Lift Your Eyes – Forget the Channel

Lift Your Eyes – Forget the Channel

Lift Your Eyes is a series of reflections covering every sentence in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. In each reflection, I take a short portion from the letter, provide a translation, describe what it’s saying, and reflect on what it means for our lives and our relationships with others. As you read Ephesians, it is my prayer that Paul’s letter will lift your eyes, raise your sights, and help you to stand. The reflections will be published twice a week starting 25 January 2019 and finishing in September 2019.

Episodes

January 31, 2019 16 min

God sees believers in Jesus as holy. This fact is amazing, especially when you grasp the history of the gospel going out from Israel to the nations.

From Forget the Channel by Lionel Windsor

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Many people believe in ‘God’. But the word ‘God’ means different things to different people. What does the Bible say about God: who he is and what he’s like?

From Forget the Channel by Lionel Windsor

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February 7, 2019 17 min

Ephesians starts with an explosion of praise for the ‘blessings’ God has given to us. But they’re different from the kind of blessings we often talk about.

From Forget the Channel by Lionel Windsor

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The Bible gives us a vision for living life that’s the exact opposite of the narcissistic attitude. This is highly confronting, and profoundly comforting.

From Forget the Channel by Lionel Windsor

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When it comes to God, we can’t redeem ourselves. Redemption is something that God has to do—and has done—for us. This is why it’s such a wonderful thing.

From Forget the Channel by Lionel Windsor

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February 18, 2019 15 min

The God of the universe has a plan to sum up all things in Christ. He’s revealed that plan to us, and is putting it into effect through the gospel.

From Forget the Channel by Lionel Windsor

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Although the Bible is always relevant to us, not every sentence is directly about us. When we realise this, we can rejoice in God’s blessings even more.

From Forget the Channel by Lionel Windsor

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What is God’s mission? What means is God using to bring about his purposes in Christ? What does that mean for our own mission as Christians and churches?

From Forget the Channel by Lionel Windsor

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The Stanford Marshmallow Experiments are a favourite illustration of motivational speakers. The lesson is this: If you can learn how to delay gratification early in life, you’ll do better in later life. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? But unfortunately, like many popular conclusions drawn from famous psychological experiments, it doesn’t stand up to closer scrutiny. The more up-to-date study demonstrates something far more mundane: ...

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“A Muslim, a Jew and an Anglican Minister walk into a classroom”. This was the advertising blurb for a local Community College seminar I participated in a few years ago. I joined a Muslim educator and a Jewish academic (who is also a friend of mine) to give a series of presentations on different aspects of our three religions to interested people from the community. When we came to the topic of ‘prayer’, I was fascinated to hear wh...

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The full name of the college I teach at is “Moore Theological College”. That word “Theological” says something important about who we are. It reminds us about what we're on about. Yes, the Bible is at the centre of everything we do. Yes, we seek to train people for ministry. Yes, we're driven by the worldwide mission of Jesus Christ. Yes, we're committed to learning together, and having our characters formed in loving C...

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What do we do when we feel weak in the face of the powers that be? One response might be just to shut down, close ranks and find a bitter satisfaction in our identity as victims. Another response might be to try to fight as hard as we can to exert our power and dominance over others, seeking to turn the tables so that we become the conquerors instead of the oppressors. Both of these responses involve seeking strength and power in o...

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Here in Ephesians 1:22–23, for the first time in his letter, the apostle Paul uses the word “church”. He’s taken quite some time to get to this point. That might make you think that the church isn’t very important to Paul. But actually, the reverse is true. This is a climactic statement. So far in Ephesians, Paul has poured out his praise to God for his blessings and plans and purposes. He has told his readers how he is praying for...

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I hadn’t visited the dentist for years. Then I felt a tiny amount of pain in one of my teeth. But I ignored it. I didn’t want to bother with a dentist. Anyway, I had my own solution: I’d always brushed my teeth quite thoroughly, and was proud of it. So I just kept brushing. But after a while, the pain came back. This time, it was worse. So I finally visited the dentist. That was painful, too. The root had become so infected that I ...

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March 21, 2019 15 min

Judgmentalism. It’s a bigger problem than we think. Judgmentalism is certainly a danger for God’s people. That’s because God’s people have God’s word. God’s word helps God’s people to see how wonderful God is, and how terrible humanity is in comparison. But Ephesians 2:3 contains two highly significant, emphatic words: “we too”. We too, says Paul, were the offenders. We, too, were the disobedient. These words aren’t talking about a...

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March 25, 2019 12 min

“God loves you”: if I say just those three words, you may not hear what I want you to hear. This is because of a communication problem that arises whenever Christians try to talk about biblical concept of God’s “love”. When we say “love” we mean one thing—something wonderful and life-changing. But the word means quite different things to many English speakers. For example, the word “love” often means “strong desire”. So if I say “G...

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As I write this, New Zealand is shocked and grieving. My own nation Australia is shocked and grieving too, along with them. But news stories about terror attacks and shootings in our world are far too common, aren’t they? And whenever we hear of them, they bring to mind all sorts of questions. One of them is the question of security. As we grieve for the victims, we also think a little about ourselves. We wonder whether some day we...

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A joke letter from an Australian church offering its financial donors priority access to heaven raises questions for all of us. Do our good deeds give us access to heaven? Or are our good deeds irrelevant? Where do our good deeds fit when it comes to salvation?

From Forget the Channel by Lionel Windsor

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Despite our best desires and efforts, we humans are not very good at living up close with others. This has become devastatingly obvious in the recent Christchurch shootings. Yet in his letter to the Ephesians, Paul talks about a conflict that really was healed. This passage is about a real closeness that all believers in Christ must remember: a closeness that is fundamental to our identity.

From Forget the Channel by Lionel Windsor

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In this broken and rebellious world, our healthy boundaries often become hostile walls. But the cross of Christ breaks down walls and brings reconciliation.

From Forget the Channel by Lionel Windsor

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