Seniors of faith residing at the Park Regency assisted living community in Loveland might know some of the book of Ephesians by heart. Many people memorize verses from this book throughout the years, even if they didn't mean to do so. For example, the sixth chapter of this book is the armor of God chapter, where you get the verses about putting on the helmet of salvation and the shoes of the gospel and using the sword of the Spirit.
But, as with many books of the Bible, Ephesians contains many verses that are sometimes overlooked for the more popular or controversial ones (Ephesians is also the book that says a wife should submit to her husband). Here are some of the overlooked messages of Ephesians that seniors in an assisted living community might find comforting or illuminating.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us.
It's a common theme in the New Testament, but a welcome message when we run across it. This verse reminds us that it's not our own works that win us the glory — which is a good thing, because most seniors have lived long enough to know that everyone falls short, usually more than once.
But God still lavishes us with the riches of his love through the blood of Christ — and those gifts and that redemption is there for anyone willing to accept it and believe in Jesus.
For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
But, just because it's not our works that save us doesn't mean we aren't meant to do any works at all. Paul tells us that we're created in the image of Christ and we're supposed to try to be like Jesus. No, we won't be perfect. But we should try daily, and that often means serving others.
This service doesn't have to be large in scale. Many seniors who have retired to an assisted living community might have spent their lives serving others as part of a career, church volunteer work or just family life. Within an assisted living environment, you can continue to serve those around you simply by being willing to listen, pray for others or offer a smile or comfort in a time of need.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.
The wisdom of age often allows seniors to cut through the fake news of the world and understand what's really at the heart of a matter. And Paul says this is also the mark of a mature Christian. When you rely on the Spirit to guide you, you're less likely to fall prey to deceit and false teaching, especially of the spiritual kind.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Paul has a lot to say about how people of faith should conduct their lives, and these verses sum up a lot of it. It's a more elaborate version of "What would Jesus do?" Jesus wouldn't malign others or fight out of untethered rage or bitterness, for example.
For people of any age, these verses are easier said than done. It's easy to get caught up in bitterness or bottle up annoyances until they become anger. And when you're living in a community with many other people, that can be even more true.
Seniors can follow the message of this verse in a number of ways, including being willing to talk about small issues with love and kindness before they become large issues. And if you feel stuck in feelings of anger or bitterness, the staff at Park Regency Loveland is always available to lend an ear or provide some insight or assistance as appropriate.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people.
Have you ever considered the armor of God verses and wondered what you're supposed to do once you're suited up in that spiritual armor? Ephesians 6:18 is the verse that follows directly after the armor of God section, and it tells you what action to take: Pray. There's a reason why the term "prayer warriors" was coined.
Seniors who want to stand up in their faith or intercede for others can arm themselves spiritually and pray at any time, making this one of the most powerful actions you can take from your assisted living community.