Are You Unfulfilled?

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.

Advertisements

Open Study Discussion

For this study, please read the book of Ephesians, chapters 1-4. Here are some questions for discussion:
1:9-10 What does “the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure” refer to?

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?

The Waste Lands

Sitting here,
doing everything imaginable
and nothing
all at once: I can
slay a dragon,
conquer kingdoms,
explore new worlds,
be
a
god!
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.

And yet…

dimly I perceive
myself an emperor
with no clothes —
that beneath the
shiny, splendored surface
of my favored realm
lies a vast barrenness,
undoing many.

For I’m immersed in
carbon-copy feelings,
becoming
pseudo-satisfied with same,
as I live this electronic life —
one non-descript unit of time
merging
heroine-like
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 …

Disconnected.

Competition

I thought life was a race
that I needed to win —
and so I ran to be first.

Without equal,
I, alone,
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,
strewn behind
in the wake of my battlefield.

Now none remain
to celebrate my victory —
and I can run no more.

Ocean of Knowledge

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.