The church usually gives each team one day out of the week to take it easy, do some planning, and go see Chicago. Since our group is fairly familiar with Chicago, we stayed close to the church and spent some good quality time together.
The trip is here and we're very excited to start serving. Here are some things we did today and how you can be praying for us:
The Flash is one of those Superheroes that I don't think gets a whole lot of attention. His only real power is his incredible speed which lets him do a whole lot of things like create whirlwinds by spinning or vibrate his hand so fast he can shatter glass, steel, and the like. The stuff he does is really kind of cool, but he tends to be eclipsed by Superman who also has super speed on top of all of his other amazing abilities. At least the Flash is faster than Superman as shown in this clip from Smallville.
Now, when I originally planned out the Super series, I intended on relating the story of Elijah and connecting him to Flash based on the way he outruns a chariot at the end of 1 Kings 18. But the Lord led me in a different direction with this lesson. Instead, I'd like to focus on what happened just before that.
Ezra: The Sovereign God Desires Holiness
Last week, we saw that God blesses those who seek Him and obey Him. Things have been pretty great. The Temple is rebuilt, God’s promises are secure, and Ezra has arrived with abundance! Today, in our final study in Ezra, things take a turn for the worse.
Where do you turn when times get tough? What do you do when you're scared, frustrated, lonely, or angry? My daughter Michaela starts with a pout and works her way up to a really strong cry. My brother and I have punched walls before when life got rough for us. As a kid I used to hide under my blanket in bed when I got scared. Now, I have a tendency to either bottle things up or complain to my wife. What do you do? Where do you go?
Jesus sets a wonderful example for us in Luke 22:39-45.
Jesus is about to be tortured, beaten, scourged, humiliated, spat on, and crucified. He knows this. And worst yet, the wrath of God is about to be poured out on Him. Could you imagine the weight of knowing that? He knows He is about to be arrested and it is all about to begin. Jesus finds Himself with all of these worries overwhelming Him. And this is what He does.
I'm going to be going through the book of Ephesians on Mondays. I'm going to only do a couple of verses at a time and it may look more like a commentary than a devotional. Hopefully, it will be a mix of both. This might be more of a study type thing for anyone who reads it than a pure devotional, but if that's what you're looking for then you can find it here on Mondays.
Paul an apostle
Paul introduces himself here as the author of the letter to the Ephesians. He also identifies himself here as an apostle of Christ Jesus. The word apostle comes from the Greek word apostolos which has the meaning of a delegate or envoy or a "sent out one". The title means that Paul has been sent out and commissioned by Jesus. Paul can say this because the resurrected Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus and called him.
Mark has been happily married for five years, has a year and a half old daughter, and serves as a youth and children pastor in Oak Park.