Thursday, October 31, 2013

Acquire Wisdom (Ephesians 3:8-10)

Today's scripture: Ephesians 3:8-10

Our God wants to grant us wisdom. Psalm 51:6 tells us:

Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,
And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.

Wisdom allows us to know more of God and His desires for us.

So, how do we gain wisdom? It begins with a reverent awe of our Lord God:

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments;
His praise endures forever. (Psalm 111:10)

When you seek wisdom, God will give you understanding of Him and His will.

Wisdom is a gift, and when we read God’s word and meditate on its truths, we will know Him. As the wisest man who ever lived wrote:

Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!
Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will guard you;
Love her, and she will watch over you.
The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom;
And with all your acquiring, get understanding. (Proverbs 4:5-7)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Salvation for All (Ephesians 3:1-7)

Today's scripture: Ephesians 3:1-7

Anyone can receive the “gift of God’s grace.” Anyone. God doesn’t look at gender, race, cultural background or socio-economic status. He doesn’t care if you’re nine or ninety. He doesn’t restrict you because you’ve done shameful things.

All He wants is a repentant heart, a surrendered life.

Anyone who believes in God and accepts salvation through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ—God the Son—will be saved (Acts 2:21). Jesus is the Giver of eternal life (John 3:16; 10:8-10).

You don’t have to work for it. You don’t have to hope your good outweighs your bad. You don’t have to wonder if what you did in a past life has brought you one step closer to heaven.

You just have to believe and receive.

I don’t know about you, but I’m so very grateful that God loves each and every one of us. I’m grateful that He had a plan for my salvation—a Gentile, middle-class American woman. He has the same plan for each one of us. What a good God He is!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My Abba (Ephesians 2:19-22)

Today's scripture: Ephesians 2:19-22

It’s such an amazing thought: We are part of God’s household. We are sons and daughters of the King of Kings. Christ is the cornerstone of the church, and we are its members. That’s amazing, too.

I especially love the thought of being God’s daughter. I love my earthly father, but we don’t have that strong of a relationship. For a while, I struggled with the idea of a loving father, one who cared for me no matter what.

When I finally recognized how much God loves me—unconditionally loves me—I understood what a Father really is.

He is gentle, compassionate, and caring. He protects His children and provides for them. He’s a refuge when things are difficult.

I can crawl on my Father’s lap when I’m sad. I can reach my hand to Him for His strength when I don’t have any of my own.

I can’t wait until I see my Father face-to-face. What a moment that will be—in the arms of my Abba—my daddy.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Through Him ... (Ephesians 2:17-18)

Today's scripture: Ephesians 2:17-18

“Through Him [Christ] we both [Jews and Gentiles] have our access in one [Holy] Spirit to the Father …”

Do you see the significance of the words in this verse? We who believe in the God of the Bible believe in a three-in-one God. It’s one of those mysteries that we won’t fully understand this side of heaven.

We do believe, however, in God the Father—Creator, Sustainer. We believe in God the Son, Jesus Christ—Redeemer, Savior. We believe in God the Holy Spirit—Intercessor, Indwelling Strength. One God acting in three persons.

So I can go to my Father, my Abba, and praise Him for this amazing world He created and for His loving plan for my life (Jeremiah 29:11). I can thank my Lord Jesus for His incredible sacrifice that allowed for my salvation (Romans5:8). I can ask the Holy Spirit to speak to the Father through my groaning (Romans 8:26).

I’m not sure exactly why God—the three-in-one God—is how He is … but I don’t have to know. I just have to trust in His word. And know He is everything I need.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Peace of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:14-16)

Today's scripture: Ephesians 2:14-16

Jesus provides reconciliation for everyone. Everyone. He “broke down the barrier of the dividing wall” between Jew and Gentile. He brought peace to all people.

And He’s still the Giver of peace. We can call the Father Jehovah Shalom, the Lord is peace.

One of my favorite verses about peace comes from one of my favorite books. Philippians 4:6-7 commands us to:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

I often speak on Jeremiah 29:11-13, and when I get to the part about God’s having a plan for our lives, I say:

Do you know what this verse says to me? When I’m focusing on God, when I’m asking in His name, when I’m praying for His will, I can be assured of two things: I don’t need to be anxious for anything, and I will have peace—a peace that surpasses anything I could experience without God in my life, a peace that surpasses anything that I could get from my earthly relationships, from my job, from my church, from my family . . . from anything else. Isn’t that what you’re looking for? A peace that surpasses anything you’ve ever experienced? Ask Him. Ask Him now. Give your plans, your timelines, your dreams to Him. Trust Him to bring about that perfect will in your life. Then, and only then, will you have that peace. You will have that peace. I promise. More importantly, He promises. Are you seeking God’s peace? First, you need to know the Giver of peace. And then just ask Him. (Adapted from The Best Laid Plans, © 2005, Sauni Rinehart)