Friday, May 13, 2011

Ephesians Bible Reading Plan

In about five to ten minutes per day, you can read through the entire New Testament in one year. If you didn’t start on January 1st, start today. Stay consistent and make focused Bible reading a daily habit.

Read the selected chapter each day. 

Spend some time in prayer reflecting on how God spoke to you through the reading. 

Read the study guide for the day you are on to dig a little deeper into a few selected verses. 

Respond to the questions and prayer guides as you apply the biblical teachings to your life. 

By the end of this week we will have read through Matthew, John, Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, 1 Timothy, 1 Thessalonians, James, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John.

Sunday, May 15th – Ephesians 1

Beginning in verse 15, Paul writes about praying for the Church at Ephesus. Paul was a busy guy. He planted churches, wrote a good chunk of the New Testament, and even spent some time in jail. Yet, Paul’s primary ministry was a ministry of prayer. Note how he prayed for them—that they would: 1) Receive spiritual wisdom, 2) Have their hearts flooded with light, and 3) Understand the incredible greatness of God’s power. Pick some people, make them your prayer focus this week, and be consistent in praying these three things for them.

Monday, May 16th – Ephesians 2:1-10

Reread verses 8 to 10. The Protestant view of salvation is that we are saved by grace through faith. Salvation is not because of what we have done (works), but because of our faith. Then, we do works of kindness, service, and charity as a response to God’s grace. Is this what you have believed in the past? Is this what you have practiced? How do these verses shape the way you live as a disciple? What does it mean to you that you are God’s “masterpiece”?

Tuesday, May 17th – Ephesians 2:11-22

Reconciliation is possible through Christ. Paul focuses on two areas of reconciliation: 1) Reconciliation with God and 2) Reconciliation with others. Reread verse 16. Christ reconciled people to God. Humans don’t do the work. Christ has done the work. Pray about reconciliation in these two areas of your life. Pray about specific areas of your spiritual life that need reconciliation. And pray about areas of your relationships with people that need reconciliation as well.

Wednesday, May 18th – Ephesians 3

Reread verses 14 to 21. This is Paul’s prayer. Think of some of the people who are closest to you. Pray this prayer for them. Pray this prayer for yourself. This is a powerful prayer. Revisit this prayer and commit to praying this prayer often.

Thursday, May 19th – Ephesians 4

Reread verse 2. This verse will help you in relationships with family, friends, co-workers, classmates, customers, and people you don’t get along with. Paul’s asserts the imperfection of perfection. People who expect perfection from others are going to be disappointed ten times out of ten. Because of our imperfection, Paul urges: 1) humility, 2) gentleness, and 3) patience. How are you doing in each of these areas? Pray about ways these three areas can improve your existing relationships.

Friday, May 20th – Ephesians 5

Reread verse 20. Paul encourages thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is an attitude that changes lives. Gratefulness can help cure us of depression, envy, and greed. Spend some time writing a comprehensive list of twenty things you are thankful for. How did you feel before you made the list? How do you feel after? Spend some time praying down the list and thanking God for God’s generosity.

Saturday, May 21st – Ephesians 6

Reread verse 20. Paul is writing this from prison. Note that Paul’s circumstances do not affect his ministry. Think about current circumstances in your life. Pray for God to use you exactly where you are.

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