Category Archives: Daily Spark

Ephesians – Fri – 22-08-05



Have you ever tried to describe the taste of something? I can usually describe something as salty, sweet, bitter or acidic. I might even say something tastes smoky. After that, I’m usually just comparing it to something known, saying things like “it tastes like chicken.”

Some people amaze me. They can distinguish the taste of different spices while I can only detect cinnamon. They roll their tongue, peer into the distance and say things like, “it has a hint of rosemary.”

While I don’t need such a discerning sense of taste, I do need a discerning moral sense that can detect the hint or whiff of evil. That’s what Ephesians 5:3-7 says, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a man is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.” (NIV)

Our culture scoffs at biblical morals. But you and I must detect and avoid even the hint of immorality, impurity or greed.


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Ephesians – Thu – 22-08-04



I remember as a child watching my dad shave. I was fascinated by the process. White foam covered his face. He made funny faces as he scraped the lather off with a razor. At least I thought they were funny. He used the type of razor that was loaded by an injector. You plugged it into the handle and pushed a little slide. The new blade slid in pushing the old blade out.

One day I decided to shave myself. I squirted lather on my hand just like dad did. I stood on my tiptoes,  peered into the mirror and spread it all over my chin and cheeks. Thankfully, dad caught me before I sliced my face up trying to use the razor.

How did you imitate your parents as a child? Did you try on lipstick, hair spray or shaving cream? Did you try to walk in their shoes or put on their clothes? Children often imitate their parents.

Imitation is a good thing. We learn a lot by imitating others. In fact, Ephesians 5:1-2 says this, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (NIV)

Today, be sure to notice God. Imitate his love. Also imitate Jesus who followed God and loved us.


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Ephesians – Wed – 22-08-03



How would you describe public discourse these days? Would you say it included bitterness? I see some. Many people have been victims of injustice. Some of them cling to bitterness.

How about rage and anger? Does that sound like some protests you’ve seen lately? People screaming abuse. In mid-July, I drove through a small town in the middle of nowhere. As I drove by, half a dozen protesters waved vile signs in protest of a government action.

Certainly, you’d say public discourse involved brawling and slander, especially the exchanges between political opponents. They’re always attacking each other verbally. 

But would you say public discourse is filled with malice? Malice is a powerful word. Dictionary.com defines it as “the desire to inflict injury, harm, or suffering on another.” Ok, yes, we have some malice in public discourse today, don’t we? Some hurl words or objects trying to hurt others.

But this should not describe the attitudes of Jesus’ followers. In fact, Ephesians 4:31-32 says, “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.” (NIV)

Our standard for public discourse must not be the rage, slander and malice we see around us. We can’t throw it back when it’s hurled our way. Our attitude must be the compassion, kindness and forgiveness that Jesus has given to us.


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Ephesians – Tue – 22-08-02



What is the most difficult thing you have ever done? Are you thinking of some strenuous physical activity? Was it climbing a mountain, scaling a cliff face or running a marathon? Maybe you thought of something different. For some people, taking a grueling, multi-day exam, like the bar exam, may come to mind. For others, it may be agonizing weeks of physical therapy. Or maybe you thought of the emotional anguish of speaking to a loved one about a problem they refuse to recognize. The world is filled with difficult things. Most of us have done several.

However, you probably didn’t think about controlling your speech. That seems easy enough. We each decide what to say, right? But Ephesians 4:29-30 talks about something many people find hard to do. It reads, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (NIV)

Wow! If we applied that both to our speech and social media posts, it could change many things. Notice that we are only to speak what builds others up, what others need, what benefits them. So often we spout what we want, what benefits us, what makes us look good. Because we have been made new in Christ, our communication with others must change drastically. It must nourish their growth and encourage them.


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Ephesians – Mon – 22-08-01



In many sports, the secret to success is to control an object. In hockey, it’s the puck. In soccer,  American football and basketball, you want to control the ball. This can be difficult in basketball, because the ball is only dead if it goes out of bounds. When someone shoots the ball, everyone jockeys for position to grab it should the shot miss and the ball bounce off the goal. Coaches teach players how to get into position and keep their opponents away from the ball. The next time you watch a good basketball team, don’t just watch the shot arcing toward the rim. Watch the players work to block each other from a place near the goal.

Also keep this picture in mind when you hear Ephesians 4:26-27, ‘”In your anger do not sin” : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.’ (NIV) That word foothold can also be translated “room,” “place” or “opportunity.” In other words, we must be careful when angry to block out the devil. We can’t allow him room to attack us. It takes active effort, just like positioning for a rebound in basketball.

How do we do this? We make sure we don’t stay angry. We work to reconcile as quickly as we can. Because if we hold a grudge, we give the opponent room to beat us.


