Pressing on Toward the Goal

Brian Keepers

Read: Philippians 3:12-16 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (v. 14) My lungs burned. My temples were pounding. My muscles ached. Everything within me wanted to quit. I had only two miles to go before I would finish my first 25K race. This was the moment when my resilience would be tested. When I would see if all that training paid off. Forgetting what was behind me, I …

The Whole Armor of God

Brian Keepers

Read: Ephesians 6:10-24 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. (v. 11) Paul concludes Ephesians by helping us see that our struggle, as we run this race, is not ultimately against flesh and blood. There is an enemy, the devil, who wants to thwart God’s good work in the church and the world. Paul reminds us that the outcome of the battle has already been determined: God …

Love Begins at Home

Brian Keepers

Read: Ephesians 5:21–6:9 “. . . submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (5:21) In her Nobel Peace Prize lecture, Mother Teresa answered the question of how we achieve world peace by explaining that “love begins at home . . . in our own family first, in our country and in the world.” Love begins not just at home, but in all our everyday relationships—between husbands and wives, parents and children, employers and employees, and friends. All the …

The Time We’ve Been Given

Brian Keepers

Read: Ephesians 5:15-20 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. (vv. 15-16) In a powerful scene in the film version of the Lord of the Rings fantasy trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien, Gandalf the wizard and Frodo the hobbit are sitting in the orc-infested mines of Moria. Feeling the burden of his task to destroy the ring of power, Frodo says to …

Reflectors of the Light

Brian Keepers

Read: Ephesians 5:1-14 For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. (v. 8) The peace advocate Alexander Papaderos was once asked, “What is the meaning of life?” He fished out a small mirror and told a childhood story about the day he found a piece of a broken mirror from a German motorcycle outside his village during World War II. As a boy, he made it a game …

A New Wardrobe

Brian Keepers

Read: Ephesians 4:17-32 You . . . were taught . . . to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life . . . and to put on the new self. (vv. 22-24) For my birthday my wife bought me several new athletic shirts. But much to her chagrin, I kept wearing the smelly old ones. They were so comfortable and familiar it was hard to throw them away. Our lives were once in bondage …