Tag Archives: Ephesians 1

December 7, 2017 Bible Study — To Him Who Is Able To Do Immeasurably More Than We Can Ask Or Imagine

I am using the daily Bible reading schedule from “The Bible.net” for my daily Bible reading. I am pleased that more people have been reading my blog, but am somewhat disappointed that so few bother to click the link and read the Bible passage which I am commenting on. Perhaps some of you are reading the passage in other formats. If so, that is wonderful. I have been blessed by reading through the Bible each year and promise that if you do so you will be as well. My wish is that each of you will read a portion of the Bible for yourself each day, even if it is not the passage which I am commenting on.

Today, I am reading and commenting on Ephesians 1-3.

    There are three themes which Paul writes about in today’s passage to which I want to bring your attention. Paul reminds us that we have been saved by the gift of God’s grace, which we receive through faith. We do not have anything to boast about because our salvation is a freely given gift from God, even the faith through which we receive it is a gift from God. Even though we have been made righteous through God’s grace we have no basis to consider ourselves better than anyone else because that righteousness is not a product of our own actions. Rather it is a product of the Holy Spirit acting within us. Paul goes further to indicate that the Holy Spirit created this righteousness within us in order that we might do good works. Our good works do not make us righteous, they are our response to being made righteous.

    One of the results of the Holy Spirit working within us is that the dividing walls of hostility which come between members of various human defined groups are destroyed. If the Holy Spirit is truly working within us we will be united with those believers whom the world teaches that we should hate. Anyone who accepts God’s grace becomes a member of the Body of Christ, no matter what their background. This is but one of the things which the power of God can accomplish. Throughout this passage Paul writes about the amazing power of God. Power which is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. Joining together into one Body those who were taught to hate each other is but one aspect of the ways this power can work beyond our power to imagine. I want to come back to what Paul says here about God’s power. God is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. We need to remember this when we pray about the things we struggle with. We are not even able to imagine the solutions to our problems which God has. One of our failures of imagination is seeing problems where God is providing blessings.

September 22. 2015 Bible Study — Come and Listen To What God Has Done

For today, One Year Bible Online links here.

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Proverbs 23:25-28

    This proverb tells us that a promiscuous woman is dangerous, trying to get more men to be unfaithful. If you have ever met a promiscuous woman, you know that it is true. They prefer men who are in a relationship with other women, especially men who have been faithful. However, the same is true of promiscuous men. Look around at society and you will see that the more people practice sexual immorality the more they wish to convince others to do so as well. Do not fall into that trap by getting started in the first place.

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Psalm 66

    Let us join the psalmist in praising God, calling on everyone to come and see what God has done. The psalmist sums up how we are to witness to others at the end of this psalm.

Come and listen, all you who fear God,
and I will tell you what he did for me.

I will tell any who will listen what God has done for me. By doing so I hope to encourage those who believe, and convince those who do not.
For I cried out to him for help,
praising him as I spoke.

When I cry out to God for His help, I will praise Him at the same time. He has done great things for me in the past. I know that He will do great things in the future.
If I had not confessed the sin in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.

If I pretend that I am not a sinner when I call on God for help, He will not listen. It is only when I acknowledge my many sins to Him that He will listen to me. He cannot help us if we fail to acknowledge the areas where we most need help (our sins are our true problems, everything else is just a symptom).
But God did listen!
He paid attention to my prayer.

I will continue to seek out unrecognized sins in my life because God has listened. He has paid attention to my prayers. I will seek to identify other areas where my actions fail to please Him, so that He can transform those as well.

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Ephesians 1

    I really needed today’s passage because my study (OK, study is probably too strong of a word for it) of what is going on in the world right now is frightening. There are a lot of bad things happening and it looks to me like things will get worse before they get better (with no real evidence that they will get better). However, in this passage Paul reminds us that God HAS a plan. More importantly, God makes everything work out according to His plan. Things do not happen by accident. They happen because they are part of God’s plan. He has chosen us and part of His plan is to give us an inheritance. So, as scary as the world situation may appear today, God has a plan and He is in control. Things will turn out according to His plan.
    Paul then goes on to offer the prayer that we might receive the Spirit of wisdom (NIV). That Spirit will cause us to know God even better. It will open our eyes to God’s light so that we will know the great hope which God has given us. Once more, despite how scary things look in the world around us, we have the hope and knowledge that God will use these events to further His plan. That plan involves giving us the same power which raised Jesus from the dead through His Spirit. Let us use that power to further God’s plan to subject all things to Christ.

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Isaiah 39:1-41:16

    God is calling on us to shout that He is coming in power. Let our voices be heard. There is no reason to be afraid. Our God is a great God. It was He who created the universe and everything in it. Look at the scale of this universe. On that scale, this earth is insignificant and the nations even more so. There is nothing we can see, or imagine, to which we can compare God. Those who make images and idols are trying to limit God to a scale which they can understand, but such is not possible. God will not be limited.
    In chapter 40, verses 29-31 is one of the great statements for us to remember.

He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

Are you at your wits end? Have you become exhausted doing God’s will? He will give you the strength to go on. Trust in Him and do not be afraid. He will not allow your grip to fail. He will not allow you to fall. Turn to Him for the strength you need. He is here to help us and He will not fail us.