Living Faith Devotional 39

11/12-11/18 Overview
This week we will read and study The Letter of Paul to the Ephesians, which is similar to his letter to the Colossians. The exact time when the letter was written is unknown. It could have been written during Paul’s house arrest in Rome shortly after writing Colossians and Philemon. Some scholars believe that letter was written for the purpose of being shared with churches in various locations in addition to Ephesus. Although the letter is similar in style to those attributed to Paul, some biblical scholars believe that this New Testament letter was written by a student or followers of Paul as a way to continue sharing the teachings of the apostle either near the end of his life or after his death. Thankfully, God continues to speak through the words and messages of Ephesians nearly two thousand years after the letter was written, just as the Holy Spirit used it to speak to the people of Christ’s churches during the first century.
Below are some suggestions and questions to help you as you read scripture this week:
1. Approach scripture with humility. Seek to receive what the Bible reveals without trying to make it say what you want it to say.
2. Invite the Holy Spirit to speak a message to you through the verses you read.
3. What do these verses reveal about God?
4. What do these verses reveal about humanity?
5. What do these verses teach me about myself?
6. How do you see yourself in the story when reading biblical narratives?
Which of these characters would I be?
In what ways is their story similar to my story?
7. Read, study, and discuss scripture with a small group or another person.
8. Use a Study Bible. A Study Bible is a very helpful tool that includes information shared by scholars about historical and cultural realities during the time depicted or the era of the document, the author, when the book might have been written, the intended audience of the document, themes and messages within a book or letter, and more. The NIV, NRSV, ESV, and NLT Study Bibles are worth considering if you do not own one. There are a few available from the AUMC Library in the back of the Chapel. You can also
purchase a Study Bible from,, or
*If you do not have a Bible, consider downloading the YouVersion Bible App for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play for your smartphone or tablet. You can also use to look up and read various translations of Bible verses online for free.
Sunday (11/12)
READ part of Psalm 78 to set your focus on our God:
“…they should set their hope in God,
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments.” – Psalm 78:7 NRSV
LISTEN to a hymn or worship song that helps you remember God’s good works and that our hope is in Him.
READ John 15:9-12, Jesus’ message to his disciples. What does verse 10 reveal about how we can remain, abide, and live in Jesus’ love? Joy is part of being loved and living in God’s love through Christ. Are you truly receiving God’s love and remaining in it? If you are, then you should feel joyful even when circumstances are not good. What does verse 12 reveal about what we should do as Jesus’ disciples?
PRAY in response to the love of God revealed in and through Christ Jesus. Pray that the Lord helps our church, churches throughout Greater Hendricks County, and believers around the world to abide, remain, and live in Christ’s love. May the world see and experience our overflowing joy as we live lives of love.
GIFTS – Allow yourself to receive the gifts that come from being present with God and Jesus’ followers today, including the gift of joy as you abide/remain in Christ. Remember, you are loved.
Monday (11/13)
READ Psalm 78:7 to begin your devotional time:
“…they should set their hope in God,
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments.” – Psalm 78:7 NRSV
You are invited to WATCH the Bible Project videos that summarize Colossians before reading and studying Paul’s letter this week. Below is the link for the summary video available on YouTube:
Book of Ephesians Summary by the Bible Project:
READ Ephesians 1. If you are using a Study Bible you may find it helpful to read the introduction to this letter as well as the study notes.
GIFTS – What are some of the blessings God has given you? People? Talents? Abilities? Opportunities? Resources? Spend a few minutes writing a list of your blessings in a journal, notebook, or on the Notes App on your cell phone, then look at the list each day throughout the week as a reminder.
PRAY thanking God for the ways He has blessed you that your wrote on your list, then pray for the people of Avon UMC, as well as sisters and brothers in Christ locally and throughout the world, letting the words of Ephesians 1:17-23 guide your prayer.
Tuesday (11/14)
READ Psalm 78:7 to help you to center yourself in God.
LISTEN to and/or SING to a hymn or worship song that helps you to worship the Lord.
READ Ephesians 2. You may find it helpful to use questions or suggestions from the Overview portion of this devotional as you reflect upon what you read. Consider memorizing 2:8-9 as you let the meaning of the message sink deeply into your heart and mind.
GIFTS – How will you use or give what God has given you to honor and express your love for Him today?
PRAY for divisions, conflict, and battles among Jews and Gentiles (those who are not Jews) remembering that “in his flesh Jesus has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall” (Ephesians 2: 14 NRSV).
Wednesday (11/15)
READ Psalm 78:7 to begin your devotional time.
SOLITUDE and SILENCE. You are encouraged to spend a few minutes alone with God sitting, kneeling, laying down, or walking. Spend these minutes seeking to simply be with the Lord.
READ Ephesians 3. Consider using a question or suggestion from the Overview portion of this devotional as you reflect upon what you read.
GIFTS – The Apostle Paul used his God-given knowledge and wisdom, his leadership and organizational abilities, writing skills, and the time God gave him to reach new people with the gospel message, plant churches throughout the Roman Empire, and guide Christians by writing letters to them. With what you have been given by God, what are a few things you do for your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and Jesus’ Church? How are you planning to use your gifts during the remaining week of this year and throughout 2024 to glorify the Lord?
PRAY through your day, including offering thanks for the presence of the Spirit of Christ with us, as well as praying for the people you will be with or have been with. Then conclude your prayer letting the prayer of Ephesians 3:16-21 guide you.
Thursday (11/16)
READ Psalm 78:7 to focus your heart and mind on the Lord.
LISTEN to and/or SING a hymn or worship song that helps you to worship the God of love and grace.
READ Ephesians 4:1-5:20. If you are using a Study Bible you may find it helpful to read the study notes.
GIFTS – Because you have received God’s love through Christ, how will you share that love with others today through your words and deeds? You can use your words to build others up, encouraging and guiding them. You can use your actions to help others and make their lives better as love in action.
PRAY using the ACTS acronym as a guide:
Adoration (praise the Lord)
Supplication (offer God your requests or concerns, as well as those of others)
Friday (11/17)
READ Psalm 78:7 to begin your time with God.
SOLITUDE and SILENCE. You are encouraged to spend a few minutes alone with God sitting, kneeling, laying down, or walking. Spend these minutes letting the message of the psalm roll around in your heart and mind. Let it fill your thoughts.
READ Ephesians 5:21-6:24, the conclusion of the letter. If you are married, how is the message from verses 5:21-33 speaking to you about your marriage? What do verses 6:1-4 reveal to you as a child and as a parent if you have children? Consider memorizing the pieces of the armor of God listed in verses 6:13-18.
GIFTS – Bless a family member or sister/brother in Christ today or later this weekend by giving them something that will either be helpful or that they will thoroughly enjoy.
PRAY for your spouse if you are married, your parents if they are still alive, your child or children if you are a parent, and for those in positions of leadership in the households, churches, businesses, and organizations of Greater Hendricks County. Also, pray that the Lord helps you to wear the full armor of God today and every day.
Saturday (11/18)
How are you going to remember and observe the Sabbath this weekend? The Sabbath is a day each week that is set apart from the others to stop, rest, worship, and delight in the Lord and what he has given us.
LIGHT a candle and LISTEN to a worship song or hymn before reading the verses for today as a way to prepare your heart, mind, body, and soul for observing the Sabbath.
READ Matthew 28:1-10 during the morning. As the two ladies encountered the resurrected Jesus the first Easter morning, Matthew wants us to know that when they saw Christ, “they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him” (Matt. 28:1, 9 NRSV). Our Sabbath theme for today is “WORSHIP.”
  • How are you going to go to our resurrected Savior today and this weekend to be with him? Through prayer, solitude, and silence, being with the church, or some other way?


