Read Ephesians 1 -- 3
In Today's Reading:
Spiritual blessings in Christ; prayers of Paul; unity of believers; Paul's mission to the Gentiles
The God who created all mankind has chosen us to be His children. In fact, He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation (beginning) of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him. . . . In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:4,7). No person or power can cheat us out of the very best that God has planned for our lives. As we daily read and study His Word with a desire to do His will, we can then pray and depend upon the Holy Spirit to guide our lives for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (2:10).
Before Christ came to earth, only the Jews had a Covenant relationship with God. Paul explained to the Ephesians: At that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the Covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world (2:12). Jews and Gentiles alike who receive Christ as Savior and Lord now have a Covenant relationship with God through the New Testament sealed with Christ's blood (Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; I Corinthians 11:25). Through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father (Ephesians 2:18).
In A.D. 70, God used the Roman general Titus to destroy the Temple, the Brazen Altar of Sacrifice, and the functions of the high priest. These merely foreshadowed the Messiah Jesus who is the only Means through which anyone can approach the One True Holy God to worship Him. Now we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him (3:12).
Is it any surprise that Satan will deceptively seek to keep us too busy, even doing "good" things, in his effort to keep us from reading God's Word which will make our prayers effective? Because of our love for the Lord, the true believer looks forward to a daily dialog of prayer (talking to God) and reading His Word (God talking to us).
I pray that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to . . . know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God (Ephesians 3:17-19).
For Ephesians 1:22: See Psalm 8:6. Ephesians 2:17: See Isaiah 57:19.
1:8 prudence =b> spiritual insight; 1:10 dispensation =b> Divine Order; 1:14 earnest =b> promise; 2:1 quickened =b> made alive; 2:13 sometimes =b> formerly (not "occasionally"); 3:3 mystery =b> hidden purpose of God; 3:13 faint not =b> don't give up.
Pray for The Arabic International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts for the month of December sponsored by Mary Hoffmeyer & M/M Ronald D. Strong • Staff: Dr. John A. Hash • Government Officials: Rep. Stephanie Herseth (SD), Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX), and Rep. Ralph Regula (OH) • Country: Spain (39.6 million) in southwestern Europe • Major languages: Castilian Spanish and Catalan • Limited religious freedom • 85% Roman Catholicism; 1% Islam; .5% Protestant; .5% Jehovah's Witness; 13% Other (Mormon, Jewish, Secular Humanist) • Prayer Suggestion: What a comfort to know that we depend upon His strength (Psalm 71:16).
Memory Verse for the Week: Hebrews 12:14