The First 15

Friday August 12, 2022

by Michelle Rebel

Today is Friday, August 12 and this week we are studying Paul’s letter to the Ephesians chapter six.

Opening Prayer

As I enter this time of prayer, I pause to be still and be with the God who loves me.

Pause and Pray

Holy Lord God, here I am to meet with you. Open my mind to understand your word. Teach me, guide me, and transform me today. Amen.

Scripture Reading

I praise my merciful God, the Master of all, with the words of Psalm 123.

I lift up my eyes to you,

to you who sit enthroned in heaven.

As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master,

as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress,

so our eyes look to the Lord our God,

till he shows us his mercy.

Psalm 123:1-2

Pause and Pray

Today we explore more of the new multinational, multicultural family of God made through Christ. The death and resurrection of Jesus radically changed everything, including the relationship between masters and slaves. Paul’s goal was to change the way masters viewed their slaves. Since the institution of slavery was still part of the Early Church, Paul addressed the heart of slave owners, appealing to their own position as a slave to their Heavenly Master. Imitating God’s treatment of his people would bring change to the way masters thought of and treated their slaves; something that over time had the power to change the entire practice within the Christian and wider community.

And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him. Ephesians 6:9


Though slavery is not part of my everyday life as it was for the Ephesians, I can still learn from how Christ flips everything upside down and gives me a new way of thinking about things. In positions I find myself, it’s much more comfortable for me to focus on my rights, not my responsibilities. When I’m self-focused, I lose sight that I’m surrounded by God’s children whom he loves deeply. What would it be like to look at my own actions and how they play a part in God’s larger narrative for the people he cares for? How would that change my outlook and attitude? The world places value on certain traits, positions, and talents, but God looks at his children and values them each as his precious own. “The things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.”

Ask: How can I go out of my way to serve someone unexpected today?

Pause and Pray

Heavenly Master, thank you for showing no favoritism among your own. I give you thanks and praise for the grace and mercy you continuously give me. I reread the words from Ephesians and seek your message for me today.

And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him. Ephesians 6:9

Ask: What word or phrase stands out to me in this passage?

I think about the word or phrase in light of my current circumstances. How is the Holy Spirit speaking to me today?

Pause and Pray

Lord God, guide me by your Spirit to see things the way you do. Show my your way today and always. Amen.

Blessed are the poor in spirit,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn,

for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,

for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful,

for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart,

for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,

for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:3-10

Closing Prayer

I leave this time of prayer ready to be part of God’s transforming work in the world.


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