Lord open our eyes to the abundance of your grace. Lord help us see who we are In Christ…
READ EPHESIANS 1:3-14
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ with
every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places"...
- Using verses 3 & 4 write down what God has done for us in Christ.
- What did God do for us in love?
- Using verses 7-14 write down what God has done for us in Christ.
- Who sealed you?
- When were you sealed?
- What does it guarantee?
- It is awesome to see all that God has done for us in Christ! He loves us so much and desires us to be in relationship with him – to unite all things to himself. Still – there is an additional purpose for the transformation he works in us. I would note that both the beginning and the end of this passage are praise. In fact verses 11& 12 tell us, “having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.” Take time now to sing his praises – turn on your favorite praise song and give God glory! And spend time in prayer thanking Him for all that he has done for you!
Thank you Lord that in Christ we have been transformed. Thank you Lord that your grace is enough. Thank you Lord that “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:14 May our lives ever sing your glory.
Thank you Lord that you have knit us together in our mothers womb. Thank you Lord that you have known us before the foundation of time and that you have numbered every hair on our head. Thank you that you know us and you see us and that when we come to know Jesus – that you never leave us. Alleluia!!!!
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 ESV
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10NLT
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 NIV
- What do you think of when you imagine a masterpiece?
- That’s you! You are God’s masterpiece! Write a prayer of thanksgiving to God for all the special ways he has gifted you.
- When God gave you a new life in Christ he did it for a purpose. According to this verse, what is that purpose?
- This verse tells us that God has already planned the good works for us – we just have to walk in them. Do you see God calling you to walk in any certain way? Write a prayer asking God to reveal where he wants you to walk – how your life can glorify Him!
Dear Father God! Thank you so much that you have created us to be unique and special. That you have gifted us in special ways and you have created good works for us to accomplish in your name. Guide us Lord so that we will honor you and bring you glory with our lives. We know that “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11 – so lead us Lord that we may experience your joy as we walk in your ways.
Thank you God that we do not ever have to ask this question? We praise you Jesus that you alone have made us sufficient! Alleluia
“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1John 4:10 NIV
- The Romans passage has several adjectives describing our condition when Christ died for us. Write them down.
- It is so easy for us to begin to believe that we are not good enough. Or maybe just that we aren’t enough. How does the 1 John passage change that thinking?
- God’s love doesn’t change (Numbers 23:19 & Psalm 86:15) – When you add them all up what does this show you about the relationship between your goodness and God’s relationship to you (see also Ephesians 2:8)?
- Stop trying to be good enough – and start seeking God and His goodness. Trust in Jesus for your salvation. Trust in God’s plan. Repent (what can you leave behind today) and seek God’s will and transformation in your life. Write a prayer
- His love is complete. His love is steadfast. His love is so great He sent his Son to die for us. The Bible is full of God’s love for us – and examples of His steadfast love and faithfulness. Jump in and look for some more.
Dear Father God, thank you ! Thank you that your love is not conditional, that it is steadfast and complete. Thank you that our salvation is not earned, but given as a gift to us. Help us lay down the lies that have plagued us, help us see only your truth and love. May this open our eyes to how we can seek and serve you each day. In Jesus Name… AMEN!
Father God we thank you that your Spirit is in us. Thank you that when we become a new creation that you put your Spirit in us and begin to guide and use us. Lord open our eyes to the reality of who you say we are, and work in our hearts to change us into who you see us to be…
READ 2 Corinthians 3:1-3
“Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our[a] hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”
2 Corinthians 3:3
- As Paul writes to the Corinthian church, what does he call them?
- Who was the letter from?
- Who was the letter to?
- Who was used to write the letter?
- On what was the letter written?
- What story of transformation has the Spirit written on your heart?
- How can you be a letter from Christ today?
Dear Father God, you have put your Spirit in our hearts for a purpose. Yes – to reconcile us to you and to seal us for eternity – but also so that we can be your letter to the world. A letter from Christ and written by you. Lord work in our lives today so that we can be a witness to your love for us and for the world. May you use us as you used Paul to encourage others and to show them a picture of who you are. May we be open to your guiding today and every day so that our lives will be a living sacrifice and evidence of your glory. In Jesus name…amen!
As we start this new year, God has put it on my heart to pray scripture in the coming days. There will be a slight change to my format, but I hope you will join me in raising our voices in prayer.
Dear God, we praise you that you are love, and that you have given us the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide and grow us. Lord help us to see more clearly your will for our lives through your word today.
READ 2 Timothy 1:6-7
“I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
- What does Paul remind Timothy to do?
- How does Paul describe the spirit that is in Timothy and us?
- Do you have something that you are afraid of?
- What can you actively do to exercise your spirit of power and love and self control in regard to that fear?
- Remember to fan into flame the gift that God has given you…
Dear Father God we thank you that you that we do not have to live in fear because you have given us a spirit of power and love and self-control. Lord help us to live with confidence not in our own strength, but in yours. Not with our own love, but with yours. And in full dependance of of your will and not our own. In Jesus Name – Amen!
Photo by Paul Bulai on Unsplash
Been thinking a lot about the new year, goals, resolutions. I could make a list of one hundred things I’d like to change, start or undo. But what God has really made clear to me is that there is one thing I have to do this year, and it doesn’t take a to-do list or set of goals. It is this…
Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3
It can be a distraction to try to figure out what His plan is, or why we’re going through this or that. It is all-consuming to search for what the meaning of the events of our life mean or how to be sure this is the path we’re supposed to take. When you wear a lot of hats it is easy to be paralyzed by the sheer magnitude of attempting to figure out each role to perfection. But, what we need to realize is – none of that matters. We need to run whole-heartedly toward our Savior. Commit each day and the work within it to Him and trust Him to guide us and establish our work for His purpose.
We need to seek Him every step of the way! We need to listen for His voice, trust His purpose for us, and be confident that He is walking us toward it each day as we commit our steps to Him. We need to walk!
Praying that the Lord would direct our steps this year. That we would have hearts dedicated to Him and walk confidently knowing that His plan and purpose for our lives is being established as we commit our work to the Lord. In Jesus name… Amen
Photo by Tim Arterbury on Unsplash
Take time to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as you study God’s word today!
“There are six things that the Lord hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,
a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers.”
- Write down the six (or seven) things the Lord hates.
- Dig into the Bible to uncover more about what God thinks about life choices.
- Haughty Eyes – Humility (Philippians 2:3)
- Lying Tongue – Put on your new self (Colossians 3:9-10)
- Hand that Sheds Innocent Blood – Reconcile (Matthew 5:21-26)
- Heart that devises and runs to evil – Set your heart on the Spirit (Romans 8:5-6)
- Bears False Witness – Put away falsehood (Ephesians 4:17-32)
- Sow Discord Among Brothers – Build up (Ephesians 4:17-32, John 13:35)
It’s easy to set our hearts and minds on earthy things. And desire to get even, exact our revenge, or get ahead at any cost. But as we see in Proverbs – it’s not something the Lord encourages. Instead we are directed in Romans 12 that ““if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Remember you get to choose what you hold in your heart. You get to choose what you act on and what attitude that you have – every day. If you know Jesus then you are a new creation and you have His Spirit renewing you day by day. Choose to set your mind on the things of the Spirit – so that you may live in light and peace! Praying for you!