WELLSPRING

Sunday Morning Worship | 9 AM & 11 AM

One Father

"One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." Ephesians 4:6

Our last verse for this season of Summer in the Scriptures focuses solely on our great God.  Paul focuses on the fact that God reigns over all.  Paul does not stop with the fact that God is sovereign over all, he goes on to say that God is through all, that is working through all circumstances and in all circumstances.  It is amazing how God's word is a balm for my soul.  As I think about school starting and all that needs to be accomplished in the coming weeks, I am overwhelmed.  However, as I meditate that God is over all the things on my to-do list and He is working through those things that trouble me most.  My soul is quieted in the fact that my Father is with me in and through all my circumstances.  We serve a good, good Father.  

I pray that you have enjoyed your time memorizing God's word.  It has been a joy for me to spend time in God's word in this way.  Each week as we focused on different aspects of God, His love, power, His desire that we walk in unity, God used these aspects to speak to a direct need in my heart.  These verses compelled me to pray and think differently.  

I pray that God uses His word in your life to do immeasurably more than all you can  ask or imagine.

Please email Jackie at jdehaan@wellspringcc.org if you have memorized any portion of the scriptures from Ephesians 3:14-21 and 4:1-6.

 

 

One Faith

"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism;"  Ephesians 4:4, 5

The verses we are memorizing for this week are a "Statement of Faith" for the basis of the unity we can experience as believers in Jesus.  Our unity is not based on the same hobbies, our children, or any other outward purpose, although, fellowship based on these characteristics are a blessing.  Our unity as believers is based on the fact that there is one body, one hope, and one Lord.  This is our common ground.  It gives us a reason to "make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit."  The basis of that unity is that we serve one Lord and we most honor Him when our unity reflects the unity present in the Trinity.  When we strive through the power of the Holy Spirit to walk in unity with our brothers in Christ this unity glorifies God and we honor Jesus.    

We are almost finished with the Summer in the Scripture memory challenge.  It has been amazing to see God use the verses each week to speak His truth into my heart.  Each week these verses have spoken to my heart in a significant way.  I am thankful for each of you that chose to join us.  If you were able to memorize any portion of the scripture passages from Ephesians 3:17-21 or 4:1-6, please contact Jackie DeHann (jdehaan@wellspringcc.org).  We have a special gift to help you remember the time you spent in the Scripture.

 

 

Ephesians 4:2, 3

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. "

 

I like practical.  I like when I know how to apply something to my life.  That is why I love the book of Ephesians.  There are many practical teachings in the book of Ephesians.  As we move on to verse 2, Paul continues to instruct us on how to practically live out our daily lives as believers.  How do we live a life worthy of the calling?  By being humble, gentle and bearing with one another.  Those are powerful words, not in a worldly sense of power, but in a healing way.  How much would those around me change to become more like Christ if I chose to react in a completely humble and gentle way?  If I chose to be patient with frustrations instead of over reacting?  After a busy summer, this is a poignant reminder that what my family, friends, and church family need from me is not always knowing the right thing to say, but saying something with love, gentleness, and patients.  Bearing with one another also means we have to be involved in other's lives in order to be patient with them and love on them.  

Paul goes on to remind us to "make every effort to keep the unity of Spirit."  Paul knows it will take effort or work to walk in unity.  Paul says practically, not that it is easy, but it is practical, to work or strive to keep the unity of the Spirit.  It is interesting that this immediately follows the charge to be humble and gentle.  When my life is marked by humility, I am less likely to assert my "rights" and disrupt the unity of the Spirit.  It is in those times when I feel like I deserve different treatment that my attitude causes disunity around me.  

My charge to us all is to seek to walk in gentleness and humility so that we can be a unified body of Christ.

 

 

Worthy of the Calling

This weeks post was written by Sharon Diepenhorst.  Sharon has some great insights to share with us about the next verse in Ephesians.

 

Ephesians 4:1

 

"As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received."

Paul sets the stage for this challenge - "to live a life worthy of the calling you have received." He first uses chapter 3 to remind us that God strengthens us out of His glorious riches.  Paul encourages us to truly meditate on God's love so we can grasp it in a way that surpasses earthly knowledge.  Paul then reminds us how great our God is, who can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.  With that stage set, with these truths revealed, Paul then calls us to the challenge to live our lives worthy of the calling we received.

