The First 15

Monday July 25, 2022

by Jan Davis

Today is Monday, July 25. This week our summer adventure takes us to Ephesians chapter five.

Opening Prayer

This is the day the Lord has made! I rejoice in God’s loving presence. I seek to receive whispers of his wisdom and follow the gems of his guidance.

Pause and Pray

Holy and loving Lord, I lay aside the burdens of the upcoming day, still the chaos of my mind and relinquish the cares of my heart. I empty myself of worldly concerns creating space to receive your indwelling presence. Come, Holy Spirit, live within me.

Scripture Reading

I come to the Lord and seek his counsel and instruction with the words of Psalm 32.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. Psalm 32:8-9

Pause and Pray

As we turn the page and begin the fifth chapter of Ephesians, Paul exhorts believers to be like God, follow the example of Christ and imitate him. Humans are made in God’s image and we become like him when we take off the “old self” and put on the “new self”. Christians strive after the holiness of heart and life that is offered through Jesus. We are called to be holy, for God is holy. We are set apart for God and only he can make us pure. Jesus calls his followers to be perfect, as our heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48). Perfect means growing in holiness, becoming complete and reaching maturity in the faith – this is the work of God’s Holy Spirit in us.

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2


God challenges me to love others, by first reminding me that I am dearly loved. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I am to imitate God and walk in the way of love. Jesus provides the example and patiently teaches me how to walk in my daily life. I emulate Christ, recalling how he so beautifully demonstrated his love for me. He emptied himself of divinity, gave himself up on the cross, suffered degradation, humiliation, injustice, and torture culminating in an excruciatingly painful death. Jesus gave himself up for me as an act of sacrificial love for the salvation of my eternal soul. I am called to give myself up for others in humble sacrifice, putting their needs before my own.

Ask: Where is a place in my life where I have the opportunity to perform an act of sacrificial love for someone else? What attitudes or barriers prevent me from offering myself fully?

Pause and Pray

Lord Jesus, you are my blessed Savior and constant friend. Thank you for the sacrificial love you have shown me and your willingness to suffer on the cross and give yourself up for the salvation of my soul. I long to follow your example and walk in the way of love. Give me a humble heart, eager to pour myself out and offer all I have for the good of your kingdom. I read the words from Ephesians again and listen for the message you have for me.

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2

Ask: What image, word or phrase stands out to me when I slowly read this passage? What is God trying to say to me through these words of scripture?

Pause and Pray

I consider how God wants to speak to me this morning through these sacred verses from the book of Ephesians. I pay attention to certain words and ruminate on their meaning for my life. Am I following God’s example? Am I walking in the way of love? Is my life a fragrant offering given to God? Perhaps God wants me to recognize the areas of my life where I am struggling to walk in the way of love. Maybe God wants to reveal the places where I am selfishly putting myself before others. Perhaps my pride or ego is preventing me from living in humility and obedience serving others in love.

Pause and Pray

Lord Jesus, I invite you to teach me how to walk in the way of love. Forgive me when I continually stumble and fall short of the way you want me to live – in humility, gentleness and peace. Come, call me forth and strengthen my pace so I may follow in your loving footsteps.

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1

I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. 2 John 1:5b-6

Closing Prayer

I leave this time of prayer to follow the example of Jesus and walk in the way of love.


The First 15

Sign up to receive an email notification whenever a new devotional is posted to The First 15.