Thursday, June 1, 2023


     Have you felt the doldrums recently? If you have, I almost guarantee one book of the Bible will help lift you out of the doldrums.
     Ephesians in the New Testament was written by Paul while under house arrest in Rome. You'd think that a man arrested and held against his will for his faith wouldn’t be able to write anything uplifting. If we think that, we're wrong.
     Let's begin with Ephesians 1, and hopefully, this will spur you on to read more.
  1. Ephesians 1:3. Most of us would accept blessings, right? How about when Paul wrote, “Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ”? I repeat God “has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ.” That is one heap of blessings—blessings that fill every corner of heaven.
  2. Ephesians 1:4-5. Do any of you feel unwanted and unloved? Have any of you experienced being chosen last before playing a softball or basketball game? Paul wrote that God “chose us”—not last, but first—to be “adopted as children through Jesus Christ”, and that he had great “pleasure” in doing so. Imagine the joy of a family, sometimes not able to have children of their own, that they feel when they meet and enjoy sharing the lives of their adopted child or children. Now multiply that—by perhaps—let’s say 1 million times—and you might get close to understanding how God feels about us.
  3. Ephesians 1:6-7. Do you feel guilty sometimes about things you’ve done, and sometimes things you haven’t done? Paul wrote about the grace God is readily willing to “lavish” on us. Lavish, according to Webster, means that God gives us grace “abundantly”, or to embellish that a little bit more, He “extravagantly” gives us His grace.
  4. Ephesians 1:11. How many of you think of your possible earthly inheritance from parents, family members, and others? It’s natural to do so. But sadly, numerous TV shows tell the stories of people who establish elaborate plots to kill parents, family members, and others to get an inheritance or life insurance money. Paul wrote, however, that we have an inheritance awaiting us far greater than any earthly inheritance, and only Jesus—no one else—had to suffer and die for us to get it.
  5. Ephesians 1:13-14. If you’re like me you might feel a sense of insecurity. You and I may always be waiting for having done to us as the saying goes, “for the other shoe to drop”—or for our sense of security to be snatched out from under us. But Paul said, “In him (Jesus) you also were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed. The Holy Spirit is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of the possession, to the praise of his glory.”
     Well, are you convinced yet about the good things that the book of Ephesians has for us? And we just barely got started, only covering part of Chapter 1.
     Do any of you like to read a good mystery or adventure novel, or watch a mystery or adventure movie? The book of Ephesians six times uses the term "mystery" related to God and His Son Jesus. That lets us know the story of Jesus doesn’t take a back seat to any mystery or adventure ever written. And we are a part of that unfolding mystery and adventure!
     Well—do I have you convinced yet—to read the Book of Ephesians?

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