It sounds daunting to "live a life worthy of the calling."  But as we pray to grasp His love for us, His power in us, and His ability to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work in us, I believe it was Paul's hope that the reader would gain a confidence.  Confidence in God.  Living a life worthy of the calling is really only our small steps of faith combined with God's giant leaps of equipping.  He is sovereign, ALL powerful and ALL loving.  He will help us live lives worthy of His calling on us.

I hope these words encourage you, as I loved these works in my devotional time this morning:  

"An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up."  Prov. 12:25

With God on our side, we don't need to be anxious about anything, especially living lives worthy of His calling on us.

 

Enjoy this time of memorization with God, and be blessed.

Practice and Review

I hope you are enjoying your time memorizing God's word.

This week is a practice and review week.  Take some time to read and reread the verses.  Keep reading and reviewing.  Sometimes it is helpful to emphasize a different word as you memorize.  It changes our focus and helps us see different insight into the scripture.  

As I was practicing this morning, I was once again struck by the truths in His word.  I was also renewed in my desire to practice and continue to memorize even beyond this summer.  Summer has been busy, so consistent practice has been difficult.  I don't have it all completely memorized yet, but I do have most of it memorized.  I want to encourage everyone to keep going!  Even if you feel you cannot memorize it all, don't give up!  Keep going! 

Pastor Aaron did a wonderful job of reminding us of the beauty of God's word.  As we memorize, my prayer is that we will experience what Psalm 19 states about the Word of God. 

"The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.  They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To God Be the Glory

We have now come to the end of Chapter 3.  Verse 21 states "to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."  

It has been astonishing to meditate on the love of God and then to think about the power that is at work in our lives.  Fittingly, Paul ends the chapter by reminding us that God's love and power at work in our lives is to glorify God.  The chief purpose or "end" of man, as the Westminster Catechism states, is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.  All of the love he bestows on us is something we need to bestow on others which in the end comes back to praise and glorify him.  Notice also Paul uses the phrase, "in the church and in Christ Jesus." God wants to be glorified in the church.  He is glorified when we allow his power to be active and working in our lives.  He is also glorified by how we love him and other believers.  As Paul ends his prayer with praise to God, it causes me to ask myself, "Is God glorified by how I receive his love and bestow it on others?" Living loved by God not only affects my life, but it impacts those around me and most importantly brings honor and glory to God.

May we live everyday as those deeply loved by God, so that we may glorify him.   

 

Imagine

I don't know about you, but it feels like we are moving quickly through these verses.  I don't have them completely memorized, but it's coming!  I have been trying to keep the verses handy to pull out at different times during the day, so I can review, review, review.  John Piper has great insight on how to memorize a long passage of scripture.  I hope you find this helpful.  http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/practical-tips-for-bible-memory

For this week our verse is Ephesians 3:20.  "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,"

We have been meditating on the immense scope of God's love.  Now we move on to another immense aspect of God, His power.  Several times in the previous verses Paul talks about the power that is at work in us.  In this verse, Paul encourages the church once again that God's power is working in us and is able to do more than we can even imagine.  Sometimes our lives seem so ordinary when we long to live extraordinary lives, but we have the God of the universe living in us who will do more than we can imagine by His great power!  Even when it seems God is not working, He is!  Eternity will show that though  our lives seem ordinary, God worked immeasurably in and through them.  

I am praying you will see God working in unimaginable ways in and through you.

Live Loved

Thank you to all of you who are joining us each week as we memorize God's Word.  Also, thank you for your comments.  I am figuring out the process of moderating the comments and making sure your comments are posted, so keep them coming.  I think I have everyone's comments posted now!  

We are now working on Ephesians 3:19, "and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

Sometimes in our current culture, we bristle when people focus on God's love without ever explaining there are consequences to sin and wrong behavior.  But, in this passage, Paul has established that he is talking to Believer's in Christ, those who have placed their faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins.  At this point in Ephesians, what he most desires the believers to understand is not that they are sinners, but that they are loved. Period.  Spurgeon compares these verses (16- 19) to a ladder, with each point or rung taking you higher and ending with the fullness of God.  We are not able to "be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God" or as the ESV states "filled with all the fullness of God" until we grasp the love of God.   I love how the Message states verse 19 "live full lives, full in the fullness of God".  

Even as I sit on my porch this morning contemplating and seeking to commit to heart the verses, I am blown away by the phrases which Paul uses to describe God's love.  It is a love that "surpasses knowledge."  How can we "grasp" the depth, height, length, and width of God's love when it is beyond our ability to know?  Growing up in a legalistic environment, I was always encouraged to do "more".  Do this, and you will really have power, or in my mind "favor" or "love" from God.   For me, "grasping" the love of God comes in waves, I feel like He has to constantly remind me that I am loved because I am His, not because of something I do.  And this knowledge causes me to live a very different life.  

