Category Archives: Ephesians

A Prayer for Putting on Your New Self

By: Alisha Headley

“Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and…be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and…put on your new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness .” – Ephesians 4:22-24

I’m a tidy person most of the time, but when it comes to my closet, I never throw anything out. My hope is that they will come back in style one day, and I’ll be ready to throw on the most recent fashion trend. Some of them are just so old and worn, that I have no business wearing them any longer. Yet I struggle to get rid of them because they fit me so comfortably, they feel so natural.

Sometimes lifestyle habits and choices are the same.

You may have indulged in a habit for so long that it becomes a part of who you are. It’s become a comfortable outfit for you. Perhaps you are an angry person or struggle with comparing yourself to every person you meet. Or maybe you are impatient with your kids, and you react to stress poorly. You’ve always handled yourself this way. You don’t know any other way. You’ve just accepted it’s ‘who you are’, as it tends to be your most natural outfit.

These sinful habits actually have the potential to become part of your old life when you become a Christian. The beauty of becoming a believer, is you don’t have to be wearing the same outdated, out-of-style outfits you once did. Putting off old habits especially ones that you are used to wearing won’t be easy, but by the Holy Spirit, it can be done.

inspirational image of Ephesians 2:22-24

In today’s Scripture, Paul spoke to the believers in the Ephesian culture. In their day, part of the initiation process for a person involved in their pagan religion was to remove and discard their old clothing, signifying a total break with any previous association. So, when Paul implored the Christians to “put off their old clothing”, he wasn’t just talking about their actual clothing each day. He was emphasizing the action of rejecting behaviors that were indicative of their old self, those that did not align with walking with the Lord.

To continue and take steps towards obedience and walking with God, we need to daily rid ourselves of those pieces of clothing that are no longer serving us. Whether it’s habits, lusts, friendships, or associations we are involved in, Paul encourages us to then “put on” our new self.

Put on attributes that align with the heart of Christ and watch the Holy Spirit as He works in removing what was always a comfortable yet old outfit for you

Allow the Holy Spirit’s power to help you begin to let out with the old, and in with the new.

Dear God,

Thank you that you want us to live in freedom. That just because we have lived a certain way with a certain habit or sin our entire life, that it doesn’t define us forever. Thank you that when we become believers and followers of you, that we can “put off the old man,” the old lustful things of our flesh, and “put on the new man,” pursuing a lifestyle of holiness and righteousness.

Through the Holy Spirit’s empowering, we are able to renew our minds day by day and clothe ourselves in purity. Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit and for the power you have given us. We ask that you renew our mind and prompt us of anything that we are hanging onto in our former life that is hindering us from walking closely with you in our new life. We love you Lord and we thank you for freeing us of all our old. We gladly invite the new in through you. 

In Jesus’ Name,


Your Life is Your Time

Charles Stanley

Ephesians 5:14-17

Our lives are governed by time. That’s why we’re surrounded by clocks and calendars that dictate our activities. As the minutes tick by, we wonder where the day went. When responsibilities and pressures mount, we complain, “I just don’t have time to get it all done!” But the reality is that God has given us enough time to do exactly what He’s planned for our lives. Perhaps the bigger issue is whether we are using our time to do our will or the Lord’s.

Time is a gift from God, and He has allotted each of us a measure in which to live and accomplish His purposes.

We have only two options—to spend it temporally on our own interests or invest it eternally. Since time can never be retrieved or reversed, it’s critical that we make the most of every opportunity the Lord provides.

The key to investing in eternity is following God’s plan for your life, not just filling your days with activities. Jesus was allocated just thirty-three years of life on earth, but only the last three were spent in fulfilling His Messianic ministry. To us that seems like a waste of time. Yet Christ accomplished everything His Father gave Him to do. That’s why on the cross He could say, “It is finished” (John 19:30).

Scripture compares earthly life to “a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14), but eternal life never ends. It’s foolish to spend your life on a vapor when you can reap everlasting benefits by following God’s will for your time here. Each day is an opportunity to choose.

God Works Within Us

God Works Within Us

Ephesians 3:20-21

Let these words slowly sink into your understanding: “able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think” (v. 20). What an amazing description of God’s ability to work within us.

Yet so often our focus is mainly on what we want Him to do around us: If He would change this situation or fix that problem, then my life would be better. But He invites us to think and ask bigger—He wants to change us!

