“What Will Your Epitaph Say”?
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 3 & 4
Memory Verses /2 Kings 18:5-7 / NLT
5 Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before or after his time. 6 He remained faithful to the Lord in everything, and he carefully obeyed all the commands the Lord had given Moses. 7 So the Lord was with him, and Hezekiah was successful in everything he did. He revolted against the king of Assyria and refused to pay him tribute.
The Message of the Text:
1. The mystery of God’s Salvation has been revealed to the Gentiles in the person of Jesus the Son of God
2. The church has been given the task of spreading the Good News, God is real, God loves you, God wants a relationship with you
3. To fulfill our task there are things we must do, 1st live a life worthy of our calling, be completely humble & gentle, bear with each other, & live in peace
4. We are the next in line of God’s messengers to spread the Good News, others have laid the foundations, our task is to continue the work of service
5. It is time for those who follow Christ to stop acting like children who always want their way and focus on themselves to GROW UP spiritually and do right, fulfill our task
How Does This Apply to me today?
1. God has presented the way and the means for us to know Him, personally, it is through His Son, Jesus
2. When we have decided to become a Christ Follower, we take on the task of being the next in line to minister to those around us, serving them, letting them know through our words and actions that God Loves Them
3. To accomplish the task God has for us, to find a life of Enjoyment Filled With Purpose, we have to examine our life and make some changes
4. GOD has done the preparation work for us, He has offered to us His gift-His Son & the Holy Spirit
5. We now can fully enjoy our life, take the pressure off and live for God knowing that our role is EFFORT, God’s role is RESULTS
Things to Ponder
Many times we go through life stressed out because we are so self-focused. We have decided that it is our role to accomplish certain task whether at work, or church, in our family or in our various relationships. When realize that the task may not be accomplished, or that we may not receive our due recognition, we become frustrated, angry, or depressed-
We focus on how does this make me look-how does this affect me-what will those around me think about me-we are so self-focused and self-absorbed that we forget that our only responsibility is EFFORT and that for the Christ Follower, it is God who is responsible of the RESULTS. When we take our eyes off ourselves and focus on God, it takes the pressure off, we can become FREE to truly ENJOY life, ENJOY those in my life, and live a life that is at PEACE with God, with other and with myself.
Additional Verses to Review
Christianity is about new beginnings. Christians believe that when a person gives his/her life to Christ, the believer gets a new lease on life according to the following words in Romans 6:4, “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
All Things Have Become New
As the old year is left behind, Christians can look forward to fresh opportunities to experience a higher level of spirituality by leaving old behaviors and habits behind, as the Scripture says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Old Ways Have Been Put To Death
The Bible speaks encouraging words to those who struggle to put their past sinful life behind them. Paul wrote to the Roman Christians in Romans 6:6, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”
For Christians, Romans 6:6 offers affirmation that in Christ, the believer’s old way of living has been slain. Old habits and behaviors no longer have control and power over the believer whose life is submitted to their religion.
Freedom in Christ to Live a New Life for Him
Since the born-again Christian has been freed from the burden of the former sinful way of life, it's believed that he or she is free to live for Jesus as the Scriptures teach in Colossians 3: 1, 2, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, were Christ seated on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
Christians believe that they are called to focus their thoughts on Christ upon His throne and to give less thought to earthly things which will soon pass away.
Christians also believe that the Bible teachings will prepare believers for living in a glorious kingdom, as Colossians 3: 4 says, “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” Though the “old man” has been crucified with Christ, notice the command in Colossians 3:5, “So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you.” (New Living Translation) Many Christians believe that they are called to actively fight against sin.