  • How are you going to take hold of Jesus today and when you observe the Sabbath? Perhaps you could use a prayer cross as you pray, a pocket cross with you throughout the day, or something else that you can physically touch that reminds you of Christ.


  • How are you going to intentionally worship Jesus today and this weekend? By singing to him, making a joyful noise, and thanking him? By bowing down or kneeling before him as you pray and praise Him?


  • When you attend a worship service this weekend, look for Jesus within the faces and presence of the people of the church (the body of Christ). Also look for Jesus in the faces of the hungry, thirsty, strangers, those in need of clothing, the sick, and prisoners whenever you are with them (Matthew 25:34-40).


WORSHIP JESUS. You may find it helpful to listen to a hymn or praise song that you know so that you can sing along or play music and sing if you are a musician or singer.


TIME for REFLECTION. If you did not do it yesterday, either write in a journal or notebook the ways you experienced the love, grace, and presence of God this past week, or discuss them with a close family member or friend.


PRAY offering thanks to the Lord for Jesus, His presence with us through the Holy Spirit, and the many blessings you have received. LIVE in response to Christ Jesus today.


READ Psalm 95:1-7 during the afternoon or evening as a reminder of ways we can worship King Jesus:

  • sing to him
  • make a joyful noise
  • offer thanksgiving
  • bow down
  • kneel before him
  • submit to him as Lord
  • listen to him
SOLITUDE and SILENCE. You are encouraged to spend ten, twenty, or thirty minutes alone with God seeking to rest in the peace that can only be found in and from the Lord. If you struggle to stop and rest, consider laying down, kneeling, or sitting on a very comfortable chair or seat. If you need a nap, then sleep so that your mind and body receive the rest that you need.
PRAY in response to Christ. You may find it helpful to use the words from the psalm. Consider singing, making a joyful noise, offering thanks, bowing or kneeling as you pray, then submit to Jesus and listen for the internal whisper of the Holy Spirit upon your heart and mind.
READ Romans 12:1-2 at the end of the day before going to sleep as a reminder to offer your body and life as a living sacrifice for God as an act of ongoing worship.