The End of “Wars” in the Church

The End of “Wars” in the Church

October 23, 2019By Mark D. Roberts

Scripture calls us to put up with each other, to value others above ourselves, and to look not to our own interests but to the interests of others (Ephesians 4:2; Philippians 2:3-4). It’s pretty hard to fight a worship war, defending our own particular preferences, if we’re seeking to follow these biblical directives. But, even more directly, Ephesians 5:19 says we are to use “psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.” Whatever these words mean, they clearly suggest that the musical content of our worship ought to be diverse.

Let Your Worship Enrich Your Conversation

Let Your Worship Enrich Your Conversation

October 22, 2019By Mark D. Roberts

At first glance, Ephesians 5:19 seems to be confusing, if not just plain confused. According to this verse, as we are filled with the Spirit, we will be “speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.” Doesn’t it make more sense for us to speak to God – or, better yet, to sing to God – using these musical genres? How are we to speak to one another with songs that are meant for God?

Worship and the Power of Song

Worship and the Power of Song

October 21, 2019By Mark D. Roberts

The connection between singing and spiritual inspiration is familiar to most Christians. At times, we experience God filling us with the Spirit when we are lifting our voices in praise. At other times, when God fills us with his Spirit, music provides a way for us to express the praise stirred up inside of us. No matter how and when we sing to the Lord, Ephesians 5:19 reminds us to lift our voices in musical praise. Yet, as we’ll see in tomorrow’s devotion, this verse commends a surprising and unexpected use of worship music.

Help Me Help You: From Bad to Good to Best

Help Me Help You: From Bad to Good to Best

October 20, 2019By Breon Wells

In today’s scripture passage… [Paul] admonishes these believers to consider the differences between lawfulness and expediency—in other words “just because you can do something, doesn’t mean that you should, nor that it is the best course of action.” As leaders, we often have the right and the ability to do whatever we choose. However, when a team is involved, our actions affect every member of our team.

Ora et Labora: Praying on the Run

Ora et Labora: Praying on the Run

October 19, 2019By Uli Chi

I’ve always been a bit suspicious of those who paint too rosy a picture of the life of faith. Early in my Christian journey one of the popular evangelical sayings was that God has a “wonderful plan for your life.” Turns out, “wonderful” must have meant something entirely different than what I thought the word meant!

If You’re Filled with the Spirit, Then What?

If You’re Filled with the Spirit, Then What?

October 17, 2019By Mark D. Roberts

It is significant that these evidences of the Spirit are mainly experienced in the context of Christian community. Speaking to one another and submitting are things we must do in relationship to others. Singing, making music, and giving thanks can be done with others or in solitude, though the context here underscores the shared experience of all five participles. One thing is clear: If we are filled with the Spirit, then we will share with our fellow Christians in speaking, singing, making music, giving thanks, and submitting.

How To Be Filled with the Spirit: Part 3

How To Be Filled with the Spirit: Part 3

October 16, 2019By Mark D. Roberts

Given all we’ve seen so far in Ephesians about the importance of the church as the body of Christ, it comes as no surprise that the filling of the Spirit is something we experience along with other believers. This is not to deny individual experiences of God, of course. There are surely times when God fills us with his Spirit even though no other believers are around. But often the filling of the Spirit is something that happens when God’s people are gathered for worship or ministry. It’s easy for us in our day to get so preoccupied by our own private experience of God that we neglect the essential corporate dimension. Ephesians offers an effective remedy to a hyper-individualism that minimizes the centrality of Christian community.

How To Be Filled with the Spirit: Part 2

How To Be Filled with the Spirit: Part 2

October 15, 2019By Mark D. Roberts

There is another peculiar feature of the imperative, “Be filled with the Spirit, though this does not show up in most English translations. The Greek tense of “be filled” is present. This tense suggests an ongoing action, not something that happens once and for all. In English, we might render the present imperative in Greek as “Keep on being filled with the Spirit.” The use of the present implies that the filling of the Spirit is something that can happen again and again in the life of the believer.

How To Be Filled with the Spirit: Part 1

How To Be Filled with the Spirit: Part 1

October 14, 2019By Mark D. Roberts

There is no magic formula here, no secret words or actions to make God fill us with his Spirit. God is sovereign and fills us according to his sovereign will. At times, some Christians seem to have forgotten this basic truth, assuming that if they pray in a certain way or worship in a certain way then God is somehow compelled to fill them with the Spirit. This neglect of God’s sovereignty isn’t true or helpful.

The Spiritual Aspect of Leadership, Part 2

The Spiritual Aspect of Leadership, Part 2

October 13, 2019By Clarissa Middleton

In addition to setting spiritual intentions for my days, I also take stock of the resources God has provided me, and I try to move about my day from a place of abundance and gratitude versus lack. When I feel discomforted or disconnected, I resist casting quick judgement before managing my own expectations or gathering more information to make an informed decision about my challenges. Employing the habits of effectiveness in the realm of my spiritual matters has significantly improved the quality of my leadership and my experience of success.

The Spiritual Aspect of Leadership, Part 1

The Spiritual Aspect of Leadership, Part 1

October 12, 2019By Clarissa Middleton

Early on in my career, as a young professional, a new benchmark for success made itself known to me. I had proven that I was capable of achieving my goals, but I did not always personally feel good during the process or after. The more I matured and accomplished things in the everyday material world, the more I began to realize it’s not just what we do that matters.