Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sunday, December 4th: Ephesians 1-3~ Jay

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is; Ephesians 1-3

A few of the key thoughts that struck me from today's passage. It provides a clear perspective on salvation and so much more.

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he[b] predestined us for adoption to sonship[c] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
This is one of those passages that causes much theological debate and discussion....sorry to disappoint but I will not try to grapple with the theologians on this one- but rather I look at this from a personal perspective. How impactful is it when I think about the fact that God foresaw some purpose in chose me to be His son.  This causes me to pause and ask several key questions. Do I believe I am set apart and chosen for a special purpose / calling? Am I open to God's leading- when He directs me towards the actions required to fulfill this special purpose? Am I daily asking Him to reveal opportunities to be used by Him? 

17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[f]of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,
Imagine if we truly knew and understood how powerful our God is? Powerful enough to raise Christ from the dead, well after he was sealed away physically in a tomb.  Just as Paul prayed for the believers that they would be enlightened, we too should follow this same example and not only ask that God reveal himself to us, but also pray for wisdom and understanding for our children and fellow believers. In my mind, it should not stop at simply requesting this through prayer, but I must take action and invest time in order to better know Him. 

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins...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. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Many people get caught up in looking at their neighbor and comparing the "good" they do vs the relative evil of everyone else.  Somehow thinking that on the heavenly "grading bell curve" they will make it to heaven. This passage makes it very clear. No individuals "goodness" is good enough! It is only by God's grace that we have the gift of was accomplished at the cross but we still must accept the gift. Once we have accepted the gift, our motivation for doing good for others should come from a heart that has been transformed...always with a focus on the giver of the gift (God) and not on our own ambitions.

Continued thankfulness for the gift of salvation along with the openness of mind to be utilized for God's special calling / purpose are key take-aways for me from this passage.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Ephesians 4-6


Nathan said...

Ephesians 2:4 & 5
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

A good reminder that I am saved because God loved me and offered this gift, I don't deserve it or have earned it, it is all because He loved me. I can't repay Him for it either, it is far greater than anything I can offer in return. It is a gift, how could I not accept and then do my best for Him?

Tammy said...

Great takeaways Jay!

May the way we love our lives reflect our thankfulness for all He has done for us!