This week, we began to study Ephesians. For me, it has been amazing and life altering experience thus far… Just a few descriptive words I could use, to describe this past week’s journey.
If you are just now joining us, this past week we kicked off our Ephesians study (our long anticipated online Bible study). We spent this week, writing out and studying the first chapter. In our journals, we are adding in different Scriptures to our journey (1 other Scripture per day’s reading).
While all of the study has been like home hitting, for me, I want to focus on today’s study. I just finished day 7 of our study, and a few things really opened my eyes.
Open up your Ephesians journals and Bible, then we will get started. I want to share three things God has taught me this week –
- We can face life’s storms, but with Jesus and His peace as our companions.
- It is possible that others could be watching how we love and respond to circumstances right now. How am I personally dwelling on the promises of God, His unfailing love, and the truth He provides through the Scriptures?
- When I seek Jesus, He will fill me up with His Presence.
What has God been showing you this week? What realizations are you having? What truths are hitting close-to-home, for you?
I realize there are many truths tucked in the first chapter of Ephesians, but these are the things that stood out for me – this week. While there are many things I could share about my week or how God has stood up to speak His truths to me, these are the ones I really want to share.
The Truth About God and Our Circumstances
Because, circumstances can (and will) come our ways. It does not change eternity or the promises of God. Even in the most difficult of circumstances, God offers to us His peace (which we learned about earlier this week) and His unfailing love. God lovingly meets us right there the middle of the toughest storms of our lives.
Circumstances cannot be an indicator of how we perceive God’s love, power, or peace.
God is still good.
God is still on the throne.
God is still ever loving.
God is still giving His presence to all who choose to call upon the name of Jesus Christ.
God is still offering to us the most amazing, unimaginable gifts that we could ever ask for.
Stepping Into The Chapter
In Ephesians 1, we are reminded that God is passionate about making us His people. He doesn’t play around. He firmly decides that He loves us. He wants to choose us. He wants us to be drawn near through the loving-kindness of Jesus Christ, our Savior. In this chapter, we learn who we really are – in light of Jesus Christ, the cross He carried (that was meant for us to carry), His death, and yes His resurrection.
It is here we learn of God’s great power.
And, just how passionate God is for us.
He loves us beyond all ability to comprehend. It doesn’t make sense to love sinners like us, but God does it on a repeated basis. God doesn’t stop loving us. God continues to work in our lives, long before we come to meet Jesus and accept His free gift of salvation. God is working behind the scenes the entire time.
In Ephesians 1:4, we are reminded that God’s plans for us begun quite some time ago. Let’s read this Scripture to see what God is wanting to reveal to His people about who He is and what it means for us as His children and believers.
“Long ago, even before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own through what Christ would do for us; he decided then to make us holy in his eyes, without a single fault—we who stand before him covered with his love (TLB).”
God chose us.
God decided to make us His own.
Though we were stained with sin and His enemies, God would make us “white as snow” and called His beloved children. A love that is both remarkable and unfathomable. Even in our greatest relationships where our love is the greatest, we cannot even imagine what the love of God is actually like. It is not to be understand by human minds, because it’s beyond measure. Yet while we were powerless and trapped in sin where disobeying God was our thing, God sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins and He rose again on the third day for our victory.
This is the story of God’s grace.
Have you come to know Jesus Christ? Are you realizing His amazing, unfathomable, love for you? How does knowing Jesus alter your identity – in how you view yourself?
As we look in our journals to see what God has spoken to us about this week, I invite you to turn over to the “Wrap-Up: A Week in Review” pages. I want for us to discuss and explore this week’s questions a bit…
Our “focus/memory” verse was Ephesians 1:5, which unleashes a big set of truths onto our lives. As I went through my week, this verse really set the stage for everything God spoke to me about – as I studied, prayed, and wrote out the Scriptures.
I shared this a little bit above. When God decides something, the extraordinary is stepping in. God could choose anyone, but He is choose us.
And, He steps in – transforming our lives!
We are not the same as we used to be. We are no longer citizens of earth, rather we are called foreigners in this land. I want to just focus on our identity. Reading Ephesians 1, should challenge our self-perception. It should alter how we see ourselves, in light of how Christ and the Father now sees us. The Father sees us through the lens of Jesus Christ.
Because once Jesus Christ became our Savior… our Redeemer… our Bridegroom… our Mediator, we went from that girl to a daughter of the Most High God. Our past is erased. Our strength and hope are renewed. And, we can finally have rest and the peace of God firmly attached to our spirits – rather than carrying the weight of the world on our spirits. When Jesus chose us, it really did change everything.
I want to close with this one question –
Today, how have you allowed your identity to be shaped by the living God?