Change what you value, and you will change what you think about. Change what you think about, and you will change what you talk about. Change what you talk about, with integrity, and you will change what you do. Change what you do, and you will change who you are becoming.
1:4-5 & 11 speak of predestination. What is your understanding of Paul’s meaning in using this term?
1:17 In verse 15, Paul had just stated that those he was writing to had been marked with the seal of the Holy Spirit, so why would he then continue to pray that God would give them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation? Wouldn’t someone with the Spirit of God dwelling in them already possess these things?
1:19-21 What is the relevance of this discussion of power to the preceding verses?
What is Paul’s purpose in writing this first chapter? Summarize and paraphrase his main points.
2:1 Why do you think Paul is drawing attention to this fact? Is there a connection to anything he said in the first chapter? If so, what is the point he is making?
2:3 Why are those who are without God’s Spirit “objects of wrath” by nature?
2:10 In what way are we God’s workmanship? What does it mean that God prepared good works in Christ Jesus for us to do? What works are we to do? And if we have works to do, how is it that we are saved by grace?
2:11 What is the reason Paul told the Gentiles to remember that there was a time when they were separate from Christ — without hope and without God in the world?
2:14 Explain the meaning of “he himself is our peace.” Who does the “two” made one refer to? What was the “dividing wall of hostility”?
3:2 This verse begins an interjection into what Paul was starting to say in verse one. Where does the interjection end? What was the purpose of the interjection? In other words, why did Paul feel it was important to include these verses before finishing his thought from 3:1?
3:17 What does it mean to have Christ dwelling in your heart?
3:18-21 These verses discuss again the power that should be at work in us, which links back to the prayer from 1:18-23. Why is this given such emphasis?
4:1 I consider this verse to be the key focal point of the whole book — Paul’s main purpose for writing the Ephesians — the discussion of which is also my motivation for sharing this study. Because of the length, it may take two studies to get here but, if possible, I wanted to maintain the continuity of thought that brought us to this point. The question I’ll conclude with, then, is:
What would a life worthy of the calling we have received be like?
doing everything imaginable
all at once: I can
slay a dragon,
explore new worlds,
Reality, what have ye
to offer? … April?
Ha! Every month is cruel! —
and the sensationless embrace
of an undead community
seems far warmer
than the indifference
of the living throng.
dimly I perceive
myself an emperor
with no clothes —
that beneath the
shiny, splendored surface
of my favored realm
lies a vast barrenness,
For I’m immersed in
pseudo-satisfied with same,
as I live this electronic life —
one non-descript unit of time
into the next.
Now my heart is being overrun:
flesh that once sought similar
is slowly assimilated:
replaced by fibre-optic cables
tentacling squidlike, seeking some
digital port to call home,
yet ultimately left …
This sun-kissed day of cheer,
the songbirds fill the air
with melodies of you.
Life is sweet, because you’re near,
and seems without a care.
for infinite creation —
Supreme art — the canvas of God,
where I will find my home.
I thought life was a race
that I needed to win —
and so I ran to be first.
broke the tape.
Then I gathered my breath,
and looked back to the crowd;
but the view from the front
was not as I had envisioned it would be.
For what I saw
was only the hollowed-out husks
of friendships I had lost or never known,
in the wake of my battlefield.
Now none remain
to celebrate my victory —
and I can run no more.
In the ocean of knowledge, some people will swim on the surface of understanding, some will snorkel just below it, and a few will scuba dive down to the depths. Some will also choose to remain forever on the beach.
without saying anything at all,
as though they’d seen it all,
yet still accept
because they know
that nothing lasts forever,
I couldn’t remember a time when you were not there.
For every childhood joy, you were there.
If I scraped a knee, or shed a tear, you were there.
Time moved forward, yet you stood still
and watched, while I grew.
Your familiar loft had welcomed me when once I snuck in
to steal my first kiss —
a secret you never betrayed.
I’ll always remember how wondrously foreign everything felt in that moment!
Nestled on the crest of an impossibly verdant hill,
it seemed as if the land itself had birthed you,
so perfectly were you situated.
Your unassuming white doors were a backdrop
for every spring’s breathtaking palette of colors;
and your ruddy red walls were like a warm beacon
which could be seen from miles distant defying winter’s gloom.
The passing years took me away;
yet nostalgia urged a return —
and so pleasant memories of simpler days
frolicked in my mind as I ambled once more
through your forested enclosure.
I never dreamed that when I emerged
you would not be there.
But too long had I been gone, for you did not greet me.
What I saw in your place, most called progress —
though I will always know better —
and so I resolved to build you anew with my pen.
Connection is a mysterious thing
which people can share — it makes us sing!
It’s like the grape to the parent vine,
yet more complex and hard to define.
As if a web that a spider’s spun,
it weaves two minds until they are one;
the simplest of gifts any might give —
since if alone, for what would we live?
Yet what composes such ethereal glue?
Just the words which we say, and the things that we do.
So peer real close — straight down to its heart —
now surely you’ll see that love’s the main part.
Ah, caring and sharing, what joy to be
mingling forever in such company!
Yes, friend — you and I, I and you —
I know nothing else more true.
Life is relationship.