Click here to watch my video reflection on our text for today, or keep reading for my written reflections:
Today’s reading is from Ephesians 1:1-14:
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus and are faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. 5 He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight 9 he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, 12 so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14 this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.
Today we begin looking at Ephesians, the second in that power-packed section of books, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. I shared in a devotional that when I was learning the books of the Bible, I learned this mnemonic device: God’s (Galatians) Electric (Ephesians) Power (Phillipians) Company (Colossians). Each book is different but has something really important for us to know. Galatians hammers home the importance of grace. We are not saved by our own efforts or anything that we can do.
Ephesians continues this biblical foundation, but with a little different emphasis. It isn’t just that God wants you to be saved in a general sense, but God wants YOU to be saved. Today we see in verse 5 he destined us for salvation, for His glory. Ephesians is very personal. God doesn’t just want the world to be forgiven. He doesn’t just want sin to be done away within a general sense. He wants me, Andy Stoddard to be saved and will go to every length to make sure I accept this gift.
He wants you to be saved. And will go to every length for you to know His salvation. Salvation is not a general thing, it is a personal thing.
Ephesians tells us this truth – God is at work. In the world, yes. But specifically in my life. In your life. In our church. In individually specific ways.
God desires to know you in a deep, personal way. God desires YOU.
Today, you are specifically loved by God. Remember that and rejoice in that.
Monday, we’ll look at Ephesians 1: 15-23.
If you’d like to get each day’s daily scripture reading sent to your phone along with this reading guide, text @39110 to 81010 to sign up!