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Read the entire book of Ephesians 3 times in 3 weeks
The main theme of Ephesians: What it means to move with Christ from death to life
Read Ephesians 2:1-3
Paul describes what life is like before we place our trust in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. It can look like life- doing, accomplishing, living. In reality, life before Christ is basically the walking dead.
Read Ephesians 2:4-9
The passage now shifts from death to life. Notice the descriptions of God’s motivation, God’s character, God’s heart. God is rich in mercy. Rich in grace. God has great love and uses that great love to love us. God loves us even when we are dead. When we have nothing but death to offer.
Death to Life. Jesus raising us up. We are Easter People.
For by grace you have been saved through faith,
and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. – Ephesians 2:8
Gift Box Illustration
Jesus offers us the gift of mercy, grace, and salvation. We pass it by again and again. How can we receive the gift of God if we are constantly in motion, constantly striving?
- We are busy doing life: do the laundry, do my job, go to the grocery store, go to the doctor, cook the meal. We make to-do lists.
- Busy doing for God: do my devotions, do my volunteer work, do the Bible study, do my duty and invite my new neighbor to worship
You can only receive when you rest– when you sit; when you stop. This is why it is first. Sit Walk Stand. Sitting is our position in Jesus Christ. It is being before doing.
Faith is depending on what Christ has done and is doing before you do anything. Jesus raises us up from death and seats us. Sit- We receive when we rest.
What would it be like for you to do the Ephesians Reading Challenge? For you to read the chapter from Ephesians and just sit with God’s Word. It’s not about acquiring knowledge, not about getting answers, not about checking off something from your to-do list. Read. Sit with Jesus, the Word. That’s the challenge.
What would it be like to sit with Jesus in prayer? The only thing you say is, “I just want to be with you.”
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
How many of us sit down, even lay down, and we have a monkey mind. Our souls are full of anxiousness. Jesus will give us rest for our body, mind, emotions, and soul. This is why sit is first. We receive when we rest.
Instead of being yoked with the world and the ways of the world, we are yoked with Jesus and His ways. The best way to learn from Jesus is to be with him all the time. Not doing with Jesus or doing for Jesus, but being with Jesus.
What burdens is Jesus inviting us to lie down?
We often think of the burdens of life: sorrow, anxiousness, trouble, stress, pain, overwhelm, grief, worry…
The first burden Jesus invites us to lay down is the burden of our sin. That sin is tied to busyness and distraction.
- The sin of trying to save ourselves is Pride. I don’t need what you did in your death and resurrection. I can do it myself.
- The sin of trying to be worthy to be saved is also Pride. What you did in your death and resurrection isn’t powerful enough so I’ve got to help.
- Can a dead person do anything? No! Jesus makes the first move because we can’t. By grace, we are saved through faith, and this is not your own doing it is the gift of God.
God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. – Ephesians 2:4-6
In Genesis, humans are created and what is the first thing they do? Rest. Created on day 6 and the next day is day 7, the Sabbath, the day of rest. Being before doing. We can only receive when we rest.
Death to Life. See yourself resurrected from the dead and seated with Christ. Receive salvation as the grace gift that it is. You are alive in Christ.
Already Raisen by Steve Garnaas Holmes
Live as if you are risen
The fear-tombed, nay-saying, people-pleasing
prisoner of scarcity, shame, and threat— that one has died.
The stone of Outcomes has been rolled away.
The linen grave-clothes of Consequences are lying abandoned.
You are free.
Forgiven, accompanied, love-enabled, miracle-powered,
you are a member of the risen body of Christ.
You are those hands with holes in them Jesus shows, and says, “Peace.”
You are the flesh the Spirit moves to do her next wonders.
You’ve already died and gone to heaven,
no mere flesh now, but pure love,
unafraid of death and its useless threats,
with unshakable courage,
nothing to lose, everything in your hands.
Don’t live as if you’re afraid to be crucified.
Live as if you’re already risen
Sit Sermon © 2019 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
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