Good afternoon friends! I hope you are ready to start this adventure and hopefully change your life by getting to know the Lord better! Let’s jump right in and get started.
I recommend that you start each day with prayer. Pray as the spirit leads or pray this with me. Lord Jesus you are good and you are all that I need today! Please forgive me of my sins and wash me clean so that I can be more like you. Lord please speak to me, teach me, and give me great wisdom and insight so that I may know you better! Lord help me love and serve others like you do. Use me today for your honor and glory! I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.
This week we will be reading and writing all of chapter one and the first twenty verses of chapter two. So 43 verses in all but they are some of the best verses of the book. Please do your best to do each daily assignment and get into a good habit. If you are up to your eyeballs with work, kids, life; give yourself some grace and add a few extra verses on another day. Please do not give up and quit if you get behind. Just start-up where you stopped and keep plugging along. Like I’ve said before, time spent in the Word with God is never time wasted. We are using our spiritual muscles and storing up blessings for the days and years to come!
Here is a little background on Ephesians. The writer of Ephesians is Paul, once Saul the persecutor of Christians.He was a bad bad man, sought out and killed Christians. You can read this commentary of his conversion to Christianity if you feel led: https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/IVP-NT/Acts/Pauls-Conversion or read Acts 9:1-19. He wrote this actual letter/epistle to the people of Ephesus about 60 years after Christ’s death and resurrection. The audience is the saints, those set apart, holy, or believers, who were in Christ. He also wrote the letter while he was in jail to encourage and unify the new young believers.
As you read and write, underline or highlight words or verses that speak to you. What is it that speaks to you? Stop and reflect on them. Jot down notes or questions that you may have as you read. Do a little research and find out more on those words or key verses. Finally! What you came for, here are a few words and key verses that really stand out to me from chapter one.
- Grace. Free and unmerited favor from God.
- Peace. Tranquility, calmness, quietness. Lasting peace from God. Not worldly peace.
- Chapter one, verse three says “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” This is a huge promise, at salvation we have all of Christ’s riches and blessings. Praise Him!
- Verse four through five “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—” Before the creation of the world, God already had his mind made that we would be holy and blameless, that we would be his children according to his kind intention or will.
- When all promises and prophesies have been fulfilled, all things in the present heaven and present earth will be brought together in the New Heaven( Revelation 21:1) under Christ. v10
- Once we heard the gospel, the Good News of what Christ did for us on the cross, having believed the truth, we were sealed with a mark. A mark that can never be removed! The mark is the Holy Spirit, who is living and at work in the new you. This makes us an heir with Christ. v13-14
- Therefore just as Paul prayed prayers of thanksgiving for the believers in Ephesus, he also asked the Lord to give them spirits of wisdom and understanding from Him. To know him better! The Spirit can and will move and work in and through us if we just believe. v15-18
- His power, incomparably great, big-time-slam-pow power is as work in those who believe. It is the same power that raised Christ from the dead. This power doesn’t come with a switch that we can just flip when needed. We must wait patiently on it just like all good things from the Lord. While we are waiting for it, spend time in praise and worship. Acknowledging who He is and how awesome He is. This will help us keep our eyes on Him and not on our circumstances. v19-20
- As a result, God has placed all things under Christ’s rule for us! We are his church and he wants nothing more than to fill us with every thing and in every way. v23
- Before salvation, we all were dead in our sin and essentially a follower of the devil even if we “weren’t that bad.” We all lived without real life, freedom, or hope and were under the curse of the flesh. v1-3
- Because of His great love for us, he made us alive with Christ by the work of his matchless grace. We were turned from objects of wrath into objects of grace! v4-5
- “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” v8-9 Grace is what has saved us. No human achievements, the grace and mercy of God alone!
- By the mighty works of God, we are saved and were created to do good works for Him. Remember, we are not saved by any works that we do! His great purpose and preparations long ago made a way for us to be saved by his GRACE and he gives us good works. We should live totally different lives than before salvation. v8-10
- At birth, we are born sinners and outside of the family of God(Gentiles), without hope and without God in our lives. In Christ, we are brought near by his life giving blood. v13
- When Christ died, he did away with all of the laws and regulations from the old covenant(Old Testament laws) and reconciled us to God. We are together once again, the way God intended us to be. Family. In relationship, together as one. v14-20
Here is the pdf of the actual reading/writing plan: