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Thursday, February 12, 2015

#heartofEphesians || Week Two

I'm so glad you're here today, friends. How is your study going? I am continually amazed by how much good God has poured into the book of Ephesians. These short 6 chapters have filled my heart in a way I didn't expect! 

I hope you're getting into the habit of picking up your Bible; I'm quick to scroll through Instagram or thumb through a book in a moment of downtime, but I'm learning that the more I open my Bible, the more I reflect God's goodness. My words are kinder, my actions are more gentle, my demeanor more calm. Slowly but surely, He's refining me. And I hope He's working in your heart too.


We're covering Ephesians 2:14-22 and Ephesians 3 this week, two big chunks of scripture that are overflowing with His truths. 

Let's start with the verses in Ephesians 2:

Verse 14 says, "For He Himself is our Peace, who has made us both one and has broken down by His flesh the diving wall of hostility." What is Paul talking about here? It's explained more in Chapter 3, but here's the gist. He's addressing the tension between the Jews and the Gentiles. The Jews believed they were God's chosen people and that no other group had favor as they did. My Bible titles this section as the Revealing of God's Great Mystery. The next verses tell us what the mystery was--that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to break down those walls we as humans build between ourselves. Jesus and only Jesus is the source of real reconciliation and true unity in the Church. He is the Peace that heals those wounds. There was no Jew or Gentile, but rather Christian, or follower of Christ. That's what the cross did for the Church.

Verse 18 goes on to say, "For through Him, we both have access in One Spirit to the Father." Jesus is the only reason we are worthy enough to access God; the cross made that possible. 

Chapter 2 goes on to talk about the church being built on the foundation of God, with Christ as the cornerstone of the church. Verse 22 says "...being built together into a dwelling place by God through the Holy Spirit." I love that Paul says dwelling place here--to dwell means to take up permanent residence somewhere, so that just says that the Holy Spirit is building us, brick by brick, with Christ as our cornerstone to create a home for God in our hearts. Good stuff, isn't it?

Now, Chapter 3. I'll pick up around verse 8, when Paul talks from his perspective. He says "though I am the least of all the saints" and paints the perfect picture of humility, of true servanthood. He knew that without God's help, he could accomplish nothing and everything he did would be in vain. Our unworthiness leads to nothingness without the righteousness of God.

Verse 12 is another that I wish I could tattoo on my forehead: "In Him and through Him, we may approach the Lord with boldness, freedom, and confidence." What an incredible privilege we have as believers. We have the ability to enter directly into God's presence with a prayer. And the best part? He's waiting there with open arms. 

I want y'all to grab your Bibles right here. If you're reading this at home, stop for a second and open your Bible. Or open another tab and look up Ephesians 3:16-21. Read it. And read it again. And then do a happy dance. 

"So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:17-19

Those verses just overwhelm me with the love of the Father. HOW can He love me that much? Friends, I hope you know the love of the Lord. Just read that again and let those words wash over you. Let them calm your soul. 

And then it gets even better. Can you believe it?

"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21

Y'all, these two verses just stirs my heart. It makes me want to shout His praises. He's not just able to do beyond what we ask of Him, He's able to do abundantly beyond. But even then, He's not done--He is able to do far more abundantly than what we ask. And there's more... "Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than what we ask or think, according to the Power that works within us. Whoa. 

We've got to remember here though; Paul isn't telling us to ask for material miracles. He wants us to long for Christ to dwell in our hearts so that we have an understanding of this great Love He has for us. He is able to do far more abundantly beyond what we ask because of three things-- because of His love for us, because He is omnipotent, and because He is good. Plain and simple. And this is the God that we serve, the God who lives in our hearts. If this doesn't fire you up, I don't know what will, friends. What incredible truth for us as believers! 

I don't know about you, but I AM FULL OF JOY this morning reading back through these verses. Good stuff, I tell you. I hope these chapters have stirred your heart and given you a little deeper glimpse into the love God has for us.  

Today, let's encourage each other. Let's pray for each other. Let's let kind words come from our mouths. Because after reading all of that goodness, that's what I want my life to be like. Full of goodness. Full of His truth. Full of His wisdom. We can make that choice today! 

What has God been laying on your hearts? What are you learning? I can't wait to hear! Join in our link-up and spread some Ephesians love! 


6 comments:

  1. Every week I'm so inspired and filled by these verses. I'm so thankful God is bigger than my worries, my prayers, and my cries for help. He IS good, and He has so much more for me than I can imagine! Thanks for sharing, Rachel!

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  2. God is just so amazing, isn't He!? This week's reading gave me butterflies and reminded me to let myself be molded by His love. He love is so filling and just plain awesome! Thank you for your wonderful words!

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  3. Rachel- you write so beautifully. Your devotional posts always inspire me. Thanks for sharing! I hope you are enjoy NYC. XO -Anna
    www.parkavenueblogger.com

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  4. I love that the grace of God is so crazy, incomprehensibly vast and unsearchable. We literally cannot get to the end of it.

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  5. Thanks, sweet girl. It's all HIM! I need to come visit in Nashville soon!! I am so thankful for your friendship.

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  6. Oh yes, molded by His love. I just love that thought. Thank you for sharing that with us!!!

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