Tonight was like a reunion for me. I got to hang out with some friends that I see on a consistent basis and then shortly after this, I got to catch up with some friends whom I have known for a long time. I love those kinds of times. I love being able to catch up with old friends. A lot of my time recently has been this but I am praying for God to open up more doors to meet more people in the Fork. It was great to witness the event that Mike wrote about. It sparked a lot of excitement in me as well.
Ok, so I have been up for the past while reading Ephesians because tomorrow I am having a meeting with a great mentor to me and we are going real in depth with this little book. This book is quite little in comparison to the whole of Scripture but this one packs a lot of punch.
Here are some things that stuck out to me tonight:
Paul’s prayer. It is funny to me when hearing prayer requests because most of the time, we don’t really need God to answer them. What I mean is that most of the time, they will work themselves out if we just have patience. Or they are just superficial from the beginning. But Paul doesn’t pray for these kinds of superficial prayers. He doesn’t even pray for health or anything like that. He also doesn’t pray for smooth transitions as is my tendency. None of that.
But what does he pray? Well here it is: Paul prays “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe” (Eph. 1:17-19).
Coming alive. It is not just us at the Patio, who are talking about. Tonight was just another confirmation of our vision for me. Paul points out that Jesus came to make us alive in Himself. Or in other words, He freed us from our sins to come alive. “Even when we were dead in our transgressions, [He] made us alive in Christ, and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places of Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:5-7). Amazing stuff here. We are coming alive in Christ. Let us pray for more of the community to be coming alive in Christ. This should constantly be our prayer. That all of Reedy Fork will be coming alive in authentic relationships, with Christ and with others.
We are God’s workers. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10) God created us to do good for Him. In the previous verse, Paul tells us that we are saved by grace through faith. And that our salvation is a gift from God, not because of anything we have done, but because of what Christ has done. We should do all things as if everything is God’s gift to us. In actuality, everything is glorious because He makes it.
Remember where you came from. It is astonishing to me when I look back over my life without Christ. Nothing was right in me. I had no hope, no peace, no direction, and essentially no life inside of me. Paul tells us in verses 11-12 to “remember that [we] were at that time separate from Christ.” That is a great thing to do if you want to become gracious and thankful. Think of how lost you were without Christ, and I guarantee that you will rejoice in where He has you now.
Brought near by the blood of Christ. (v. 13) No words can explain this adequately. Jesus redeemed us. Let us rejoice in the truth of this. He brings us alive because of His death. Let us stop and ponder that fact. Meditate deeply on this truth and let it come alive in your heart.
Being built together. Paul then ends chapter 2 with a bang. He basically hits what Christ’s sacrifice has done for us. It is also good to know that Paul is writing for a purpose of explaining how Jews and Gentiles are together in Christ. But here is what he says:
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundations of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” (v. 19-22).