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Ephesians – Sun – 22-07-31



I’m sure you change out of dirty clothes, right? At least I hope you do. I have to change out of the clothes I wear to mow the yard. Even though I mow in the morning, the heat of summer leaves me drenched in sweat. Sometimes, I have to do yard work as well. I built a retaining wall earlier this summer. Besides sweat, dirt stained my jeans and crusted my socks.

So, when I finish the yard work, I take off the dirty, sweaty clothes, grab a shower and put on fresh clothes. Please note that I don’t take a shower and then put the same dirty clothes back on. My momma taught me better than that.

Paul uses the illustration of changing out of dirty clothes to describe the effort we must take to match our new life in Christ. In Ephesians 4:25 he says, “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” (NIV)

After Jesus has saved us, we must rid ourselves of any deceit and falsehood. We must speak truthfully to others. Otherwise, we do the spiritual equivalent of taking a shower and putting back on filthy clothes. That’s not good for us, or our neighbors. Nor does it reflect the reality of our new life in Christ.

Remember, put off falsehood and put on speaking the truth.


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Ephesians – Sat – 22-07-30



I had a teacher many years ago who said two important questions exist. The first is “what’s so?” In other words, what is the truth? What is the reality? The second questions is “So, what?” If you know the truth, what difference should it make in how you live? The bible answers both the question “what’s so?” and the question “so, what?” It tells us the truth and also tells us how to live because of the truth.

In the first three chapters of Ephesians, Paul explained the truth —  God saved us by grace through faith and formed us into one church. In Ephesians 4 Paul shifts to the second question. Verse 17 says, “So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.”(NIV) After describing the ignorance and hard hearted sensuality of the non-Christians, Paul said in verses 22-24, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (NIV)

Today, take off the way our culture thinks, and put on a new attitude. An attitude seeking to be holy and righteous, like God.


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Ephesians – Fri – 22-07-29



Would you say we live in a deeply divided nation? It seems that way, doesn’t it? People shout down those who disagree with them, whether on a college campus or in the street. No one wants to discuss or debate anymore. Many never seek to persuade others, just silence them. Others simple avoid the rancor and try to go about their daily lives.

The division is often between the political left and the right. But it also exists between those running the country and the country. The priorities of those in power do not overlap with the priorities of the common people. Many of the experts in power don’t even listen to the common people, vainly believing they know what’s best. Politicians motivate others to action through division and anger. The media pumps conflict and division, knowing it sells clicks and grabs attention.

And what about Christians? Do we approach each other with the same spirit of division that sours our culture? We’d bettered not. Listen to Ephesians 4:3-6, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit–just as you were called to one hope when you were called– one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (NIV)

Today, make every effort to preserve unity with other believers.


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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.


Ephesians – Thu – 22-07-28



Do you have a wild imagination? Do you think up outlandish things? Do you have vivid and colorful dreams? Many people do. I am often amazed at the imagination of artists and authors. They sometimes dream up entire worlds and stretch our imaginations by their work. Science fiction does that for me. It is one of my favorite genres.  I guess it started by watching Star Trek when I was a youngster. My brother and I would pretend to be the crew of the Enterprise. That love of sci-fi has lasted my life. In the last couple of decades, sci-fi novels displaced westerns and thrillers as my favorite books. Oh, I know science fiction is fiction. But traveling throughout the cosmos to explore sounds like tremendous fun.

Why all this talk about imagination? Because our imagination is mentioned in Ephesians 3:20-21, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (NIV)

You see, God is not limited. He exists without limitation of space and time. He is all powerful, eternal, present everywhere and holy. And, do you know another thing he is not limited by? Your imagination. You can’t measure how much more God can do than in your wildest imagination. And his power is at work in us.


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Ephesians – Wed – 22-07-27



During my years in business, I travelled to a few different countries. From the moment I landed, I knew I was a foreigner. I went through the passport control line marked for non-citizens. Road signs were different and sometimes they drove on the opposite side of the road. In some countries, English was spoken, but the local accents and idioms separated me. In other countries, hardly any English was spoken. I was also careful about walking on the streets alone, since I didn’t know which neighborhoods were safe and which were not. Although repeated trips to the same location made them more familiar, I still knew I was a foreigner. After a week or two, I was more than ready to go home.

The same is true in a spiritual sense. We are alienated from God until we follow Jesus.  Then the words of Ephesians 2:19-22 come true. It says, “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” (NIV)

Doesn’t it feel good to be at home in the Lord?


How to leave a review: https://www.sparkingfaith.com/rate-and-review/

Visit Elmer Fuller’s author website at: https://www.elmerfuller.com/

Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.