Bible Pathways 12/03/2001
Read Ephesians 1 -- 3
The God who created mankind has chosen us to be His children. In fact, He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. . . . In whom we have redemption through His blood, for the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:4). No person or power can cheat us out of His best for our lives as we daily read His Word, with a desire to do His will, and then pray and depend upon the Holy Spirit to guide our lives.
Often, however, years pass before we realize the fulfillment of His will for our lives. But let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (don't give up) (Galatians 6:9).
Our privileges as Christians reach far beyond those of the Old Testament believer. Before Christ came to earth, only the high priest was allowed to enter into the presence of God in the Holy of Holies once a year to offer the blood sacrifice and prayer on behalf of the worshipers. Gentiles did not have a covenant relationship with God: At that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers (excluded) from the covenants of promise (Ephesians 2:12). In 70 A.D., God used the Roman general Titus to destroy the Temple, the altar of sacrifice, and the functions of the high priest. These merely foreshadowed the Messiah, who became the only Means through which any worshiper may be accepted.
Jews and Gentiles alike who have received Christ as Savior and Lord have a new covenant relationship with God: Through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father (2:18).
Only through Jesus Christ is it possible to approach the One True God, in prayer at any time, day or night: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by our faith in Him (3:12). Through our personal relationship with the Lord, we know the love of Christ, which surpasses human understanding (3:19), and we are privileged to know God as our Father.
The Lord reminds us why the once-powerful, ten-tribe Northern Kingdom of Israel was defeated: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge . . . seeing you have forgotten the Law of your God (Hosea 4:6). This is the same reason so many Christians today miss God's best. They assume they are too busy to read the Word of God.
Is it any surprise that Satan would have us ignorant of the power of God's Word to make our prayers effective. Because of our love for Him, the true believer looks forward to a daily time of prayer (talking to God) and reading His Word (God talking to us). That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge (Ephesians 3:17-19).
For Ephesians 1:22: see Psalms 8:6. Ephesians 2:17: see Isaiah 57:19.
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Memory Verse for the Week: Galatians 5:21