Today’s Reading: Ephesians
What a wonderful letter to have written to a church or more accurately to the members of it! And that someone includes us, seeing we are part of the body of Christ and Scriptures are inspired by God!
How very special it is to be chosen before creation to be holy and blameless in His Son, adopted and forgiven! And God does this in a style suitable to His very own self – “LAVISHED on us with all wisdom and understanding!” (that takes some time to think about what all this actually means! And He makes us doubly secure – He seals us with His promised Holy Spirit, guaranteeing our inheritance! It all seems so wonderful, that it doesn’t seem real to me, and so Paul launches into a prayer that God…the GLORIOUS Father would give us the Spirit of wisdom of revelation, so that we may know Him better!
And if we are talking of our Lord Jesus Christ, He raised Him from the dead and seated him at His right hand…far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in this present age, but also in the one to come. But among all these good things – He IS head over everything for the church, and wonder of wonders – the church, His body, is the FULNESS OF HIM Who fills everything in every way! Can’t explain how special that is, but it fills my heart with such joy and satisfaction to know that I belong to Him (and He to me) in such a beautiful way.
And then Chapter Two, we are plunged to what we were at one time! Then comes how He has lifted us “in the incomparable riches of His grace” into such a very special relationship with Himself (and others!)!
Is it any wonder, the need for Paul to pray a special prayer that we might GRASP how wide, long, high, and deep is the love of Christ, and that we might KNOW the love that SURPASSES knowledge – that we might be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God! I feel a sadness that this grasping and this knowing (not academically!), realizing, reveling in this fullness – I seem to be so feeble at it! I need this prayer prayed for me!
But I am humbled and jolted back to the daily living, as Paul speaks so earnestly of the need for HUMBLENESS, GENTLENESS, PATIENCE, BEARING WITH ONE ANOTHER, so as not to wreck havoc in actually living in the unity of the Spirit THROUGH the BOND of peace! He wants us to mature together (and again the phrase) for the attaining to the full measure of Christ!
And so as the book continues its steady path of instruction – with such straightforward instruction on the things to do or as I find necessary to hear – the things NOT TO DO! Yet these things are so painful to have to consider that I indulge in – from moral things to bitterness, rage and anger, brawling, slander and every form of malice! It is painful beyond words when in His presence to have to admit to doing these things! Not sure if the solution is “being kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another (and the standard like the blessing – impossibly high (but not impossible if He tells me to do it? – by walking through the power of the Holy Spirit – no other way to do it!) just as in Christ, God forgave me! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Lord! Help me to extend this forgiveness!
And the last part of the book is inexhaustible – practical things to do and TO BE! Even in what God has meant to be the greatest blessing of life – family and personal relationships. I cringe as I realize that the standard of treating others is to be HOW He treated me or what He expects from me towards Him!
Is it any wonder that the book ends with something that I forget so easily – this life of mine is a spiritual fight (the biggest fight of my life and a necessary one!). So I better be sure that I have all the parts of the armor on, or Satan’s fiery darts will find their intended mark and cause me to live a defeated life! Meaningful to me is that the last pieces are the helmet for protection of my thoughts and the Word of God – a sword! Certainly lack of self-control in thought life is disastrous and His sword is so comforting as it slices through all the lies and deceits of Satan! But prayer ends the book, reminding me to quietly plead with Him to keep me close to Himself – like John leaning in quiet rest on our precious Saviour! Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love! Most certainly, yes. Amen.