What

Ephesians 1 is loaded with expressions of God’s generosity.  I like verse 18 – as we follow what Ephesians 1 has been talking about we will have our “hearts enlightened”.  The “what” is the hope and riches that God promises.  I think sometimes we have the wrong kind of hope and the wrong kind of riches in mind.  God is more interested in the eternal and we end up getting stuck in the temporal.  My desire is to continue studying Scripture to learn about the “whats” in Ephesians 1:18. At least as much as is possible in this life.  I expect to learn by leaps and bounds in the next life.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the many blessings I can learn about from Your Word.  Please guide me as I learn the “what” You tell us about in this verse.  Help me to share this with others.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Feast or Famine

I think as Americans we are used to having so much we don’t understand what “the riches of His grace” being lavished on us means.  There are times when according to our definition, we go through famine.  Material wise that might be true.  This passage tells us of the lavish grace that gives us forgiveness.  I wonder if we realize how big God’s forgiveness is.  He doesn’t owe us forgiveness, but He gives freely and generously – a feast. 

I am so thankful for God’s generosity.  I will receive His forgiveness every time I ask (1 John 1:9).

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for lavishing forgiveness on those You have chosen. I am comforted by Your generosity.  Please help me to keep the proper perspective on Your generous forgiveness.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

It’s NOT About Me

Ephesians 1 tells us of wonderful gifts that God has given to those he has chosen.  I think we sometimes become selfish as a result of these gifts.  The point of the gifts is to point back to our precious Savior, Jesus Christ.

Dear Heavenly Father, please help us to use the gifts You have given to point others to You.  May You be honored because of Your glorious grace. 

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Chosen for Adoption

The first blessing we see in Ephesians 1 is that of being chosen for adoption.  Looking at the culture in Israel during Bible times adoption is a great honor.  The first-born son would inherit everything.  God adopts us as first-born sons.  I’m not sure how well it translates into the American culture that I know so well.  In Bible culture this was a very high honor.  I want to allow that concept to warm my heart living in what is often a cold, dark (sin-cursed) world.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for choosing me to be an adopted child.  Thank You for the beauty of Your love.  Please help me to share this with those who know You chose them as well as those who have not learned of this wonderful gift.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Everything

I appreciate how the book of Ephesians starts.  The praise to God is wonderful, but the reason for the praise catches my attention.  Those of us who have placed our trust in Christ have “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places”.  The rest of the chapter gives more specifics about what those blessings are.

I think we as believers fall into the trap of thinking we don’t have everything we need.  However, God has told us through His Word that we do have what we need.  2 Peter 1:3 reiterates that fact.  I look forward to studying the book of Ephesians (amongst other passages) this year to remind me what God has provided.

Dear Heavenly Father, I praise You for the many blessings You give so freely.  I ask for guidance as I study what You have given.  Please help me to share the truth with others.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Happy 2023

Hello Friends, welcome to 2023 (tomorrow).  Each year I pick a theme for my blog.  2022 was wisdom/fear of God.  I spent much of the year in Proverbs.  For 2023 I want to focus on a Biblical self-image.  We live in a society that has an “it’s all about me” attitude.   We have added pressure on ourselves to measure up to an impossible and very selfish standard.  The Bible is the only place for us to gain freedom from this prison.

Most of my audience are people who claim a relationship with God based on the gospel (good news) of Jesus death, burial, and resurrection.  We need to make sure our life focus is based in the Bible.  I hope to help with that in my weekly posts.

Dear Heavenly Father, please guide me to share the truth of who we are in Christ.  Please let my words direct people to You.  Thank You for all You will do in the coming year.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

A Faithful Servant’s Praise

This verse talks about a woman named Anna who served in the temple.  When she heard that Jesus (the Messiah) was born, she started giving thanks and telling people about Jesus.  She is a good example for us all year round, but we tend to only talk about her with the Christmas story.  I hope to think about her example in the coming year.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the example of Anna.  Please help me to give thanks and tell others of the redemption that came with Jesus.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Christmas Joy

The story of Christmas is one that brings great joy.  I fear that we are more stuck on short term happiness than long term joy.  The truth of Christmas starts with the fact that we are sinners and need a Savior. Jesus came to be born as a baby and then grew to be a man who died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins.  I believe most of my readers know this and have placed their trust in Jesus to save them from their sins.  This should bring us joy.  However, the sin nature is still active and brings struggle.

Despite the difficulties of life, the Christmas story should bring us back to joy.  Joy for the ultimate gift that Jesus’ birth brought.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of Jesus.  Thank You that we can have joy through trusting Your Son.  Please help us to put our own selfishness aside and bring us back to the joy that You provide.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

More Christmas Praise

Shepherds were not considered the elite of society.  However, God chose to share the good news of Jesus’ birth with them.  Luke 2:20 tells us of the shepherds rejoicing and giving glory to God.  They are a good example for us.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Jesus’ to a humble birth.  Thank You for the example of the shepherds giving You glory.  You deserve all the honor and glory.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Praise at Christmas

The Bible gives many verses of praise to God.  I appreciate the ones in the Christmas story.  When Jesus was born as a human baby, there was much joy.  In Luke 2:14, we hear what the angels said in praise to God. 

The Bible tells us that if we do not praise God, even the “stones will cry out” (Luke 19:40).  However, in this case God sent angels.  I want to include my voice with the angels. 

Glory to God!

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the example of the angels praising You.  I want to praise and thank You for Who You are and all You have done.  Glory!

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.