Sep 4, 2015

Sermon Series: Holy Love, Part 3 - Devotion and Sermon Questions

A brief prayer is offered that you can add to your daily prayers. The scripture is from our Sunday Service Bulletin. We are in a series of sermons regarding Christian love that looks at the life of the early Christians and today’s topic is “Equipping to serve”.

Ephesians 4:1-13 (English Standard Version)
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. 8 Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.”9 (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth?]10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ

Devotion: “Katartismos”

The author, Paul, is talking about equipping the saints (that is to say church members) in verse 12. In the Greek transliteration, the word “equip” wasKatartismos [καταρτισμον]In the time of the writing, it was a medical term for setting bones. [It is also the root of an English word we use today: artisan, an artist or craftsman, someone who works with his hands to create things.] So the meaning here may be more like “mending”, and not adding something that is lacking.  In other words God has already equipped us all to be part of the body of the Church if we utilize our unique gifts. Since every Christian has gifts with which he or she can serve, Paul is saying that the church leaders should prepare, equip, mend, and and/or restore people [that is you, fellow Christian!] to their proper use. We need to mend our nets before we can become true “fishers of men.” The Holy Spirit, prayer, and the word of God, all three, restore and prepare us. Fish on!!!
Pray: Lord, please help us to use our unique gifts to better serve you. Amen
1.  Knowing yourself: When was the most recent time you thanked or lifted up a church worker or fellow Christian? Do you recall when were you most recently thanked for your Christian service?
2. Scripture:  Please see Gal. 6:1; Matt. 4:21; 2 Cor. 13:11; Heb. 13:21 do you see any relevance to Katartismos?
3. Application:  Based on answers to Question 1, how can we demonstrate in our daily activities “they will know we are Christians by our love”?

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