Conquering Ephesians – Week 5

Another week of reading of God’s incomparable love and divine grace – and I grow more and more in awe of Him!

And this conquest that we startedto pursue Him, to know Him, to engage with His Truth, to learn His heart, and to love Him more… keeps blazing deeper in my soul.

And is changing my life.

For it is here I see how God has brought us from such plight to such glorious privilege.

Oh, the beauty and the wonder.

Will you come pursue God deeper with me!?

Conquering Ephesians - week 5

I know the battle still rages, and we often continue to struggle to find the time and focus to become engrossed in these incredible Words. {Please remember – this isn’t a competition, and truly you just get to what you get to all sprinkled throughout the day if need be.}

And so I want to share what has probably been the most influential tool for me to really be able to pay attention, engage with, and get excited to learn from these live-breathing Words of God.

It’s marking up my Bible.

Filling the pages of God’s Word with colors and symbols and pictures and handwritten words.

At first I was a bit hesitant to mark up (all-be-it in a good way) this most precious Book. But now, I absolutely love how it…

    • Helps me pay attention to what I am reading.
    • Provides a way to be actively engaged with the Word.
    • Allows me to slow down and notice {many} things I hadn’t before.
    • Gets me into the Word, as I read the text over and over while marking it up.
    • Is beautiful. What a precious keepsake a Bible with loving marks and heart-felt words will be someday!
    • Doesn’t (and probably shouldn’t) have to look like everyone else’s. (Here’s the “creative” side of me coming out- smile.) I can come up with my own pattern of marking my Bible, and nobody can deem it “wrong”! Hooray! (Now, if you like to have ideas, here’s a great list of symbols that you can print off and/or use as a reference – I’ve looked at it many times.)
    • Is a great way to involve my kids as they come and go throughout my Bible reading (for they love to see the colors and pictures, and sometimes I’ll even be brave enough to let them help).

But if you’re a little anxious as I was, don’t worry, I’ve provided a print-out (right on this week’s study guide) that you can use if you prefer, or you can use your own journal writing, or any other print-out of Ephesians – whatever you’re comfortable with. :)

Bible markings

Here’s how marking up your Bible works…
This is a just glimpse into how I marked Ephesians 2:11-22. But remember, your markings may look completely different than mine, and coming up with your own system might be even better! (Just remember to use a notecard to note your symbols and marking methods for easy reference!)…

    • I began by praying for guidance!
    • Then I read the entire section without marking anything.
    • I read through the passage again, marking all references to God and Christ with yellow. (Making sure not to forget to look for and mark He, His, Him, Lord, Jesus, Spirit, etc.) If you’d like, you can make different symbols for Father, Son, and Spirit.
    • I marked God’s actions with purple (for His royalty)- what He has done, what He is doing, and what He will do- all got marked.
    • Then, going through the passage once again, I marked all instructions and commands to the reader. I chose green to mark instructions/commands we should follow (like a green light reminding me to go and do them), and I chose red to mark what we should not do (like a red light reminder to stop doing those things). In this passage there wasn’t much to mark… but I did notice the word “remember.”
    • As I went through the passage the next time, I circled transitional words– such as… therefore, but, for, and, thus, consequently… This helped me to notice the links between the words before and after each transitional word.
    • Then I took time to mark other things that I wanted to note…
      • references to peace were marked with a bright blue circle with a cross inside
      • references to man/humanity/flesh were marked with a stick figure
      • references to the cross were marked with a red cross (as red reminds me of Christ’s blood)
      • reconciled was marked with two blue arrows pointing at each other as were joined and together
      • separate and excluded were marked with two black arrows pointing away from each other.
      • death was marked with black (and if sin were mentioned, it would have been marked with a black X)
      • references to the earth/world were marked with a blue/green ball
      • household, temple, building were all marked with house-like structures
      • and more…
    • I added some other illustrations. (Mostly trying to show how we were separated from God, but through His blood were brought near… and then how we are built together with Jesus as the cornerstone.)
    • I added different lists/notes explaining what I’m learning. (It was fascinating to write out the contrasts made between our old relationship and our new relationship in Christ! – It helped that I had “formerly” and “but now” already circled. 
    • I thanked God for all He was teaching me.

Are you ready to give it a try yourself??? I’m praying that God would work in our hearts, as we pursue Him deeper! And would love to hear what He’s doing in the depths of your soul!

Conquering Ephesians - Week 5

***Click on the documents above, or this link to get your own copy of Week 5’s study guide.***
(If you do have issues with printing… make sure you are printing in landscape orientation, and have the latest Adobe Reader update installed on your computer! You can also try switching browsers, and/or downloading it to your computer first and then printing it out. Please let me know if you’re still having issues, and I’d be happy to email you a copy. OurFamilyForHisGlory {at} gmail {dot} com ~Thanks!)

* * * * * * *

If you’re just joining us – we would love to have you conquer Ephesians with us! Fit yourself for battle and pick up your Sword and read through Ephesians
then come pursue God deeper with us!

And if you’re already feeling like you’re falling behind, keep battling for those minutes and join us where we’re at; I’m so glad you’re seeking to know God more deeply!!!

Please come share what you’re learning… it has been such a blessing for me to read each and every comment!! (And remember, for each time you comment, you will be entered to win a secret giveaway prize that a dear friend of mine is sponsoring – I’m still putting it all together, but I know you’re going to love it!)!