The Holy Spirit has more than enough power to transform lives from the inside out, but working change within is usually a slow process. Spiritual fruit takes time to grow and mature. That’s why we need patience and faith to believe He is working even when we don’t see the results right away. God is never in a hurry and will never give up on us.

The Lord has a purpose for your life, and He is constantly working to achieve it. Although He has an individualized plan for each one of His children, He also has an overarching goal—to conform every believer to the image of His Son Jesus Christ. In order to accomplish this, He may have to bring us through some struggles and heartaches. It might make no sense to us, but God knows exactly what He’s doing.

What would you like to see the Lord do within you? As you read the Scriptures, look for qualities that God considers precious, and ask Him to work them out in your life. Then rely on His wonderful promise to do even more than you have asked or imagined.

Day 14 of Ephesians

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

Ephesians 6:10-20

Paul began this letter to the Ephesian Christians on a high, cosmic scale, and he finishes in the same way. I suspect that this is because he knows that we can focus so much on the ‘here-and-now’ that we forget the big picture. I suspect that we need to be drawn back to the cosmic context for who we are so that we can continue to plug away day-by-day. 

Put simply, with our identity assured (‘in Christ’), with the household of God gathered, with the rival to God beaten (‘the ruler of the kingdom of the air’), nothing would please God’s enemies more than to see God’s household splinter. Like a headless snake who thrashes around, and whose severed head can still bite, the devil is attacking. And God has given us the resources to stand firm as his assured household, with our identity secure against him. So, walk fearlessly by standing firm!


There are seven tools mentioned here: belt, armour, sandals, shield, helmet, sword, and prayer. In the next seven days, read the reference to each and write down one way you will use that tool on that today.


Father, thank you that you provide all I need, all we need, to stand firm against anything this world and the devil might throw at us. Grant us the confidence we need in the tools you have already provided, and the gumption to use them. Amen.

Day 13 of Ephesians

Ephesians 5:22-33

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.[a] 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Ephesians 6:1-9

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Bondservants and Masters

Bondservants,[a] obey your earthly masters[b] with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free. Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master[c] and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.

Whilst this section is often found controversial (and I can understand why!), I think this much is clear; God’s household is to live in its individual households based on the family traits of love and submission. This is a very helpful realisation; each of the households of the household of God must be a place where God’s love is represented faithfully. 

Moreover, in each household the design is set by God and who we are rather than anything else. In a context of ‘the days are evil’ (5:16), we need this reminder of where our design template comes from. Here is a spur to do what you are doing now: reading God’s word, meditating and praying. In our marriages, in our relationships as families, in our workplaces, our identity in Jesus is to be displayed by our reliance on his design of love and submission (v5:21).


Pick one of those three relationships described in the passage and write down three ways in which mutual love and submission could be displayed by you.


Father, thank you that you speak clearly to your household. Please grow in me a delight in the way you love us so that this same love is seen in my household. Amen. 

Day 12 of Ephesians

15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Ephesians 5:15-21

Walking is not a simple action, although it looks simple. Living as God’s household is not a simple action either; but when it works, it is wonderfully simple in its goodness. 

As Paul starts to round out his letter to the Ephesian Christians, he turns his attention to their households: the big one of God (5:15-21), and each of their individual ones (5:22-6:9). This is so important because of the times we live in, even the nitty-gritty of our everyday lives matters. We must not waste a moment. We must be wise, navigating the world as God designed it. 

Amongst God’s household as we gather, this means that we are ‘speaking’ God’s word to each other, ‘singing and making music’ to God, ‘thanking’ God for everything, and ‘serving’ each other constantly. That is not easy, is it? That is why Paul has made sure we know the resource God has given to us to make it work; he himself will live with his household to achieve this aim (v.18).


Take one of those ‘-ing’ words of verses 19-20, and spend some time writing down what that might look like for you as you spend time with God’s household this week.


Father, you have welcomed us into your household. And the days we live in are limited, often broken and we desperately need wisdom. Thank you that you dwell with us by your Spirit to make your people a wise household. Amen.

Day 11 of Ephesians

 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Awake, O sleeper,
    and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:6-14

There must have been an immense amount of pressure in Ephesus to tiptoe through life as a Christian. After all, this new identity ‘in Christ’ would have clashed with the temple of Diana on the hill, the Roman Emperor cult that flourished, and even the Jewish synagogue down the road. 

