Monday, September 25, 2023

Fellowship, Wisdom, and Power

Ephesians 1:15-23

Paul praised the church in Ephesus for their faith in Jesus, demonstrated by their love for all God’s people. The Book of Acts describes the early church as a close community: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:42-47.)”

We need that level of “one another” commitment today!

Paul goes from praise to praying for wisdom, knowledge, and revelation (Eph 1:17-18.) Knowing God, allows us to stand up in this fallen world. A world that celebrates sin. A world that mocks God's Word.

But, it’s not enough just to know the facts about God. Wisdom is based on how we use facts. We must, therefore, continually seek out Godly wisdom.

To this end, Paul prays that God open the eyes of our hearts (Eph 1:18) so we can see ourselves in the light of our special relationship to Him. In doing so we will understand the “incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe Him (Eph 1:19-20.)”

This is no ordinary power. It is the same power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in heaven. It is so powerful that the grave cannot hold it. It is so powerful that death cannot end it. It is so powerful that time cannot diminish it.

We need to understand and tap into the power of God. His power is greater than our needs. His power is greater than our worries. His power is greater than our pain.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

You are blessed

Ephesians 1:3-14

There are many Christians today harboring feelings of inadequacy because they do not understand the blessings that they have in Christ. Some have either lost or never realized their identity in Christ. Instead, they see themselves as unworthy and ill-prepared to do God's work. This can create a Christian identity crisis that will stunt a believer’s spiritual growth.

Paul sets us straight. He writes, “Blessed be God the of Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing, in Christ.” (Eph1:3)

Every. Spiritual. Blessing. He goes on to tell us that we are chosen and adopted by God, thus, receiving all the benefits of being a family member (Eph 1:4-6.) The Apostle John assures us, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (Jn 1:12)

Why, then, are some believers living under the stress, strain, and burden of sin? Especially since we are redeemed and forgiven (Eph 1:7.) We have been delivered from a death sentence through Christ's blood. Jesus Christ came and paid the price for our salvation.

It gets better. Paul declares, “When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.” (Eph 1:13)

The Holy Spirit reminds us that we are God’s children, entitled to the abundant life Jesus promises (Jn 10:10.) If you feel unworthy of God's love, know that none of us are worthy. “For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.” (Rom 3:23)

At the same time remember that “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:8)

Furthermore, the Holy Spirit guarantees our inheritance (Eph 3:14.) We are promised an abundant life now and a grander future. The Bible promises, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has conceived the things God has prepared for those who love him.” (Is 64:4)

God the Father has blessed us "in the heavenly realms" and wants us to live according to that blessing. We are empowered, equipped, and enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit. Let's start living like we are blessed in Christ.