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Bible Pathways - Dec. 3, 2010

Read Ephesians 1


Since we became believers in Jesus Christ our Savior (John 14:6) we are showered with the loving-kindness of God (Eph. 1:3-8). We all . . . were by nature the children of wrath. . . . But God . . . loved us . . . through Christ Jesus. (Eph. 2:3-4,7). We are strengthened by His Spirit (3:16).

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 (Eph. 1:4,7). No person can cheat us out of what God has planned for our lives. We alone are responsible to daily read and study His Word with a desire to do His will. We can confidently 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. But now in Christ Jesus ye . . . are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For He is our peace (2:12-14). Jews and Gentiles alike who receive Christ as their Savior and Lord now have a Covenant relationship with God through the New Testament sealed with Christ's blood (Matt. 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; I Cor. 11:25). Through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father (Eph. 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. All these merely foreshadowed Jesus, the Messiah, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). We . . . have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him (Eph. 3:12).

Is it any surprise that Satan will seek to keep us busy, even doing "good" things, in his effort to make our prayers ineffective by distracting us from reading and obeying the Word of God? Because of our love for the Lord, we should look 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 (Eph. 3:17-19).

Thought for Today:

God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward His Name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister (Heb. 6:10).

Cross References:

For Eph. 1:22: See Ps. 8:6. Eph. 2:17: See Is. 57:19.

Word Studies:

1:8 prudence spiritual insight, knowledge and holy love of the will of God; 1:10 dispensation of the fulness of times last period of the dealings of God with mankind on earth; 1:13 sealed proof of ownership that we belong to the Family of God; 1:14 earnest first installment of our inheritance; 2:1 quickened made alive; 2:13 sometimes formerly (not "occasionally"); 3:3 mystery surpose of God which is hidden from the ungodly; 3:13 faint not won't give up or be discouraged.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Mrs. Priscilla C. Wilcox • Government Officials: Rep. Stephanie Herseth (SD) and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX) • Country: Lebanon (4.3 million) in the Middle East • Major languages: Arabic and French • Limited religious freedom • 55% Muslim (Shi'a, Sunni); 41% Christian (Maronite, Orthodox, Melchite, Protestant, Chaldean, Assyrian, Syriac); 3% Druze; 1% Others (Jewish, Baha'i, Alawi, Jehovah's Witness) • Prayer Suggestion: Cry and pour out your soul in prayer in time of affliction (Is. 26:16).

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 8:28

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