Volume 6 Issue 5 | May 2023

Honoring God's Indispensable Gift

By Barrett Duke at baptistpress.com

"God couldn't be everywhere, so He made mothers." While not theologically accurate, this old Jewish saying beautifully describes the significant role mothers have in our lives.

Motherhood is one of God's greatest gifts to humanity. A loving, committed mother is an indispensable person in our development. Mothers instill powerful social and nurturing characteristics in each generation. It is principally from their mothers that children learn the virtues of sacrifice, sharing, valuing others, compassion, community and a host of other interpersonal values and skills that enable humans to live together in peace.

Biologically, women are designed for self-sacrifice. When pregnant, a woman's body focuses its primary attention to nurturing that new, growing life developing within her. Her body will automatically prioritize the needs of her unborn baby. And this inherent gift for self-sacrifice isn't only biological. After her children are born, a mother will continue to sacrifice herself for the needs of her children. She will do whatever she can to assure her children have what they need.

Mothers are also designed by God to nurture. There is just no greater nurturing power on the planet than a mother. When the apostle Paul was describing his love for the church at Thessalonica, he used the metaphor of a mother's love to describe how deeply he cared for the Thessalonians. He reminded them that he was like a "gentle" mother who "tenderly cares for her own children" (1 Thessalonians 2:7). When God described His love for Israel, He did so with a motherhood metaphor. He told Israel that He would comfort them like a mother comforts her children (Isaiah 66:13).

I am reminded of the closing chapters of the great Biblical book of wisdom, the book of Proverbs. The book that has helped billions of people through millennia live better lives closes with a great testimonial tribute to women. That's right; the last words of the book of Proverbs don't extend praise to God or exalt manhood. They speak of the beautiful, indispensable role that women play in God's creation. After 30 chapters of directions on living the good, godly, noble life, the great book of Proverbs closes with these words to the godly woman: “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’ Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate” (Proverbs 31:28-31).

This Mother's Day, take the time to say thanks to your mother in a special way. No, she isn't perfect, and no, she didn't do everything right, but she gave you life. And if she is like most mothers, she sacrificed for you and did what she could to prepare you to be a loving, caring person. To mothers, I say thank you for all you have done to prepare your children to be the good men and women of the next generation. Our world cannot make it without you. Thanks for all you do. Happy Mother's Day!

3 Important Things the Bible Says About Education

by Jasmine Williams at collegeexpress.com

As Christians, God should be at the center of our lives, meaning we should consider Him in everything we do. Let’s see what the Bible says about furthering your education.

1. It’s more valuable than material things

Proverbs 16:16 says “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!” Nice and expensive items can be enjoyable, but there are very few things in life that can never be taken away, will never go out of style, and that truly make you a better person. An education is one of those things. Yes, we all go to school with the intention of getting great jobs and starting successful careers, but earning a degree offers much more than financial benefits. It enriches your mind and opens the door to new people, places, and ways of thinking. Don’t focus so heavily on the monetary perks of obtaining a degree that you overlook the most significant ones.

2. Study hard and prove yourself

2 Timothy 2:15 tells us that we should study and show God that we understand truth. This verse refers to knowing God’s word and being able to point out false teachings and philosophies, but it applies to education as well. As a student, you should indulge yourself in your work and be the best you can be. Take your classes seriously by preparing for them and staying a step ahead in your work. Four years can go by pretty quickly, and when it’s all over, you want to look back knowing that you gave it your all.

3. Always put God first

Matthew 6:33 says “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” As important as education is, it should never come before your relationship with God. When we put Him in front of all of our concerns and ahead of everything we do, we can trust that He’ll look out for the other things. By now you’ve realized that education requires hard work and more of your time. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, but always take time to talk to God. Encourage yourself with prayer and reading the Bible. Life is full of times that challenge us and demand us to be at our best. Never forget that God is near, He’s willing to listen, and He’s able to help.

