Hi Friend! Welcome to episode 34 of the Tending Your Soul podcast! I’m Mariel and I’m glad you are joining me as we lean in to tend to the soil of our souls together today.
The heat of summer still lingers like a wet wool blanket over the garden in these last weeks of summer. As the sun sinks on the horizon, carrying the humidity with it, the whispers of autumn faintly hint at a new season ahead. Very faintly in my part of the world!
After summer’s chaos, do you yearn for the rhythms of a new season? As much as I love summer, I do enjoy a fresh start of getting back to routines. For nearly 20 years I homeschooled my children and boy, did those new books and sharpened pencils fill my tank come September!
As we open our Bibles again today to the book of Ephesians, we come to the next verses in our series that are so perfect to pray over ourselves and our loved ones when going into a new season.
Paul prayed this for the young Ephesian church, and we can put in the name of our kids as they head off to a new school year, we can pray it over ourselves and our spouses and friends as we all shift into a new season.
So let’s get into these beautiful verses in Ephesians 1: 15-18.
When we use the TEND method, we begin with T for take time to pray to turn our hearts towards the One who cultivates our soul by His life-giving Word.
Lord, would you, as these verses before us say, “open the eyes of our hearts” as we lean into your Word for a few moments? Refresh us by the Word and tend to what needs tending in each one of our souls today. Amen.
Now let’s move to the E in TEND as we examine the scripture.
It says, “For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of the glorious inheritance in the saints.”
When we examine the Scripture, we slow down to write the verses and pay attention to the pronouns, verb tenses and details therein. Before we began TENDING through Ephesians, we took time to read through the book, this helps us know to whom each pronoun is referring in these verses.
This is Paul, the missionary apostle, writing from prison to the Ephesian church, whom he dearly loves. And he is telling them what he is praying for them.
And they are beautiful words, aren’t they?
From examining the scripture, we move to N which is for noticing the lessons. We begin asking what is this teaching about God?
These verses tell us God is Lord and He is Father. We also see He is the source of wisdom and revelation. He is the one who does the calling, as we see in verse 18 and He has called us to a hope and the riches of an inheritance.
Don’t we need the reminder that we are called and invited to hope?
We can also look at these verses and ask if there is a sin to confess, a promise to claim, an action to do, a command to obey, or an example to follow.
I see an example for us as Paul points out the reputation of the Ephesians. We can follow the example of the Ephesian church which had faith in the Lord Jesus and love for all the saints, that’s all believers. These were faith-filled, loving people. And that was the reputation that preceded them!
From this we turn the lesson into a question we can respond to as we come to D in the TEND method. So the question might be HOW can I follow the example of the Ephesian believers today?
How can I walk in faith in Jesus, as Lord over me? Faith is believing that what God says is true, regardless of what we see. So today in the circumstances of my life, my marriage, my job….am I believing that God’s Word is true or am I anxious and fear-filled over what I see around me? How can I walk in faith?
In following the Ephesians example, how can I also love other believers well today?
Is there someone I can serve or encourage or pray for? Is there someone God has been pressing on my heart to love well? How can I act on this today?
For me, as I consider the example of these Ephesian believers, I consider my current life season, with young adult sons and really the worry that can creep in for me is the wonder of how my sons will navigate life, one son is making decisions about a college major and career options. That feels so big yet rather than get fearful over what I might see in the moment, I am going to pray these verses over my son by name and remind my heart that God’s Word is truth through journaling it out with the Lord.
What about for you today, friend? As you consider the Ephesians example of faith in Jesus as their Lord and Master, is there an area of your life, heart or mind that you are not turning over to God and walking by faith in Him as Lord over it?
I invite you to name that before God and turn it over to Him afresh today. He never tires of us drawing near with our weakness and neediness. It is literally what He came for!
Or is there someone you need to love well today? The Ephesians loved others so well that it was enough for Paul to have heard of it from where he was. Who can you love well today? How might you love them? Take a meal, send an encouraging text, pray for them? Talk to the Lord about it and commit to loving well who He brings to mind by the power of the Spirit in you.
Let’s ask the Father to enable us for the ways He has invited us to respond today.
Lord, thank you for the power of your word and the enabling of your spirit. Help each of us today to do what you have invited us to through your word. Help us glorify you by walking in faith even in hard circumstances, trusting you will be faithful. Empower us to love others well. People can be so complicated and delicate, help us remember the truth of Romans 5:5 that tells us because Your love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit we can love others well. In Jesus name. amen.
As we close, I want to remind you of the resource I have for you at marieldavenport.com/start.
It is a download created to guide you through the TEND method on your own, it includes tips to help you memorize God’s Word and 5 tools to cultivate a meaningful quiet time with the Lord. There is a link in the show notes, or you can visit marieldavenport.com/start and get it there. I hope it is a blessing to you, friend!
Until next time, keep tending your soul!