My second favorite man in the Bible is Paul. What an amazing example to us for leaving our past, our shame and our guilt at Jesus’ feet and using it to speak of God’s love and forgiveness! I love Paul.
My most favorite book in the Bible is found in the New Testament and is written by, none other than, Paul. Ephesians. Paul wrote this letter to the Ephesians from a prison cell in Rome. This astounds me. I know what you’re thinking astounds is a little extra but I just can’t get over the love that seems to pour out of Paul for God’s people. The whole book is this beautiful explanation of what it means to be a Christian. He not only shares what faith is but he also tells us how to practice that faith.
I love Ephesians because every time I open to those sweet pages, God is there reminding me that I am loved, chosen and found without fault. (1:4, NLT) As I read through Paul’s words which are God-breathed, I hear the anchor of my hope, the rock on which I stand and the King of Kings telling me I am His and that victory has already been won and I am equipped with the spiritual weapons to remind the enemy of that every day!
It’s so easy for me to open the “God-breathed” pages of my bible and read stories and letters. Stories about other people and letters to people who are not me. The truth is that those words are so much more. They are the history of God’s courtship of me and you, His chosen people. They are proof after proof that He uses regular people in His will. That He doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called! They are words of forgiveness and redemption and unimaginable love! In my soul, I know this. I know the importance of those pages but what I think my soul forgets is that they aren’t important for just the people on the pages, they are important for me.
The very things that God spoke to Moses, Paul, Peter and the words that He gave to those men to speak to others, they ALL are for me and you!! When the Lord says to Joshua, in Joshua 1:9 “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”, He didn’t just mean that for just that man. He meant it for you and for me. For us to live every second of every day knowing that God is with us no matter where life takes us!!!
**Last week I started something quite by accident and it has been amazing. Like I said, I love the book of Ephesians. Whenever I open my Bible and I feel like I don’t quite know where to go I flip back to those familiar words and I let Paul speak straight to my heart. As many times as I have read through Paul’s letter of encouragement, love and a pouring out of his heart to the Ephesians the words have never jumped out quite like they did then.
Instead of seeing a description of someone else, instead of seeing words written for “them” or love Paul had for “them” or it being a letter that was written because of events happening “then” NOW I saw a description that God has for me, words written for me, love for me. I saw encouragement for me for right now. I saw Paul who wrote that letter then and would write that letter even now telling me that he wished so badly that I could “have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” (Ephesians 3:18, NLT)
I feel a little silly saying that it had never been that real to me. I wondered what else I was missing that God had for me in Paul’s words and what I found was a treasure trove of LOVE.
I started from verse 3 and I started writing everything that applied to me. Each truth that applied to me regardless of whether it had sunk down deep and I was in a place to believe it, I wrote it. Here is some of what I got. (vs 3-8)
- Blessed with every spiritual blessing
- Loved, chosen, faultless
- Adopted into Gods family because it made Him happy
- Because I belong to Christ I am showered with grace
After I got my list together I started writing and this is what I got.
I have been given every spiritual blessing because I am united with Christ. I am loved, chosen, found without fault. I am adopted into God’s family through Christ because it made Him happy. He pours His grace out on me, He purchased my freedom and forgave my sins through the blood of Christ. He showers me with kindness, wisdom and understanding.
Sweet sister in Christ, as you read these sweet verses in God’s Word know that they are meant for you just like they are meant for me. The God of the universe created you and set about doing whatever was necessary so that you could spend eternity with Him. Read this paragraph that I have written above and hear what God has for you because you are LOVED and CHOSEN! I encourage you to start here in Ephesians and personalize these verses so that you can see the love waiting there for you!
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