God doesn’t call his mob to walk with a small footprint – we are to ‘walk as children of light’ (v.8). Light is hard to hide (v.9). Light exposes (v.11). Light is obviously NOT darkness (v.11). In fact, light makes clear (v.13). And so, Paul states clearly that God’s mob are not sleepwalkers through life; they leave a big footprint wherever they go, pointing to where their identity lies.


What is the difference between ‘walking’ as children of light or being obnoxious? What is the point of the walk of the children of light?


Father, you have taken me from darkness into light, the light of forgiveness, grace, goodness and truth. This is all your work, from love, in Christ. Please help me to walk as a child of light, reveling in the goodness of the truth of grace, and graciously exposing darkness. Amen. 

Day 10 of Ephesians

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

Ephesians 5:1-5

The language of ‘household’ is consistent through this letter to the Ephesian Christians (e.g. 1:10; 2:20; 3:2). Their identity is no longer ‘Jew’ or ‘Gentile’, but ‘in Christ in God’s household.’ They have been brought into God’s family. As such they (and we) are in God’s family. And, like all families, we are expected to bear the family likeness; we are to look like our Father God, as his children (vs.1). In fact, we are commanded to bear this family likeness! 

And the likeness is clear; it is the family trait of ‘love,’ a love that is committed to self-sacrifice, mercy, grace and generosity for the good of someone who does not deserve it (cf. Eph.2:1-10). This love is unlike all false loves: the love of money, the love of sexual immorality, the love of coarse language. This love is driven by thankfulness for what God has done. This love is the family likeness that God’s mob walk in.


Why, when God’s love is so significant in our lives, do you think we chase after counterfeit and perverted loves? How might we walk better in thankfulness for that love?


Father, thank you that your love for me is undeniable, historically established and permanent in its goodness. Please enable me to walk in the likeness of your character, avoiding perverted love and reveling in thankfulness. Amen.

Ephesians Day 9

Ephesians 4:17-32
17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self,[a] which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Have you ever tried to change your walk permanently? It is so hard to do, because how we walk is part of who we are. When our identity changes, our walk must change, too. You can see this when the leader of a political party becomes the Prime Minister; who they are changes, and so must the way they live life. The problem is that, under all sorts of pressure, we can often find it easier just to walk the old way. 

Paul states that this must NOT be the case (verse 17), this way of walking is no longer appropriate for the new identity God has given his people. It is the way of ‘futility’, ‘darkness’, and ‘exclusion’ (vs.17-19). They are now ‘in Christ’ in God’s mob and their walk must show this. Their lives must show how their old self is gone (vs.22), their minds are changed (vs.23), and their new identity is clear (vs.24). And this new walk is clear; just look at how simple the eleven commands are in verses 25-32.


Look through the eleven commands in verses 25-32. Pick one that is particularly relevant to you. Using the lens of verses 22-24, unpack what this new walk might look like. What was the old way? How has God’s Word renewed your mind in this area? What is the new way of walking?


Dear Father, you have brought me into your household, into community with you and the rest of your people. Please change my walk, creating in me new habits that reflect the new identity you gave me ‘in Jesus.’ Please help me to express this new walk within this new community. Amen.

Ephesians Day 8

Ephesians 4:1-16

4 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says,

“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
    and he gave gifts to men.”[a]

(In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth?[b] 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[c] and teachers,[d] 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,[e] to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Each of us has a unique walk. Our walk reveals a lot about who we are: think of a shearer, a fencer, a stockman. It is no mistake when Paul starts to apply our identity as God’s people in practical terms, that he chooses the word ‘walk’ (4:1; 4:17; 5:2; 5:8; 5:15). In fact, the whole focus of Ephesians 4-6 is to apply to our daily walk all that we are – our identity – as we have learned in Ephesians 1-3. 

The walking language is everywhere. In fact, verse 1 could really be the title for these three chapters; ‘walk worthy of who you are’. This walk is to be united (vs.1-6) and growing (vs.7-16). The unity is unmistakable; it is the unity of a people who have the same residence ‘in Christ’. The growing is aided by leadership that teaches and people who serve. Put simply, we are to walk as a united, growing household.


We are often not conscious of how we walk. This day, try to be self-conscious and self-reflective about your walk; how is it displaying your unique identity as one of God’s mob?


Dear Father, as Jesus ascended he laid behind him the things we need to be united and growing as your people. Please show us these truths and gifts, applying them to us for the benefit of all your people. Please change our walk in this way. Amen.