Our Week 1 readings, left us with a lot of possible directions for discussion in Sunday's Tentmakers time. Unfortunately with the weather, we weren't able to have our regular class, so we'll just have to do some discussing here. But what to talk about? We all know that my typical discussion speed is not 10 chapters in Genesis, 5 in Ephesians, and 3 Psalms. I am already seeing how God is using this study to challenge me and stretch my study habits. Instead of my normal up-close seat on the front row of the movie theater, He is asking me to sit in the back, where I will have a broader view of the scene.... If, that is, I can keep my binoculars in my purse. :) Knowing that I'm not the only one God is interested in challenging and stretching
as we continue studying together, I really want to hear how God is using this to challenge and stretch you as well.
So the broader themes ... what are they? My list is by no means exhaustive; rather, it is more of a menu for discussion from what I have seen in reading and studying this past week. (Again, if there are things that you saw and feel led to contribute for the upbuilding of the group, then please do so
either in class or by commenting on our blog.)
- Light versus Darkness
- Gen 1:2-5,15-18
- Eph 1:18, 4:18, 5:8-14
- Use the Psalms and Paul's Prayers as springboards for discussion of the Creation and repopulation of the earth (Genesis) as well as God's mysterious plan for redeeming His creation.
- Ps 148, 12, 8
- Prayers: Eph 1:15-23, 3:14-21
- Mystery: Eph 1:9-10, 3:2-6,9; 5:21-33
- God's Covenants (2 of the 8)
- Adamic (including the Edenic) - Gen 1:26-30, 2:15-19
- Noahic - Gen 6:18, 9:8-17
- Walking with God
- Examples from Scripture
- Adam and Eve before the Fall: Gen 3:8
- Enoch: Gen 5:22-24, Heb 11:5-6 Jude 14-15
- Noah: Gen 6:9, Heb 11:7, 2 Pet 2:5
- You and me: Eph 2:7
- Eph 2:2, 10
- Do's and Don'ts
- Eph 4:1-3, 17-32
- Eph 5:1-30
- I tried to cut these last passages down, but I just couldn't.
Before I go, I want to pray one of Paul's prayers for the Ephesians over you. This is not just something I will pray today; it will be my persistent prayer for our entire study. (Eph 1:17-20, NLT)
I ask "God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light ..."
Hearts flooded with light ... Later in Eph 5:26 Paul teaches us that Jesus Christ has cleansed the church "by the washing of water with the Word." Like the Flood back in Noah's day, I pray that our hearts will be so inundated with the Word that any and all corruption in our hearts will be washed away (Gen 6:12) "... so that you can understand the confident hope He has given to those He called..." The primary goal of our study is not simply the gathering of knowledge, but we are gathering knowledge through the study of God's Word so that we can understand the hope to which God has called us (Eph 1:18, Amp) "
His holy people who are His rich and glorious inheritance." We are God's rich and glorious inheritance. How differently would we treat ourselves and others if we thought of each other treated each other as God's rich and glorious inheritance? "I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God's power for us who believe Him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God's right hand in the heavenly realms." I am so excited about us going on this journey together, taking advantage of the opportunity to see God use His power to do some incredible things as if the Creation and the Flood weren't good enough examples. But to realize and understand that the same power God used to create the universe, including this planet and mankind, ... the power that He used to raise Jesus Christ from the dead and seat Him in the heavenlies ... is the same power that is in and to and for us who believe. Do you believe? I pray that you do! In Jesus's name, Amen.