A walk through the Book of Ephesians.
I am reading the book of Ephesians right now and am excited to share with you a few of my unedited, somewhat uneducated thoughts as I unfold this book. Today we will look at Eph. 1-3. Reading God‘s word can be soooo much more than just a chapter to mark off in our daily routine. Allow God to challenge the way we think and even approach life. Look for Gods voice to you and how it applies to your life as you read the Word.
Grace and Peace…
I love it when Paul begins by “giving” this blessing, an admomition to the people he is writing to. I believe that understanding and walking in the Grace of God is a key component to a fruitful christian walk. .
What is Grace?
One of my favorite definitions is “the divine ability to do God’s will”.
How do we get it?
PRAY and seek God in our circumstances… and then Peace will overtake our mindset for our situations, a settled heart, worry not allowed. These two characteristics (Grace+Peace) combined produce a JOY in the middle of any situation, regardless of circumstances. I desire to live each day with unmeasured joy. Remember to keep these two things priority each day and I believe we will be able to accomplish ALL that God has put in our path for the day!
It seems to me that this Book was written to a core team of the faithful in the church at Ephesus, probably to the leaders. See Eph. 1:1
Paul begins by reminding the leaders that they are called and chosen of God. It is a beginning theme of the book. He states that he clearly understands his call as an apostle and that he knows it is a role given him by God. I think that perhaps the leaders in Ephesus, although faithful may have been walking in insecurity.
Remember that the call of God on our life IS part the will of God for our lifes. Eph. 1:1 “Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God.”
Paul was secure in the call of God on his life. He knew the role God had called him to play in his season and walked in confidence in the authority God had given him.
Nothing like starting off with a challenge… Walk confidently in the call of God.
Paul shows them some tips for remembering their call and purpose:
- -Praise in advance! We are challenged to have thankful hearts that believe that God has already made available every spiritual blessing we need to do the job and have our hearts at peace. Go to Him and recieve what you are lacking.
- –Confidence in the call. Remember that it is God who has called and anointed us -You are chosen, adopted, redeemed, & forgiven.
- –Get Grace. Remembering that it is God who gives us grace to do the will God. God lavishes us with his Grace(Eph. 1:8) So happy about this… to me Lavish refers to luxury. Love this word lavish. Again, reminding us that we have been given wisdom, grace, purpose as we put our hope in Christ.
- –Give out… We have a deposit, a guarntee of our inheritance, the Holy Spirit who is at work within us working out everything…. to conform to the will of God. Here is a key: If we allow the Holy Spirit to challenge, and work on us, our life will naturally bring Glory and Praise to God.
Paul begins to encourage the leaders “I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.”
We can be encouraged to do the same thing for those who God has put in our path: Children, family, people we are mentoring or leading.
I pray this prayer over my life and the life of those around me straight from Eph. 1:17-19:
” 17 I keep asking that God will 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 so that you will know the hope to which he has called you (understanding and walking confidently in your calling), and remembering the riches of His inheritance as we serve God’s people, 19 and his incomparably great power (for everyday life and also for miraculous works) for us who believe”.
As we serve God and His church, remember that we are not in this alone.
God has all authority over things seen and unseen. God placed all things under Christ’s feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church…. It is not our church or our call alone, it is Gods!
A few things to remember here as a leader:
All of us also lived according to our own emotions at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[g] and following its desires and thoughts, As a Christian leader, we need to remember the Grace of God which is a free gift each day to walk according to God’s Spirit and not the flesh.
Too many leaders today react in the flesh to situations.
Instead we are challenged here to remember go to God first to get his grace and then do his will. It is not because of our experience or our wisdom that we do the will of God.
It is because of our dependance on Him as our “everyday savior” (attitudes, reactions, ect) that we find strength and confidence to do his will.
.4 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. … and made known the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 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. ”
Paul talks about the “I’m better than you” attitude that leaders can take. He is obviously talking about the Jews vs the Gentile syndrome where the Jews felt an entitlement, so Paul addresses spiritual elitism, and racism.
There is NO room for this in Christ. We have all been saved by the blood of Jesus. God hates division, gossip, striving for position, & comparison. “4 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility”.
As leaders, we need to recognize God at work in everyone, including those who are new to the faith… we are one body who God is using.
There is God placed authority in our lives, just like in a natural family. Authority is given to us to help us mature and grow into functioning and well balance adults… Same in the kingdom of God. We need our Spiritual parents, pastors and leaders to speak into our lives… we never get to the place where we don’t need them anymore. However, we are not to look down on others as we come into the faith… instead we are to love them into understanding God’s love and call on their lives.
administration of grace
Leaders… We must accept our roll in the “administration of grace”. A gift that Paul talks about that we should share with all those who walk into our lives. Teaching about Jesus and the promise, confidence and freedom we have in Him.
Teaching the process as we learn… praise, confidence in the call, getting grace, giving out…. teaching others how to be “sharers together of the promise we have in Christ Jesus”.
Loving how Ephesians 3 ends… With another prayer we can use:
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may (riches….He has more than enough for us!)
*strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
- (Strengthening us in our emotions so we walk in faith and not by feelings)
*And I pray that you, will be rooted and established in love
- (foundation = love for God, love for people)
* that we may have power, together with all the other Christians, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—
- (The power of God’s love changes a culture)
*that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God .
- (Filled up with God, the Fullness!!!!! of God…able to do know and do God’s will, empowered with grace everyday as we are challenged to do His will.)
Paul ends this prayer with a proclamation:
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
- (All this is for God’s glory, and it is because of His power within us that we are confident that we can do His will… He is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine! and Yes, Amen…let that happen Lord! :o) lol.)
I certainly feel more confident about the call of God on my life and the ability of God to empower my life after reading these short chapters and I hope you do as well. Tomorrow I will go through Chapters 4-6.
Please message me with some of your own thoughts from Ephesians. I look forward to hearing from ya!