Last WeekConquering Ephesians 2:1-10 ~ Made Alive in Christ
Next Week Conquering Ephesians 3:1-13 ~ Divine Mystery Revealed


I look forward to hearing all that you learn as God takes us from plight to privilege!

***One other little note… If you don’t want to miss any posts fromOur Family for His Glory you can subscribe through email (each post will be sent to you right in your inbox… just check your spam/junk folder to validate your subscription) and/or through RSS feed (For those of you following on Google Reader, remember that Google Reader is going away tomorrow!! :( I’ve switched all my feeds to feedly and have been quite pleased). I’m so blessed by each one of you! ~Jessica


  1. Nicole Auld says:


    I am right here with you this week. What an amazing study! This week I am left in AWE of his LOVE, MERCY, and the GRACE for us. What an amazing God we serve??:) How it is so many things that keep us from living HIM out in our daily lives, and HE gave HIS SON for a sinner like me. I am so grateful to be apart of HIS family, and that HE came to tear down the barriers. That is so amazing to me. He wants the best for us and have the best interest for us in HIS mind and HIS heart. Thank you again friend for putting it all together. I am a little overwhelmed with trying to mark my Bible but if I do not get to mark it all–it has still be an amazing me. I have been using the SOAP method as I read the passage each day. I take maybe 3-4 verses/day write them out, give an observation, an application, and pray over what I have learn. I love the questions and the contrast you have in the study.

    May I suggest one thing–if and only if you have time, and the energy if you could make a symbol bookmark for marking your Bible for easy reference. If you do not get around to it, don’t worry yourself you have small one to look after, a household to look after, and plus you have put together this study.

    Last week showing the children grace was so amazing, as they ate homemade cinnamon buns after attempting to reach to the other side of the yard.

    In England,
    Nicole Auld

    • Nicole, as always, I’m so blessed by your words! You have a beautiful way of encouraging my heart. And those homemade cinnamon buns sound SO yummy. :)
      As for making a symbol bookmark- I’ll see what I can do. I have it all saved, so I don’t think it would be too time consuming… but at the same time I’m a bit hesitant, as I want everyone to not be tied down to the way(s) that I’ve chosen to mark my Bible. My husband marks in his Bible in a completely different way and it’s just as effective – probably more so for him, and since we’ve both kind of made up our own “systems” it flows more naturally. So, please don’t feel tied down to the colors and symbols and markings I’ve chosen. And you certainly don’t have to mark everything… I tend to decide on a whim what to mark things with (it may or may not be the same throughout even the same chapter in my Bible) and I also have a tendency to get carried away, as I like the color. :) If I were you, I would just start with one or two things to mark, and leave it at that for now (in this section “peace” is mentioned a number of times). If you find this aids you in your study, then do more marking, and if not- just keep doing what you’re doing. :) I’m so glad the SOAP method is working for you. I’ve used that a number of times, and have always appreciated it.
      Many blessings!

  2. Danielle says:

    Thank you so much for your time in preparing this study for us. I often find myself struggling to make the time to spend doing this and have been so blessed, but know that they time your sacrificed was much greater. Thank you for blessing me.
    This week, I am struck by God’s intense desire for unity, for bringing us together in Him. The things that divide, that seek to pull us apart are all man-made, sin, evil, worldly, etc. God’s desire is for oneness, us with Him, and us together as the church. Just something I’m continuing to think about and notice. Praying for His desire for unity to fill my heart, to fill my children’s hearts, and to fill the Church’s heart.
    I’m thanking Him that those who once were far away have been brought near b/c of His blood.
    Blessings to you and your sweet family Jessica.

    • Oh Danielle, I’m so, so encouraged by reading your words. It has taken a sacrifice of time, but it is so worth it. Honestly, by putting this together I am learning so. very. much! And I just love having others along with me as we seek Christ together!
      I too have been so struck by the intense desire for unity. What a wonderful thing to pray for our family and for the Church.
      Much love,

  3. Jen @ A Heart For My Home says:

    Hi Jessica. I am getting a bit of a late start this week due to a bad headache the past few days. Just wanted to make some comments though. First of all your kiddos are so precious. I love seeing all the great pics you take of them. Also, I love to mark up my bible too. Besides helping me with my studies, it just makes it personal to me to have all my markings, notes and colors within its pages. I bought me a new bible (a study bible) with my Christmas money and have started marking it up but my old worn out and marked in bible is still my favorite.

    • Oh Jen, I hope you’re feeling better! And I’m so blessed to hear of your marked up Bible(s). :) It’s hard to switch to a new one, but so fun to fill the pages with color and notes.
      Have a blessed day!

  4. I learned from a commentary b/c I couldn’t figure it out myself that in vs 15 where it says that he will create one new man out of the two it means the Gentiles and Jews will become one and be able to all find heavenly citizenship with Christ. Pretty cool!! I am lovin’ this study, even though I’m a bit behind. Hopefully I’ll be able to catch up a bit this week!!

    • Karen, I always love your insights! What a wonderful thing to know that now Gentiles can be part of the people of God too when we turn to Him!

  5. I use crayola twistables and highlight verses that speak to me and write them and what color on a piece of paper since highlighting sometimes makes it hard to read later even if you use light colors. I might use symbols too though.