Note: Here is a short video overview of Ephesians: https://youtu.be/Y71r-T98E2Q
Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Thursday, 20 June 19:
Ephesians 1:8-9 – …[His grace] which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ.
“Amazing grace! how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch; like me! I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.” (John Newton, 1779)
Are you amazed by grace this morning? Does overwhelming awe, wonder and gratitude compel your thoughts words, deeds, and how you treat others? Does the reality of God’s grace in your life convict you in love to share it with as many others as possible? And finally, are you growing in grace, in your knowledge of Him, your love for Him, your trust in Him and your obedience to Him? Today’s readings from Ephesians 1 point out that, though God has already “blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…. that we should be holy and blameless before him…. according to the purpose of his will (Ephesians 1:3-5),” God is now “making known to us the mystery of His will according to His purpose.” We are God’s children who are now growing up to maturity in His house and presence.
Much like the excitement a newlywed feels, you might have been overwhelmed with joy and anticipation on your ‘wedding day,’ your salvation experience, but now, as you face the challenges of life, you must cultivate that first love, grow in fellowship, and become increasingly “one” as you walk with Him. Unlike our earthly spouses, however, Jesus lavishes upon us perfect love, and His goal for us is our unity with Him; we need only learn how to receive His love and increasingly reciprocate.
– Jeremiah 31:3 — I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you….
– John 17:21-23 — The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
– John 14:25-27 — These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
As with a marriage, if we don’t cultivate love, practicing the attitudes and practices of love, growing in our knowledge of our Loved One and wisdom in relationship, we can begin to lose that loving feeling and get out of step with our Bridegroom.
– Revelation 2:4, 5 — But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.
We must grow in the grace and love God has already lavished upon us through continual prayer, study of His Word, fellowship, and the other means of grace (Colossians 1:9–11; 2 Timothy 2:15; Philemon 4–7). As with any gift, though you have received it, you must use it in order to fully appreciate it.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 20 June 19: Be amazed by grace today, and appreciate the gifts of grace and love you have received in Jesus by walking in them, enjoying them, and practicing them.