I pray this week that as we continue to memorize we will meditate on God's love, and that will lead us to "live full lives, full in the fullness of God."

 

The Love of Christ

How is it going?  Have you been able to memorize the first three verses?  Remember to write the verse down, recite it out loud, and use it in your prayers.  The key is repetition.  Let me know how you are doing by posting in the comments.   If you are not comfortable posting in the comments, you can also reach me by email at church@wellspringcc.org.

We are now working on verses 17 & 18.  "so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the Lord's holy people to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,"

There is much truth in these verses. It is actually challenging to take it all in.  First, we have Christ dwelling in our hearts through faith.  It is nothing short of miraculous.

Then Paul goes on to remind us of Christ’s love.  He wants our lives to be “rooted and established" in the fact of Christ’s love.  "Rooted and established" are terms that deal with foundational truth.  One of the foundational truths of our lives as Christians is the fact that we are loved.  Paul wants us to live our lives with this as the foundation.  Let our service, our very lives flow from the fact that we are loved, immeasurably loved.  It is an awe inspiring thought that God wants us to understand and to "grasp" how "wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ."  

In her book Hope Unfolding, Becky Thompson says “Do you know there is nothing that you could do to lose God’s love?  Nothing. Because there was nothing that you could do to earn it.  He loves you because He is love and you are His.  God loving you never had anything to do with you.  It has always had everything to do with Him.”  We don’t have to do anything to earn God’s love, it is His very nature.  He is love. 

I know we all have sin that we struggle with and at times this weighs us down and can be quite frankly, depressing.  It seems that what we do is not quite good enough, there is always something else that could have been done, maybe with a better attitude, or more completely.  Timothy Keller says, “You are more sinful than you could ever dare imagine and you are more loved and accepted than you could ever dare hope-at the same time.”  This is a truthful synopsis of the Gospel.  My hope for all of us is that as we memorize Ephesians 17 & 18, we will take to heart the love of Christ for us.  As we memorize, we will meditate on the fact that we are loved!

Let us live our lives out of the truth that we are loved immeasurably by the One who died for us.

 

Glorious Riches

Summer in the Scripture Memory Challenge is now into the second week.  I hope you were able to complete the first two verses from our passage in Ephesians 3.  If not, keep going, keep reading and repeating… it will come! 

We are moving on to Ephesians 3:16. “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.”  Isn’t that a beautiful prayer for all believers?  We want our spouse, children, friends, small group members, etc. to be strengthened “with power through his Spirit.” Another way to help memorize scripture is to use the verses in prayer.  Begin to use this verse in your prayers for family and friends.  As we use this in our prayers, it will begin to sink into our memories, hearts, and minds.  

God has many glorious riches, but one of those He has given us is His Word.  Through His Word, reading, studying, and memorizing it, God strengthens us.  In His Word is power and life.  I love that as we memorize, we have the ability to speak life into situations by praying words of encouragement, strength and love to those around us. 

Keep pressing on!

I am praying for all of you “that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being”

 

 

Getting Started - Week 1

I am so glad you have decided to join us on this memory verse challenge!  I am excited to see how God will use the discipline of memorizing and applying His Word to change our lives.  

Our goal is to memorize a total of 15 verses during the summer months.  I know we all can do it!  For those of you with children, I would encourage you to include them.  Children have an amazing ability to memorize.  Remember to comment, so we'll know who is taking part in the Summer in the Scripture Challenge.  Let’s get started.

I have been researching hints to help with memory.  One recommendation, is to start reading before the passage actually starts to gain context for the passage. The beginning of chapter 3 would be a good place to start.  In my Bible, Chapter 3 is titled, God’s Marvelous Plan for the Gentiles.  Wow!  It is a marvelous plan.  Through God’s grace, the Gospel was made known to the gentiles by Paul.  Because God’s grace was made available to the gentiles, Paul can “kneel before the Father, from who every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.”  Because, of God’s glorious grace made available through Christ we are able to be God’s child, to have His name. Now we have context for the verses we will be memorizing.

For the first week, we will memorize Ephesians 3:14,15.  Write it on a notecard and keep it with you and practice throughout the day.  Make it a goal to read it over at least three times, two different times during the day.  Before you know it, you will have the first two verses committed to memory.  

Praising God for His marvelous grace~