Thoughts From The Book of Ephesians (Thought #1)

I have  been  working on  a  new series of   articles based on the  book of Ephesians– I have  12 “Thoughts”  done so far.  These  will take the  reader  through Eph. 2:10

 

Thought # 1: The Writer and the Recipients

Text: Eph. 1:1
When people wrote letters back in Biblical times they put their name at the beginning of the letter. We do just the opposite. This is called the “salutation.” The Apostle Paul, at the beginning of this epistle, lets his readers know who he is, what his credentials are for writing the letter and to whom he is writing the letter.

All of this is included in Eph. 1:1. Verse 2 is his greeting. Paul was not one of the original 12 Apostles. His Apostleship is by special appointment from the Lord Jesus. He received this as­signment to be an apostle to the Gentiles. Thank the Lord that he took this privilege and honor seri­ously. If he and others whom he reached with the Gospel had not, then we would not be here today en­joying the blessings of salvation.

“…By the will of God.” It was and is God’s will that all mankind be saved and He has provided a way through His Son that all may be saved. But we all know that the majority of mankind, both past, present and future will not accept that way of salvation. Paul was faithful in his ministry (2 Tim. 4:6-8).

Those whom Paul is writing to are named in the latter part of Eph. 1:1. The primary audi­ence of the writers of the Word of God was locally those in the first century, but we can share in these titles that Paul used for the Ephesian Christians on the basis of our faith and obedience to the Gospel.

The recipients of Paul’s letter were the Christians in Ephesus. Ephesus was one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire. Paul gives at least 2 names, perhaps 3, for Christians in verse 1. He calls them (1) “Saints; (2) faithful, and (3) in Christ Jesus.”

A “saint” in the New Testament, is not a sinless person, but a saved sinner. Faithfulness to the Lord is required if one wants to enjoy all that God has for him or her. Paul stresses that Christians are “in Christ.” As I said earlier in this devotion: Christians are saved by grace, through faith, in bap­tism, for good works. Let all of us strive to dedicate our lives to the Lord and His Church and help others find their way out of darkness into the marvelous light of the Gospel.

-Larry Miles

Louisville, KY

http://larryslines.com

#articles-by-larry-miles, #bible, #ephesians, #faithfulness, #new-testament, #paul, #thoughts-from-ephesians, #word-of-god

Stay Close (Ted Knight)

My Lady and I were in a mall on Tuesday, April 1st. As we walked along there was a man with a little boy who seemed about three years of age.

The father said to him, “Do you want to go home and stay with Mommy and Daddy?” The little boy said, “Yes!” The father then told his son, “You must stay close to Mommy and Daddy because there might be someone else who would want to take you home with them.” Continue reading

#edifier, #faithfulness, #relationship-with-god, #temptation

What does the Bible say about Christian living

By: Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me’” (Matthew 16:24).

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).

“Do not love the world or the things in the world” (1 John 2:15).

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

“Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).

We become a Christian by hearing, believing, repenting, confessing our faith, and being baptized for the forgiveness of sins, and then we must live for Jesus each day of our lives. The above scriptures give us information about this, and in fact most of the New Testament, 21 letters, is given to teach us how to live for Jesus and with our fellow man.

Someone gave their idea of Christian living by saying, “Christianity is putting Christ on the inside, and then letting Him show on the outside.” Isn’t this what Paul is saying in Galatians 2:20?

The song exhorts us to, “Live for Jesus, in life’s morning. At the noon-tide hour be His, and at eve, when day is turning, and inherit endless bliss. Live for Jesus, Give Him all thou hast to give; on the cross the world’s Redeemer, gave His life that thou mightest  live.”

This is the life that is God’s purpose for us; it is the life that is lived joyfully; it is the life that is lived abundantly; it is the life that is lived in hope of heaven; it is all of this and much more because we live for Jesus.

God bless us all as we obey Jesus and live for Him who died for us.

#christian-living, #faithfulness, #obedience

Today is my spiritual birthday It was 1971…

Today is my spiritual birthday. It was 1971, best I recall. (I have the certificate stashed away somewhere.) I’m grateful the Lord called me to his freedom. He has proved faithful. I pray I may as well.

#baptisms, #faithfulness, #spiritual-birthday

Not what we wanted to hear

“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” 2 Timothy 3:12.

Well, that’s not what we wanted to hear!

Here’s a description of the narrow road that few find, that Paul urges the young evangelist, Timothy, to travel. He begins Chapter 3 by describing the wide road that the many are on. It’s marked by “lovers of themselves, lovers of money … [those] without love … without self-control … lovers of pleasure … men of depraved minds” among many others. Continue reading

#faithfulness, #life-in-christ, #persecution

Remaining faithful through the “Bochim’s” of life

So it was, when the Angel of the Lord spoke these words to all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voices and wept. Then they called the name of that place Bochim; and they sacrificed there to the Lord.” (Judges 2:4-5)

The name Bochim (bo-keem’) means weeping, and in case you’ve never noticed, the children of Israel were well accustomed to shedding tears.

In the particular case mentioned above the children of Israel as a whole were on the verge of resting from war and enjoying the land that had been delivered into their hands. But this moment of great joy was preceded by a day of great pain. And for what reason? What were the words of the Lord’s Angel that had cut them so deeply? What was it that changed their shouts of triumph to shouts of grief? What led them to name a location as a reminder of their pain?

It was because they were told that their children would walk away from their God – from the God!

But despite the fact that their children would turn their sin hardened hearts away from the law and grace of God, give special note to what this generation of Israel did in the face of the dreadful news. They stayed near to the Lord with hearts wide open, refusing to sacrifice their faith for their family. In fact, they sacrificed to the God of Heaven and Earth – the God of their Hormah (devotion) and their Bochim (weeping). They remained faithful through this great time of weeping, this great “Bochim” moment of their life.

As I consider the lesson that this section of scripture contains I can’t help but think of the pain that still comes from watching a loved one walk away from God. It can be stifling. It can lead to a branding of certain days in our life as a “Bochim” that’s difficult to accept much less forget. But I believe whole-heartedly that the Lord understands. He knows the pain of loss! He acknowledges the difficulty that lies ahead. While living upon the Earth, the faithful will always face such hurtful faithlessness and we must be prepared for it.

As those who are closest to us make their own decisions concerning their relationship with God let us not forget that if we stay near to his side, if we remember the sacrifice that he offered for us, if we allow the Spirit of God to produce a faithfulness in our heart, soul, mind and strength that refuses to turn back, then God will take care of the tears that came from every “Bochim” moment in our life as we enjoy the privileges of the promised land.

Stay faithful to the Lord my brothers and sisters in Christ.

for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:17)

#faithfulness, #family, #parenting, #parenting-difficulties, #trials

Break the Easter egg — Did a church ever grow from an Easter celebration?

broken-easter-egg

I hate to rain on your parade. But all this talk about taking advantage of Easter, when some people may show up at church for this one time during the year (throw in Christmas if you like), sounds like a bunch of bunkum.

Did anyone ever convert to Christ from showing up in their Easter finest? Did any church suddenly grow from a fine Easter production? Did the Sunday after Easter suddenly swell with new members because an eldership and a preacher put on their Sunday best to impress the suddenly pious visitor? Continue reading

#discipleship, #easter, #faithfulness, #false-religion, #ritualism