39. Peace, Love, Faith, and Grace.
Ephesians 6:23-24. “Peace be with you, dear brothers and sisters, and may God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you love with faithfulness. May God’s grace be eternally upon all who love our Lord Jesus Christ.” (NLT)
Paul opens and closes his letter to the Ephesians with prayers for grace and peace for his readers. And in between those two prayers he showers all those who have faith in Christ with the realities of how much grace God’s love has given us and how we can find peace in our relationships with God and each other.
Looking back over the spiritual truths that the Holy Spirit especially impressed on my mind when studying Ephesians this time, the following are highlights for me:
> I have every spiritual blessing that I need. This passage reminds me of Second Peter 1:3 – “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life…” I am very wealthy spiritually and God intends for me to invest and enjoy the blessings He has given.
> God’s love for me is unconditional and greater than I could ever imagine or hope for. This is a crucial concept for me to understand and thoroughly believe. Realization of God’s love for me is the starting point for everything else I understand about myself, my relationship with God and with others, my purpose in life, and my future into eternity.
> My identity is determined by my relationship with God. I am chosen, adopted, called to a special purpose in life, gifted for that calling, and pleasing to God.
> My greatest need and my greatest strength is to trust God. That includes believing what He says through His word — that He has the power to do what He says He will do and that He will empower me to do what I’m called to do and be. My greatest happiness will come from choosing to trust him and responding quickly to his leading (because I trust him to lead me in the best way). He has planned significant things for me to do; I need to trust Him and depend on Him to do them. My greatest idol is my own trust in myself and my abilities to control my life. When I trust in them instead of God, I am putting myself in God’s place.
> The importance of loving others and being united with others. The power of using words to build up others; God may dispense grace to other people through my conversations with them.
> Living intentionally and mindfully to please God and thank Him for His goodness to me. I want pleasing God to be my primary motive in all my relationships.
> The necessity of having an intentional strategy to resist the evil one.
Father, thank You for these six chapters in which You have revealed the depth of Your love for me. I need Your help to respond with more than just temporary appreciation. Make me more like You, Father, and spread Your grace through me. Amen
Dear Reader, this series on walking through Ephesians will conclude tomorrow, June 25th. I hope these posts have been a blessing to you. Could you tell me in one sentence what your most helpful take-away was? Also, would you be interested in walking with me through a series of posts on another passage or book of the Bible? You can comment on this post or write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I appreciate your input. Peggy