Sunday Reflections (June 16th): Men’s Conference, Ephesians Series, Father’s Day
Man, it has been a minute since I’ve been able to blog. It has been a whirlwind of a few weeks, and I am just now getting a chance to catch my breath. So much has been going on I don’t even know where to begin. There is just too much to recount. So let me just hit some of the highlights.
Last weekend (or was it the week before that? I told you it has been crazy) I was invited to teach a breakout session on “Life Balance” at Community Missionary Baptist Church’s Men’s Conference. I was assigned to teach the 26 to 40 year olds. It was a lot of fun. I love teaching people God’s Word, especially to men.
Here’s a skeleton of what I shared that day:
If anyone knew how to use his time for the glory of God the Father, it was Jesus. I believe when you take a cursory view of his life, as it is recorded in the New Testament, you see the following six characteristics that make for a maximized life:
1. Recognize Your Mortality
2. Embrace Your Identity
3. Know Your Purpose
4. Set Your Priorities
5. Focus Your Prayers
6. Watch Your Gauges
Spiritual Gauge – What is the condition of your relationship with Jesus?
Relational Gauge – Who are you connecting with?
Emotional Gauge – Are you appropriately dealing with your emotions?
Vocational Gauge – Are you working in a field according to your God-given design? Are you working diligently as unto The Lord wherever you are (Col. 3:23)?
Rest/Recreational Gauge – Are you enjoying life responsibly? What helps you to refuel?
Today I commenced my teaching series on Ephesians with the first of a two-part lesson called, “The Blessed Life.” We tackled chapter 1 verses 3 through 6. Take a peek at my outline:
I. The Source of Our Blessings (vs. 3a)
II. The Nature of Our Blessings (vs. 3b)
III. The Scope of Our Blessings (vs. 4-14)
1. Selection (vs. 4)
This is known as the doctrine of election, which says that God, without any merit or effort from us, graciously and sovereignly elects (or chooses) individuals to be in relationship with Him through Christ (John 15:16, 6:37, 44-45; Acts 13:48).
A. The Timing of the Father’s Selection – “even as (since) he chose us in him before the foundation of the world”
B. The Purpose of the Father’s Selection – “that we should be holy and blameless before him in love.”
2. Adoption (vs. 5-6)
A. The Means of Our Adoption – “for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ,”
B. The Basis of Our Adoption – “according to the purpose of his will,”
C. The Result of Our Adoption – “to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”
As I said, we stopped with verse 6 today. Lord willing, I plan to continue with part two of “The Blessed Life” looking at verses 7 through 14 next week.
We all know that there is a fatherless epidemic in our nation. However, I am grateful to be among the many fathers who are involved and invest in their children’s lives and were honored today in our service. Hats off to all you gentlemen who are doing it right!