessions) to the field to put it into practice. They need both. 
        • If they just spend their time in the classroom, they don’t actually get in the game.
        • If they don’t learn from the coaches, they’re just relying on natural talent – and they’ll never win. 
  • In Romans, this transition happens in ch 12. “Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God”
    • In Ephesians, it happened last chapter (4). “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received”.
      • So most of chapter 5 is about getting in the game, getting on the field.
        • Ch 5 summarized in the command to “Walk in the way of love”
        • But there are still moments of learning from the coach.

Why this way of life? Because our covenant helps us to walk in the way of love.

First, we need to remember that God IS the Way of Love

  • God has given us a model to follow behind – a pioneer. That’s Jesus. Paul says:
    • Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (v.2) We’ve got someone to imitate.
    • God has given us the person of love – the Holy Spirit
      • Don’t be drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit. (v.18) Be under the influence of the Spirit.
      • Isn’t it radical – even unbelievable – that the Spirit of God, a Person, lives in us and flows through us? 
      • This Person is what Augustine called the Gift of love between Father and Son.
    • And God has shined his light on us.
      • For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord … everything that is illuminated becomes a light”. (v.8)
    • What’s one area in your life that was once dark but God illuminated and made light?
  • We’ve been so blessed. “Therefore” we ought to be moved to love God in return.
    • I believe our community’s covenant is a concrete, specific way to walk in love.
      • You can view the upward, inward, and outward dimensions of our covenant as a response to God’s grace and God’s call.

Walking in the Way of Love by Pleasing God

  • One of my favorite lines in Ephesians: 10“Find out what pleases the Lord.”
    • This is the way of love in relationships. When you begin a relationship, you don’t really know what pleases the other person! 
    • With my wife – Even now, been married 4.5 years, I don’t always know! I ask “What would bring you pleasure?” That’s a beautiful question to ask the Lord – what would bring you pleasure?
    • What’s one thing you’ve discovered that gives the Lord pleasure?

Walking in the Way of Love in our Households

  • Community shines in helping develop strong households – whether single households or families (or combined, like mine has been).
  • Being filled with the Spirit  Mutual submission. 
    • In families this looks like:
      • Godly marriages where husbands lay down their life for their wives
        • Where wives respect and honor their husbands
        • Where children obey their parents, and parents bring their children up in the training and instruction of the Lord
      • In single households this looks like honoring one another above yourselves, laying down preferences, encouraging one another, sharing your lives.
  • How can your household grow in the way of love?

Quiz on Ephesians 4

Paul explains our calling

  1. What are we called by Paul to do? (4:1)
  2. Yes or No – Is our calling about living a specific way? (4:2-3)
  3. V.2-3, list one way that your practical living matches your spiritual position.
  4. What is Paul saying here when he said, “One body, one spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all.”
    1. That we should all recite the Nicene Creed.
    1. That Paul opposes anyone who thinks and acts like an individual.
    1. That the Spirit brings unity – us with God and us with each other.
    1. That Paul owns stock in a company named “One.”
  5. Yes or No – Is our calling about practicing a specific gift? (4:11)
  6. What is the goal of living a specific way and practicing our specific gifts? (4:12-13)
  7. What does Ephesians 2:10 say?
  8. What would you say is the great work God has created you to do?
  9. What happens if we do not grow up in our faith and become mature? (4:14)
  10. V.14 – Would you say that there is a lot of “wavy and windy teaching today??
  11. According to Paul, “what is the “Old Self?”
  12. According to Paul, “what is the “New Self?
  13. According to Paul, “Our Old Self died with Christ at baptism and our New Self was raised with Christ, so that we may live a new life (Romans 6:4;6). If the Old Self “died with Christ” and the “New Self “was raised with Christ, how is it that the Old Self is so active in our minds?
  14. Can you describe the battle for your mind (4:22-24)
  15. What does Paul say in Ephesians 3:18-19 To be F _ _ _ _ _ with G _ _ _ L _ _ _
  16. What does Paul say in Ephesians 1:12? Live for the P _ _ _ _ _ of H _ _ G _ _ _ _
  17. How? By P_ _ _ _ _ _ off the O _ _ S _ _ _ and P_ _ _ _ _ _ on the N _ _  S _ _ _
  18. What does Paul say in Ephesians 2:10? We were C _ _ _ _ _ _ to do G _ _ _ W _ _ _ _

On our Covenant according to Ephesians

  1. The Upward Life: Be filled with the fullness of God – the width, the length, the height, and the depth of God’s love (Eph 3:18-19)
  2. The Inward Life: Put off the old self and put on the new self  (Eph 4:22-24)
  3. The Outward Life: Live for the praise of his glory (Eph 1:12) 

The Pandemic is having a negative effect in the Church

1 – 60% of the Bishops say morale is down among priests and lay leaders.

2 – 50% say that the ability to serve the poor, Catholic Charities is down 50%.

3 – Mass attendance is down 25% to 65%.

4 – Donations are down 30% to 60%.

5 – Schools – 100 have closed; 20% are unlikely to survive.

6 – 31% of churches say they have significantly cut staff.

7 – 5% of the parishes will close by the end of the year.

The coronavirus pandemic is a real and serious tragedy. 

Cases & Deaths

6.5 million cases in America. 195 thousand have died. 

29 million around the world, 925 thousand have died.

Stress on Health Care Services (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

Feeling irritation, anger, or denial

Feeling uncertain, nervous, or anxious

Feeling helpless or powerless

Lacking motivation

Feeling tired, overwhelmed, or burned out

Feeling sad or depressed

Having trouble sleeping

Having trouble concentrating

Loss of jobs – as of April 2020, 30 million (WSJ); 22 million (Market watch)  

As of late August 40% recovery

So, what can we do?

The Upward – Be filled with God’s love.

The Inward – Let grace move in your heart – Put on care, love, compassion, joy. 

The Outward – Give away what you have received. Be the light of the world.

Comfort and encourage people you know and meet.

Share your resources as best you can.

Send your pastor an encouraging message.

The hand of the Lord is on Sword of the Spirit all over the world. 

May we encourage each other on a regular basis to live for the praise of his glory.