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All posts for the month June, 2014

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First Reading: Enter
As you read this passage of scripture for the first time you are simply “entering in” or familiarizing yourself with what God is saying here. Notice the circumstances, people, places, etc.

It’s interesting that Paul again includes in this chapter the work of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He also talks about Gentiles and Jews and the reconciliation that is found in Christ. Satan is introduced as the “ruler of the kingdom of the air”. The church is described as being citizens of His kingdom, members of His household, a building that becomes a temple to The Lord, and a dwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Can’t wait to dig in more. Hope you can join me this week!

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Fourth Reading: Live
In this final reading of the passage ask God to show you how He wants you to live based on this scripture. Is there something He would have you start doing, stop doing or continue doing?

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In him we were also chosen, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:4, 11, 12 NIV)

We were chosen by God to be holy and blameless which is partly who we are in Christ and partly the way we choose to live. Holy is to be set apart and has a sense of identifying with a new way of life. To be blameless is a process of living more and more like Jesus every day.

We were also chosen to be for the praise of His nature. It’s like our lives lived out in a holy, set apart, and blameless way will lift Jesus up and people will recognize who He is and be grateful to Him. So in essence our lives matter a great deal. What we do affects how people see God. What I do will affect how people see God.

I think God wants me to live more intentionally. That every action and thought has some weight behind it. Not in a pressure-filled way, but in a life-giving way. Be mindful is a phrase that comes to mind. Lord, help me to live a holy and blameless life. Help me to move people closer to loving you by the way I live my life for you.

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Third Reading: Pray
As you read this passage of scripture for the third time through, begin by spending a few moments in prayer thanking and praising God for His Holy Word. As you read, be prayerfully interacting with God about the text.

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In him we were also chosen, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:4, 11, 12 NIV)

God put these three verses together as I read this chapter for the third time. Part of being chosen has to do with people praising God because of the way I live my life. More on this tomorrow.

What’s God saying to you?

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Second Reading: Impress
As you read the same passage of scripture for the second time, notice what word, phrase, sentence or verse makes an “impression” upon you.

Verse 13: “When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13, 14 NIV)

This is such a powerful verse about the purposes of the Holy Spirit in our lives. A seal and a deposit. A seal gives validity to our salvation and guarantees that we are part of God’s family.

What is making an impression on you in chapter 1?

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First Reading: Enter
As you read this passage of scripture for the first time you are simply “entering in” or familiarizing yourself with what God is saying here. Notice the circumstances, people, places, etc.

What jumped out at me was the following:
– Written by Paul, who is an apostle
– Written to Christians in Ephesus
– All three persons of the Trinity are mentioned: Father, Son and Holy Spirit
– Both Jews and Gentiles are referenced
– The church is described as Christ’s body

What do you see?