Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Ephesians 6:20b

Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.


The Apostle Paul seems to be obsessed with the desire to fearlessly proclaim the gospel.  In two verses he mentions twice that he wants the Ephesian church to pray for his courage to share the gospel.  Why did Paul need courage?  Paul’s life was hanging in the balance.  He was in prison.  When he went to trial before the emperor there was a good chance he could be sentenced to death.  Even in the face of that possibility Paul didn’t want to be focused on his own welfare. 
All he wanted to do was to have the courage to share Jesus with others no matter what happened to him.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Ephesians 6:20a

...for which I am an ambassador in chains.

Paul saw himself as Christ’s representative in the world.  He was an ambassador for Christ.  That’s interesting because at the time Paul was imprisoned in Rome awaiting his trial before the Roman emperor.  He was a prisoner but yet he considered himself an ambassador for Christ.  How could Paul get out and about in order to fulfill his call to be Christ’s representative?  He didn’t have to.  He had guards with which he could share the gospel.  He had people bring him his meals and that gave him another opportunity.  He even had contact with servants from the emperor’s own household when they brought him messages, supplies and other things.  In fact, there is biblical and historical evidence that servants from the emperor’s household became Christians because of the witness of Paul.

Paul didn’t have to have a special situation or go to a special place in order to be able to share the good news of Jesus.  He took the opportunity to share whenever he was around other people.  How many times do we allow the opportunity to share with others pass us by without even realizing it.  How many time do people share difficulties and problems with us?  Do we routinely ask if we could pray for them?  I don’t mean that you tell them you will pray for them.  I mean taking the opportunity to pray for them right at that moment.  We spend much of our time in contact with many other people but too many times we allow the opportunity to share faith with them to pass us by.

Take time to pray and ask God to help you to notice and develop a heart of compassion for the people with whom you come in contact with each day?

Pray for the courage to take the step of developing a relationship with one person that you do not know.  Pray you will at some time have the opportunity to share the gospel.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Ephesians 6:19

Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel...


Paul asks for prayer.  However, he does not ask for generic prayer.  The prayer request is very specific.  He wants prayer that empowers him to be able to always use his words to share the good news of Jesus Christ.  That is how focused Paul is on spreading the news of Jesus Christ.  He doesn’t ask that the Ephesians pray that he will share the gospel when he has the opportunity.  No, he says pray for me that I will have the strength and courage to share the gospel every time I open my mouth.  Paul wants to make sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ a lifestyle.

That should make us think.  Is the possibility of sharing the gospel with others that much of a constant reality for us as it was for the Apostle Paul?  Should it be?  I wonder if we really give much thought to the idea that we should live our lives from the perspective of always looking for that moment to share Jesus.  I think part of the reason we don’t do this is because we are afraid.  Paul says that he wants prayer so that he can share Jesus with others without fear.  Maybe that is the key.  Maybe we need to spend more time praying that God will give us the courage to share the gospel.

Do you experience sharing the gospel with others as something that is always on your mind?

Do you pray often for the courage to share the gospel?

September 27 - October 3

Fearlessly Proclaiming the Gospel

Ephesians 6:19-24

Every day we pass hundreds of people.  We drive by hundreds of cars on a daily basis.  We come in contact with people who work in the businesses that we frequent.  We come in contact with people with whom we work.  We drive by homes in our neighborhoods that represent the lives of many people.  Do we take time to think about other people?

The truth of the matter is that the vast multitude of people are far from God.  Does that fact cause us sorrow?  Do we want to do something about it?  As we finish the book of Ephesians the Apostle Paul conveys how important it is for him to share the good news of Jesus with people who are far from God.  Paul wants the strength of God and God’s power to do all he can to convey God’s love as expressed in Jesus Christ to others.  This week we are going to focus on what it means to fearlessly proclaim the gospel.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Ephesians 6:18

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 saints.


Prayer is a great weapon against evil.  Why?  Prayer is a wonderful resource to be used against evil because prayer is the means of connecting and gaining access to God’s power and presence in our lives.  Through Christ we can go directly to the throne of God with our needs and requests.  Whenever we are under assault by evil God would want us to retreat into his presence through the practice of prayer.

Prayer is one of the greatest weapons we have against evil because the power of God can sweep away any power that evil might possess in an instant.

How often do you use prayer as a means to stay strong and protected when harassed by evil?

How can you improve your prayer life?

Friday, September 25, 2015

Ephesians 6:17

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

The sword of the Spirit is the word of God.  The word of God can be and is our strength and protection.  If we know the gospel story of Jesus Christ and we know God’s promises that are given to us in the Bible then we have a reservoir of strength on which we can draw whenever we have to face the wiles of Satan.

Knowing the truth of the word of God is so important.  If we don’t know the word or if we have a wrong interpretation of the word then our strength and protection is seriously compromised.  The only way we can know the word is to be in the word.  Then as we are in the word its truth and knowledge will become a part of us and we can refer to it to help us get through whatever attacks of evil that come at us.

How often are you in the word?

How effectively can you draw upon the truth and knowledge of the word to help you in times when you are oppressed by evil?