Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:21
The Apostle Paul knows when believers understand their new identity in Jesus—it changes everything. So, he writes the letter of Ephesians to Jesus-followers in the bustling city of Ephesus and expounds the truth of who they are in Jesus. He teaches that because of their faith and trust in Jesus, God sees them as holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4), forgiven and lavished with grace (Ephesians 1:7-8) and sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13). Paul knows that before they can begin to behave like a Christian (which he teaches in the last of the letter), they need to know what it means to belong to Jesus. Then, out of the fullness of their identity in Christ, they can begin to live like him in every relationship.
The same is true for us. The Gospel first changes who we are and then shapes how we behave. Understanding our identity in Christ impacts every relationship. We can enjoy relationships and love each other out of the fullness of Christ’s love for us. Rather than seeking another person to fulfill us, we know we are already full in Christ. This frees us to relate to one another how God originally designed. This significantly impacts our closest relationships, which can also be the most fraught with tension— our family.
Whether we are married or not, have kids or not, we can all grow to interact with family members in the way of Jesus. We can grow to recognize that when we are full, we don’t need any person to fill us which frees us to pour ourselves out. We can help build and encourage healthy marriages and families in our church community. We can grow to step in as family for each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. The Gospel shapes how we live as a family in Jesus.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Read Ephesians 1 and journal all the descriptions you see for the truth of who you are in Christ. Then, read over the list and thank God for this new identity. Ask for his help to live out the fullness of his love this week in every relationship.
2023 SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Join us all of 2023 developing a different spiritual practice each month. SPIRITUAL PRACTICES are intentional regular activities to deepen our relationship with God and mold us to be more like Jesus.
March is FASTING. Keep track of our spiritual practices at beyondtheweekend.org/spiritualpractices.
SPIRITUAL PRACTICES TIP. When fasting, consider starting small and working your way from there. Maybe try fasting from one activity for part of a day or 1 meal once a week. Then increase to one activity for a whole day or 1 meal each day. No matter what you choose, intentionally turn to God during the time you would be engaging in the activity or eating that meal. Maybe go on a prayer walk, journal your prayers or read Scripture instead. Check out other PRAYER GUIDE ideas here.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.