Congratulations to all of our graduates! Remember that if you are graduating from preschool, kindergarten, eighth grade, high school, or college, we want you to complete the Graduation Information Form at ephesus-sda.com/forms by May 15 to be recognized this year. If you have questions, you can contact Darlene Bell at education@ephesus-sda.com.

What Is the Value of Prayer Meeting?

From gotquestions.org

From the very beginning of the church, Christians have gathered to pray (Acts 4:24; 12:5; 21:5). Prayer meetings are valuable for the church as a whole and for the individuals who participate.

Through our prayers, especially with one another, we are demonstrating and validating the faith we have in Jesus. 

Andrew Murray, the great Christian minister and prolific writer, said, “Prayer depends chiefly, almost entirely, on who we think we are praying to.” It is through the discipline of prayer with one another that we develop a growing intimacy with God and create a spiritual bond with one another. This is one of the most valuable aspects of praying with one another.

Another valuable benefit of prayer meetings is the confession of our sins to one another. Prayer meetings give us opportunity to obey the command to “confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (James 5:16). Here, James does not necessarily speak of physical healing, but rather of spiritual restoration (Hebrews 12:12-13). He also refers to the forgiveness of God, which enables the believer to become spiritually whole again. James knew that the one who becomes separated from the flock is most susceptible to the dangers of sin. God wants His people to encourage and support one another in loving fellowship, mutual honesty, and confession as we pray for and with each other. Such close fellowship helps provide spiritual strength to experience victory over sin.

An additional great value of prayer meetings is that believers encourage one another to endure. All of us face obstacles, but by sharing and praying together as Christians, we often help others avoid “bottoming out” in their spiritual lives. The value of corporate prayer lies in its power to unify hearts. Praying before God on behalf of our brothers and sisters has the effect of linking one another spiritually. As we “carry each other’s burdens,” we “fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). Where there is prayer, there is unity, which Jesus prayed so fervently for His followers to have (John 17:23).

More than anything else, prayer meetings bring about change. Praying with one another, believers can witness God produce miracles and change hearts.

A prayer meeting is a time of real value as believers seek a deep intimacy and quiet communion with God at His throne. It is a time of unity with fellow believers in the presence of the Lord. It is a time to care for those around us as we share their burdens. It is a time when God manifests His never-ending love and desire to communicate with those who love Him.

See Upcoming Events below for the locations of upcoming prayer meetings.

4 Edwin Gyamfi, Keath Luke 5 Frandie Francique, Antony Jenkins 6 Joshua Oyortey 7 Leah Cox 8 Themba Makapela Sr. 9 Amber Burbridge, Babette Robinson 12 Temi Makanjuola, Nancy Moorer 13 J.P. IV Monk 14 Alazsa Blackford, Eddie Scott 15 Benia Jennings 17 Carmen Stone 22 Clark Andrews, Tyrone Turner 23 Lenwood Shaver 24 Christina Golden, Ayana James 25 Loretta Brown 26 Theresa Frederick, Jerrud Smith 27 Robyn Clapp, Shaon Martineau 28 Ayoola Ajaiyeoba, Tirzah Washington 29 Linda Chiwandamira

Did we miss your May birthday or anniversary? Let us know by emailing announce@ephesus-sda.com.

5/3 Impact Columbus Prayer Meeting, Ephesus

5/8 Virtual Coding Camp Begins

5/10 Impact Columbus Prayer Meeting, Ephesus

5/17 Impact Columbus Prayer Meeting, All Nations

5/20 Young Adult Game Night, 6826 Bay Forest Drive, Westerville

5/20 Deadline for Family Life Survey

5/21 Ladies Prayer High Tea, Fellowship Hall

5/21 Church Business Meeting - NEW DATE!

5/24 Evangelism Rally with Pastor Debleaire Snell, Ephesus

5/31 Impact Columbus Prayer Meeting, All Nations

6/5 PJELC Summer Camp Begins

Ephesus Communications Department
Ephesus Seventh-day Adventist Church
3650 Sunbury Road Columbus, Ohio 43219
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