Today’s Reading: Ephesians 1
Today’s post is written by our good friend Teresa Herbert.
As a regular reader of your posts, I am privileged today to share my reflections on behalf of my friend, Tracy, as we begin to ponder the rich messages from the first book of Ephesians, a chapter that is chock-full of powerful statements revealing the depth of God’s commitment and love for each one of us. One of my favorite verses in the Bible comes from this chapter. It reminds me of this Bible Journal community, and it reflects my prayer for you all:
15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[f] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
I have come to realize my need to do regular “grounding” work (creating small spaces in my day to read, pray, listen or participate in my faith community) to keep my head and heart on the path God has for my life. On the days I am mindful of such practices, my feet are more firmly planted, and I’m less tempted to succumb to roadblocks such as fear, intolerance and disappointment. Ephesians 1 is one of those chapters in the Bible that has the power to help me stay on track. Paul explains that God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings, has chosen and adopted us as his very own, and has lavished Grace upon us abundantly. All this given to us freely when we simply believe.
Paul’s opening words to the people of Ephesus hit home for me when he tells them that God intentionally bestowed spiritual blessings on each of them to be used according to his plan. This lead me to ponder: Can I identify my own spiritual blessings? How do I know I am using them in accordance with the plan God has for my life? Some days, I would love an explicit To Do list from God that nudged me in the direction of “wisdom and revelation”.
Often, the more mundane aspects of life-the daily grind of hectic schedules, deadlines, carpools and perpetual dirty laundry- don’t shout “spiritual blessings” to me. However, those are the places where the seemingly small interactions with others (the voice inside that says to slow down and be present to the people who’ve been put in my path) can give me insight into God’s powerful hand at work. I love the idea that we pray Paul’s prayer above regularly for one another-for our significant other, our children and families and our friends, so that we all may have the Spirit of wisdom and revelation to know God better.
Beautifully, Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians continues:
18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
I pray that your heart eyes are able to see and fully grasp the HOPE that comes from trusting in your calling to be a child of a God who knew you before you were born, and who promises the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide you on your path.